Ketchikan will allow cruise ships despite the Coronavirus pandemic

   March 26, 2020 ,   Accidents

An Alaska port city is considering whether to allow cruise vessels to dock there while waiting out the ocean cruise suspension due to the outbreak of the Coronavirus (COVID-19).

The Ketchikan City Council discussed allowing cruise ship operators to pay for services and space at its downtown berths during the global industry-wide suspension.

At least one cruise company approached the city about docking multiple vessels at the berths, according to Ketchikan Port and Harbors Director Steve Corporon.

Cruise Line International Association (CLIA), accounting for 95% of the market, announced on March 13 that its member cruise lines planned to suspend sailings for 30 days.

Corporon said the infrastructure was "not in place to have all the cruise ships in port.”

The government of Canada announced port restrictions that could push back the Alaska cruise season until July 1.

Port of Ketchikan (Revillagigedo Island, Alaska)

The city of Ketchikan could take in between $1,700-2,800 daily per vessel in docking fees. Additional costs depending on the needs of the cruise ships could include waste management and drinking water.

Each cruise ship would likely operate at least one engine or electric generator for power while docked. The biggest cost estimate for the port city to provide power was $10M, Corporon added. Additional port security would be required under a U.S.C.G. (Coast Guard) plan, costing Ketchikan between $1,500-$2,500 for personnel.

The cruise ships would not be subject to port development fees or commercial passenger vessel fees because there would be no passengers.

For Coronavirus updates on cruise ship quarantines (infected passengers and crew) and top-pandemic countries (COVID-19 cases and deaths, daily updated statistics) see at CruiseMapper's Norovirus page.