The United States Senate has unanimously passed a bill that allows foreign-flagged cruise ships to sail to Alaska without having to make a stop in Canada.
The Alaska Tourism Recovery Act passed the Senate in a vote on Thursday, May 13, and will now go to the US House of Representatives for a vote.
Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) and Dan Sullivan (R-Alaska) introduced the bill in February 2021 as a way for liners to be able to sail to Alaska this year.
The Alaska Tourism Recovery Act is meant to alleviate the PVSA (Passenger Vessel Services Act) restrictions for cruise ships transporting guests between the State of Washington (WA) and the State of Alaska (AK).
Canada banned cruise ships for at least a year and prohibits liners from mooring, anchoring, navigating, or berthing in Canadian waters until February 28, 2022, or until the Government lifts the prohibition.
If the bill were to become law, it would apply to any voyage that begins on/before February 28, 2022.
Even if the bill passes, Alaska sailings will still need to be permitted by the U.S. CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), which has its own cruise ship ban in place.