President Biden signs the Alaska Tourism Restoration Act

   May 25, 2021 ,   Cruise Industry

The USA's current President (Joseph Robinette Biden Jr) has signed the Alaska Tourism Restoration Act on Monday, May 24. The law lifts a requirement that foreign-flagged vessels traveling between mainland United States and Alaska must call in a foreign (Canadian) port.

Typically, cruise ships sailing from Seattle WA to Alaska had made their foreign calls in Canada. However, due to the COVID crisis, Canada closed its borders to non-essential travel.

According to Stephanie Jones Stebbins (Port Seattle's managing director of maritime), the loss of the 2020 cruise season had already cost the Puget Sound region plenty: ~UD 26 million to the Port and ~$900 million in the community, in terms of lost economic impact, including everything from the money tourists spend in Seattle area shops and restaurants, to businesses that help supply the vessels while they are in port.

Port Seattle is expected to receive ~80 cruise ship calls during the shortened 2021 season, probably bringing in a quarter of what the industry generates in the region during a typical year.

The CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) could sink these plans if it proposes new health rules as liners return to the sea.