For the first time in ~2 years, a cruise ship arrived in Skagway, Alaska.
On Friday, June 11, ACL-American Cruise Lines' boat American Constellation docked in the port city, with passengers onboard - a sign for local businesses that depend on the cruise industry to stay afloat.
Andrew Cremata, Skagway's Mayor, said:
"If you'd asked me a couple of months ago if we were going to have a cruise ship coming in by now, I would have not thought it possible."
However, after two-and-a-half months without a COVID case in Skagway AK, things, he said, were starting to get back to normal. Restaurants are now open, streetcar tours are running, more cruise ships are scheduled to arrive after 21 months with no one.
According to Cremata, it had been "pretty devastating for the businesses." Not only was it losing the cruise season, but it was losing the economy because it was 96% based on cruise ship traffic.
While the mayor added he was cautiously optimistic the city would see a return to pre-COVID levels of cruise passenger numbers, he thought the ramifications of the pandemic would take years, if not decades, to fully comprehend.
"Now the only missing piece of the puzzle is for that Canadian border to open so that you guys can come see us and we can come see you.
"Everyone here comments every day. I hear it repeatedly and I'm guilty of saying it as well: 'Man, I can't wait for the border to open.'"