Alaska faces more summer cruise ship cancellations

BECKY BOHRER

JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) — Three cruise lines said Wednesday they are canceling sailings to Alaska this summer, citing travel and other restrictions linked to coronavirus concerns.

Two of the companies, Princess Cruises and Holland America Line, had previously announced sharply reduced plans for voyages to and tours in Alaska. On Wednesday, they said remaining trips they had planned to the state would be canceled.

Seabourn said it is suspending through Oct. 13 sailings to Alaska. That extends throughout what is typically the cruise season here.

Earlier this week, Carnival Cruise Line announced it was canceling trips to Alaska this year. Carnival Cruise Line, Princess Cruises, Holland America Line and Seabourn fall under the Carnival Corp. umbrella.

Mike Tibbles, with Cruise Lines International Association Alaska, said by email that the state currently faces a loss of 479 voyages — or 80% of expected sailings — with a passenger capacity of more than 955,000 because of ship cancellations.

Sarah Leonard, president and CEO of the Alaska Travel Industry Association, in a statement said this summer will be difficult for many tourism businesses. She said her organization is advocating for state and federal assistance for businesses and shifting potential marketing efforts to in-state travel.

“We are hopeful as more sectors of the economy reopen, we can encourage people in Alaska to explore the beauty and open spaces right here at home this summer, while supporting Alaska tourism businesses,” Leonard said.