MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Cruises to Alaska are set to resume sailing this summer with the signing of the Alaska Tourism Restoration Act, a new law signed by President Biden that allows cruise ships to sail to Alaska without needing to stop in Canada. The sailings have been on hold since the onset of the coronavirus pandemic.
Miami-based cruise lines, such as Carnival, Royal Caribbean, and Norwegian Cruise Lines, along with Princess Cruises, Holland America Line and Celebrity Cruises have all announced week-long sailings beginning in July. These voyages have already gone on sale and are moving quickly.READ MORE: Cuban Leader Miguel Diaz Canel Blasts US At UN General Assembly
However, cruise ships will still need approval to sail from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) due to the Framework for Conditional Sail Order, which remains in effect until November 2021.
That means, despite the major cruise lines announcing sailings to Alaska this summer, there has not been any announcement or confirmation that CDC will actually allow ships to sail.
In Carnival’s announcement, they mentioned deciding to offer cruises again, “based on recent guidance from the CDC and close collaboration with Alaskan officials.”
NCL said its plans were contingent on obtaining a Conditional Sailing Certificate, which it expected to be granted “in the coming days”.READ MORE: Police Respond To 'Active Shooter' Situation At Kroger In Tennessee
Royal Caribbean made no mention of its negotiations with the CDC during its announcement.
The cruise lines did say proof of vaccination will be required for passengers, while decisions about masks, social distancing and precise quarantine procedures have not been released yet.
During a White House Press briefing with Jen Psaki, a reporter noted COVID-19 vaccinations are one of the reasons the cruise industry will be able to restart, but Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has banned vaccination passports.
PortMiami is the cruise capital of the world and set a new record of more than 6.5 million cruise passengers two years ago.
Psaki said the administration has no view on Florida’s vaccination stance and reiterated the Biden administration has no plans to institute a vaccination passport at the federal level.MORE NEWS: Record Spending Expected This Halloween
‘We certainly understand that industries will make their own decisions,’ she said, sidestepping the fact that the reporter’s question related to Florida’s policy, not the cruise industry’s.