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Do you think the 2021 Alaska cruise season will go ahead.


portcbob
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Hi all Alaska cruisers.

We were coming from Aussie for our bucket list trip to Alaska/Canada this May/June however were cancelled out with the pandemic after literally years of preparing for our trip.

We have been issued with fcc’s in return and are considering an attempt for the same period in 2021.

Just wondering how confident you guys are about the 2021 sailing season going ahead. Don’t get us wrong we are positive people but just wanting some opinions please. Due to book soon with holland America.

Cheers Bob.

 

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I posted this in another thread, but some insight from here in BC for 2020 ...

 

Any (conventional) Alaska cruise requires a stop in British Columbia. Save potentially the ability to physically dock in Canada and not disembark, which I could see being authorized, there's no chance BC will allow cruise ships to disembark in 2020. Ports in Canada are federally regulated, and that's what has the current no sail order until July 1. However everything else, including in many cases, ownership of the actual pier, is Provincial. The Provincial Order for this will likely come in mid-May, that's a guess but an educated one. 

 

And, thankfully, the Federal / Provincial relationships in Canada are generally very constructive. So I don't see the Feds allowing a ship in that BC doesn't want. 

 

Lastly, the cruise industry here in BC has taken a well deserved beating over the last several months. As the days go on I increasingly see a future of tourism built around significantly less cruise ships being allowed in Port.

 

--

 

2021 with the current scope of change is obviously too far away for us to predict. However, the general impression here is that cruising ought to be among the last things restored. The industry was already in a bad place with the BC Government because of poor environmental oversight primarily, flags of convenience, and questions about the lack of taxation for service here. Then Covid-19 struck, and some unintelligent Canadians boarded a cruise after  our Government said don't. These people were then in the news everyday, surprised when their ship started having issues and asking for a rescue. This was weeks after several Canadians had been rescued in more legitimate , far less avoidable circumstances. Thankfully they did get home safe, and with minimal expense to the Government. But the damage of that ridiculous situation, tied in with the industry's generally abysmal conduct in March will have long lasting damage here in BC that, personally, I think will have huge ramifications for a long time to the Alaska seasons of future.  

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I booked the same cruise I had for May 2020 in May 2021 out of Vancouver. They aren't getting a time until final payment date except my deposit. I should have a FCC to pay the rest but I won't apply it to the cruise until

  1. I feel safe traveling in a confined environment (vaccine or treatment that works and is readily available)
  2. Canada/BC allows the ship to sail
  3. I don't need a doctors note to sail.

 

I hope I can sail. I want to spend 14 days  going to ports and glaciers.

A-

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Us as well were booked for May 2020.  We are on NCL and they still haven't canceled our cruise.  In one aspect I want the FCC at 125% as the 2021 cruise is a little bit more then what we paid.  But on the other hand I'd just like my $4200 back for our stateroom as I don't feel confident that everything will be back to normal in a year.  I think the Alaska sailings will be one of the last ones to go; with the required Canada port call sailing out of Seattle, Canada doesn't need the cruise business for a four hour stop in Victoria.  So I see them extending their restriction on port calls if they are concerned with COVID then.  Where some of the Caribbean ports need our business. We will still book an Alaskan cruise for 2021 once ours has actually been canceled.  Just tossing up around idea do we just want our money back and know we could cancel next one before final payment when we hope to have a better idea of the state of the 2021 Alaskan cruise season.  

 

 

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On 4/20/2020 at 2:44 PM, portcbob said:

Hi all Alaska cruisers.

We were coming from Aussie for our bucket list trip to Alaska/Canada this May/June however were cancelled out with the pandemic after literally years of preparing for our trip.

We have been issued with fcc’s in return and are considering an attempt for the same period in 2021.

Just wondering how confident you guys are about the 2021 sailing season going ahead. Don’t get us wrong we are positive people but just wanting some opinions please. Due to book soon with holland America.

Cheers Bob.

 

 

There was just this out by CDC that this winter it could be worse than right now, if it is just the same or even 25% of what it is now, I'd say cruises will be  finished for the 2021 season.

 

 

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Just now, chipmaster said:

 

There was just this out by CDC that this winter it could be worse than right now, if it is just the same or even 25% of what it is now, I'd say cruises will be  finished for the 2021 season.

 

 

With all due respect, just speculation...again, nobody can know or predict.

 

I understand why CDC and others are warning about a possible resurgence of Covid in the winter...certainly don't want ANYBODY, hospitals, politicians, the believers in the hoax of Covid, to not be aware of the possibility of a second wave. Responders need to be prepared.

 

However, such smart advice will also slow the recovery of the economy and consumer demand, which is what will restore the economy.

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Like you portcbob I booked our 3 week Vancouver and Alaska July holiday (including a 1 week cruise) 2 years ago. There are so many suppliers - eg excursions - I will need to cancel, plus then there's the issue re will our insurance pay out if any of them refuse to refund us.

 

So my thought is to ask everyone to swap us to July 2021. I can see that Alaska is re-opening a bit (25% of occupancy! - how can restaurants manage with that and not charge 3 times the price for food?) but is that enough to support their economy for 2 years if 2021 cruises are cancelled too?

 

And we would be coming from Vancouver, and that may not want us either. It is all so sad, and up in the air (except we aren't!). I guess at the moment who knows?

 

 

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On 4/21/2020 at 3:08 PM, the_thunderbird said:

2021 with the current scope of change is obviously too far away for us to predict. However, the general impression here is that cruising ought to be among the last things restored. The industry was already in a bad place with the BC Government because of poor environmental oversight primarily, flags of convenience, and questions about the lack of taxation for service here. . . . . the industry's generally abysmal conduct in March will have long lasting damage here in BC that, personally, I think will have huge ramifications for a long time to the Alaska seasons of future.  . . . . . .  Lastly, the cruise industry here in BC has taken a well deserved beating over the last several months. As the days go on I increasingly see a future of tourism built around significantly less cruise ships being allowed in Port.

I have been wondering if some of the cruise lines will resort to following the model of NCL's Pride of Hawaii with regard to future Alaska seasons, i.e., flag the ships in the US, hire American crew, (raising fares to cover additional taxes and labor) and embark solely from Seattle without the stops in Canadian ports.  I would not be surprised because they have had success with that approach for many years in Hawaii.  Conversely, there may be a good many cruise ships for sale soon and perhaps a Canadian company will buy a few and sail to Alaska.  Who knows what the new normal will be?

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1 hour ago, Travelling2Some said:

I have been wondering if some of the cruise lines will resort to following the model of NCL's Pride of Hawaii with regard to future Alaska seasons, i.e., flag the ships in the US, hire American crew, (raising fares to cover additional taxes and labor) and embark solely from Seattle without the stops in Canadian ports.  I would not be surprised because they have had success with that approach for many years in Hawaii.  Conversely, there may be a good many cruise ships for sale soon and perhaps a Canadian company will buy a few and sail to Alaska.  Who knows what the new normal will be?

Success in Hawaii? Perhaps you didn't know there was once 3 NCL ships based/devoted to Hawaii...that didn't last very long...down to just one now. They do a lot of sales...thinking things don't sell really well. If you read the reviews, many comments about work ethic in the all American crews...not like non-American cruises. Maybe your idea would work, but wanted all the facts out there.

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31 minutes ago, CruiserBruce said:

Success in Hawaii? Perhaps you didn't know there was once 3 NCL ships based/devoted to Hawaii...that didn't last very long...down to just one now. They do a lot of sales...thinking things don't sell really well. If you read the reviews, many comments about work ethic in the all American crews...not like non-American cruises. Maybe your idea would work, but wanted all the facts out there.

I see what you're saying in that they may have been overly optimistic in devoting the 3 ships.  Pride of America sank while it was still being constructed if I remember correctly.  However, NCL has been operating their Hawaii only cruises for a very long time so I don't think it's wrong to call the operation a success.  I went on that cruise at least 15 years ago and felt the service was no different from any other mass market cruise I've been on.  

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I agree with Travelling2some.

We sailed on the Pride of America in 2017.  The service was fine and we loved Hawaii.  It was my family's favorite trip thus far.   Plus, Alaska seems to be an extremely popular cruise destination. We are scheduled for a southbound Alaskan cruise in 2021.  Alternatively, the cruise lines could lobby to suspend the PVSA.

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Yes, while I would not like to see labor laws chipped away at, the economy of Alaska may call for desperate measures given the price of oil and the loss of the entire 2020 tourist season.  There is no shortage of unemployed American restaurant and hotel staff because of the virus.  Add to that significant anti-cruise industry sentiment in the Canadian ports and it might all come together. 

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To get back to the OP's question, confident is not a word I'd use for cruising anywhere in 2021.  As others have said it is all complete speculation now.  I do have a deposit on an Alaskan cruise in 2021 and I'm not asking for my money back (yet) so I am making a small bet on Alaska 2021.  My guess is that the first areas to resume some cruising will be the Caribbean and Alaska but that is purely a guess.  It's very hard to have an opinion or even any kind of educated guess until we all see what this virus does this coming winter.

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Am hoping Alaska lifts some of their restrictions, preferably the 2 week self quarantine for people from out of state.  I plan on flying up there for 6 weeks starting 6/24/2020. Got a super deal on airfare but if it doesn't happen will roll it over for next year.

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I agree that 2021 is too far out to make any kind of prediction. I do have a cruise on the Jewel for the end of June 2021 - I am only into it 100.00 right now, so I will watch and wait.

 

As for trying to do the AK ports with a US Flagged ship is interesting, it would also require the ship to be built in the USA. NCL got lots of waivers on the POA - they actually bought 2 hulls started in the US and finished in Germany - they found that only one hull could be completed so they got special waivers for the new build Jade and a re-vamped Sky to be the other two ships in the fleet. This took quite a bit of lobbying by the congressmen of Hawaii to make it all happen. The Jade and Sky were eventually removed from HI service - the Sky went to Miami and the Jade went to Europe. My point is that you simply can't reflag a ship to get around the PVSA. 

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Yes, from what I have seen discussed, there are 3 requirements the ship would have to meet, US Flagged, US crewed and US built. The last one would be the rub, of course.  I'm just wondering if the US government might be inclined to waive that requirement (maybe on a temporary basis?) in the best interest of Alaska's economy since this situation is extraordinary.

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BTW, Bonvoyagie, thank you for that background information.  Very interesting.  I had wondered how they got around the requirement that the ship be built in the US.  To the best of my limited knowledge, there is no shipyard in the United States that builds cruise ships, is there?  I do remember the POA sinking while it was being built.  The hull was completely open and there was a freak storm if I remember correctly.  I remember it because we were booked to sail on it and a different ship was quickly converted for Hawaii (had to remove the casino) and rushed into service instead.  Not sure if I remember all the details accurately.  The extra money wouldn't hurt Seattle either come to think of it. 

1 hour ago, bonvoyagie said:

I agree that 2021 is too far out to make any kind of prediction. I do have a cruise on the Jewel for the end of June 2021 - I am only into it 100.00 right now, so I will watch and wait.

 

As for trying to do the AK ports with a US Flagged ship is interesting, it would also require the ship to be built in the USA. NCL got lots of waivers on the POA - they actually bought 2 hulls started in the US and finished in Germany - they found that only one hull could be completed so they got special waivers for the new build Jade and a re-vamped Sky to be the other two ships in the fleet. This took quite a bit of lobbying by the congressmen of Hawaii to make it all happen. The Jade and Sky were eventually removed from HI service - the Sky went to Miami and the Jade went to Europe. My point is that you simply can't reflag a ship to get around the PVSA. 

 

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Any thoughts on this summer? We are booked out of vancouver for alaska cruise August 2. I just wish a decision was made PRIOR to my final payment being due. I am NOT going to give them $9000 more if I am not confident it will be cancelled. We don't plan on going anyway but I'd much rather a refund than a FCC that MUST be used by dec 31. 2021. 

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1 hour ago, Lusyd said:

Any thoughts on this summer? We are booked out of vancouver for alaska cruise August 2. I just wish a decision was made PRIOR to my final payment being due. I am NOT going to give them $9000 more if I am not confident it will be cancelled. We don't plan on going anyway but I'd much rather a refund than a FCC that MUST be used by dec 31. 2021. 

Many threads just down the board discussing the situation in Alaska for this year. Answer is, nobody knows, although Carnival has canceled some of their sailings to various routes.

 

Have you read or researchced on the board for the cruise line involved?

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On 5/3/2020 at 7:54 AM, Lusyd said:

Any thoughts on this summer? We are booked out of vancouver for alaska cruise August 2. I just wish a decision was made PRIOR to my final payment being due. I am NOT going to give them $9000 more if I am not confident it will be cancelled. We don't plan on going anyway but I'd much rather a refund than a FCC that MUST be used by dec 31. 2021. 

 

Metro Port Vancouver, as are all Canadian ports are currently closed until at least Jul 1st for all cruise ships with a compliment of > 500. Ports are a Federal jurisdiction, so the improving status of the virus in BC will have no impact  on the decision to open or remain closed.

 

In BC we have mandatory 14-day quarantine requirements for every person arriving in the Province. Today the Govt update indicated this will not be changing in the short term. It will only change when other counties/Provinces/States have control of infections. At present gatherings of >50 people are banned and today's update indicated this will continue until we have a proven cure/vaccine for the virus.

 

Therefore, even if Canada opened the ports, nobody would be permitted to enter BC without 14-day quarantine. I expect a cruise ship would be considered a gathering of > 50 people, so can't imaging anyone being permitted ashore.

 

Basically my best guess is no cruise ships pax in BC this summer. 

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On 4/27/2020 at 7:46 PM, Travelling2Some said:

Conversely, there may be a good many cruise ships for sale soon and perhaps a Canadian company will buy a few and sail to Alaska.  Who knows what the new normal will be?

 

Maybe the Canadian Pacific Line will appear on the maritime scene again?  

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