Updated: Princess and Holland America cancel most of their Alaska cruises, won’t open lodges this summer

first_imgCoronavirus | Economy | Interior | Southcentral | TourismUpdated: Princess and Holland America cancel most of their Alaska cruises, won’t open lodges this summerApril 14, 2020 by Tegan Hanlon, Alaska Public Media Share:The Royal Princess is designed to carry about 4,900 passengers and crews making it one of the largest in the company’s fleet. It will begin calling into Alaska ports in May 2019. (Photo courtesy of Princes Cruises)Two cruise lines announced Tuesday that they’re canceling most of their Alaska sailings this summer and won’t operate their lodges and sightseeing buses in the state, as they continue to respond to the coronavirus pandemic and its impacts.The announcements serve another blow to Alaska’s economy and mean the loss of thousands of seasonal jobs.“This global outbreak continues to challenge our world in unimaginable ways,” said a statement from Jan Swartz, president of Princess Cruises, a global cruise and tour company.Princess Cruises said it’s canceling its 2020 Princess Alaska Gulf cruises and cruisetours, and it’s more widely canceling all of its voyages worldwide through at least the end of June.Swartz said the company remains optimistic that its Emerald Princess and Ruby Princess will continue to offer round-trip cruises from Seattle to Alaska in the late summer. It will reevaluate those plans in the weeks ahead.But the shortened season has made it not viable to operate the company’s five Alaska lodges, trains and buses, Swartz said.“We deeply regret that we won’t be able to employ the approximately 3,500 teammates who help show our guests the great land each summer,” she said. “Our thoughts are also with all of our small business partners throughout Alaska, who we’ve supported every summer for decades.”Princess Cruises operates lodges in Fairbanks, Cooper Landing, Copper Center and the Denali area.“We know these decisions will have a large adverse economic impact on the state of Alaska which relies on tourism,” Swartz said.The cruise line had previously announced on March 12 that it was pausing all of its operations for two months. It says it’s offering guests credit or refunds.Holland America Line also announced Tuesday that it’s canceling all of its sailings across the globe through at least the end of June, citing continued port closures and travel restrictions stemming from the pandemic.It’s canceling its Alaska cruises on five ships for the entire season: the Maasdam, the Noordam, the Oosterdam, the Volendam and the Westerdam.The company says it’s also canceling all land excursions in the state. It says it will not operate the McKinley Chalet Resort, McKinley Explorer rail cars and tour buses this summer.“These are unprecedented times. Having to delay summer cruising and cancel our land tours for the entire season is the responsible thing to do, yet also very disappointing and a first in our more than 70 years of taking guests to Alaska,” said Orlando Ashford, president of Holland America Line, in a statement.The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is recommending Americans avoid cruise ship travel because passengers are at an increased risk of person-to-person spread of diseases, including COVID-19.This story has been updated to include Holland America Line’s announcement. Cruise lines are taking bookings for an Alaska cruise season that might not even happenShare this story:last_img

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