Concerns for 2021 Alaska & New England Cruises

Cruises to Alaska and New England for all of 2021 could be affected by Canada’s recent order that no ships of more than 100 passengers can sail in their waters until February 2022. And due to the Jones Act, foreign flagged that visit the USA must also visit a foreign port of call. Specifically, the portion of the law that applies to passenger ships is the Passenger Vessel Services Act.

Except for the Pride of America, in Hawaii, all large cruise ships are foreign flagged and therefore must visit a foreign country on any cruise that starts or ends in the USA. So, if they can’t go to Canada, they cannot go to Alaska or New England either.

However, very few have been cancelled yet by the cruise lines as they are hoping for a waiver on the Jones Act, however unlikely it is that they will get one. Also they hold out hope that the order from Canada states that it could be rescinded earlier. There has been speculation that this is a financial retaliation from Canada due to the cancellation of the XL Pipeline on January 20th, 2021 by the United States.

What can you do about your Alaska or New England Cruise?

That depends on how your cruise is currently paid for. Meaning is it a rebooking from an Future Cruise Credit (FCC), or is it cash that you’ve paid. Have you paid in full or do you only have a deposit? To help people wait this out, some cruise lines have extended the final payment date into the future (along with cancellation penalties). More on how this works with the link at the end.

First of all, don’t panic. There are several options to consider:

  • Move the cruise dates to the Alaska or New England 2022 season
  • Change to cruise itinerary to somewhere else and keep it in 2021
  • Visit Alaska or New England by Land in 2021
  • Ask our agents about our inclusive Alaska Lodge Based Adventures
  • Cancel (see below article first)
  • Wait for the Cruise Line to Cancel

For an understanding of how to do this, please see our article on Navigating Covid Rebookings and Cancellations in 2021.

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