There is increased hope for the State of Alaskan’s cruise tourism economy as today, the US House of Representative voted in favor of the Alaska Tourism Restoration Act (HR 1318). This is identical to the US Senate passed last week to temporarily waive the federal requirement for cruise ships transiting to Alaska to stop in Canada. At the bill’s core, is a temporary waiver of the Passenger Vessel Services Act (PVSA) through February 28, 2022 – the date when the current cruise ship ban is set to expire in Canada. The PVSA prohibits the transportation of passengers between two different U.S. ports on any vessel other than a US-flag vessel that meets all requirements for US coastwise transportation.
To restrict the imposition by the Secretary of Homeland Security of fines, penalties, duties, or tariffs applicable only to coastwise voyages, or prohibit otherwise qualified non-United States citizens from serving as crew, on specified vessels transporting passengers between the State of Washington and the State of Alaska, to address a Canadian cruise ship ban and the extraordinary impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on Alaskan communities, and for other purposes.H.R.1318 – Alaska Tourism Recovery Act
Big news for Alaska! My legislation, the Alaska Tourism Restoration Act—which provides a temporary fix to grant cruise ships the opportunity to travel between the states of Washington and Alaska—will now head to the President’s desk to be signed into law. pic.twitter.com/Cknwp32965— Sen. Lisa Murkowski (@lisamurkowski) May 20, 2021
The Alaska Tourism Restoration Act—allowing cruise ships to sail to AK—is on its way to @POTUS. Thx to my colleagues for helping Alaskans in need—small business owners who were on the brink or ruin. To America: Alaska is open! The time is now for the experience of a lifetime.— Sen. Dan Sullivan (@SenDanSullivan) May 20, 2021
Today’s passing of the bill was the final hurdle as the bill’s next stop is President Biden’s desk.