Cruise lines announce sailings pause

Pause to include April sailings, Alaska departures through mid-May

Several cruise lines owned by Carnival Cruise Line announced Wednesday said they are extending a pause on sailings as they try to find ways to operate under new health guidelines.

Carnival Cruise Line, which owns Holland America Line and Princess Cruises, announced Wednesday it was suspending all sailings until April 30, 2021. For Holland America, Alaska departures aren’t scheduled until mid-May, but exact dates weren’t set. Princess Cruises is suspending all cruises through May 14, according to a statement from the company.

Norwegian Cruise Line has similarly suspended all its sailing through March 2021, according to the company’s website.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued a no sail order last year at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic and lifted that order in late October 2020, issuing a conditional sailing order instead. The CDC has issued guidelines for companies to follow that includes a phased return of passengers. In a statement last Wednesday , Carnival said it continued to prepare and develop plans to meet the guidelines.

Tourism makes up a significant part of Southeast Alaska’s economy and cruise ship passengers make up a significant portion of Juneau’s tourists, according to the annual economic report, Southeast by the Numbers.

Cruise Lines International Association, an industry group, helps coordinate with multiple cruise ship companies to plan voyages in various regions. Mike Tibbles of CLIA Alaska declined to comment on the 2021 season.

Two-thirds of the jobs lost in 2020 were in the tourism industry, according to the Department of Labor and Workforce Development, and jobs in other sectors like retail and transportation are affected by tourist numbers as well.

Contact reporter Peter Segall at Follow him on Twitter at @SegallJnuEmpire.