JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) — Carnival Cruise Line is canceling its sailings to Alaska this summer, a company spokesperson said Monday. The move adds to the mounting woes facing the state’s tourism industry amid coronavirus concerns.
The announcement referred only to Carnival Cruise Line and not the other brands under the umbrella of Carnival Corp., spokesperson Vance Gulliksen said by email.
Princess Cruises and Holland America Line, which also fall under Carnival Corp. last month announced dramatically reduced sailing plans for Alaska. Princess Cruises did not immediately respond to a message seeking comment on any changes to its plans. Holland America Line said so far nothing has changed regarding its plans.
Tourism is a major industry in Alaska, with cruise ships bringing large numbers of visitors during the typically busy summer months. The number of people visiting the state on cruise ships went from 480,000 in 1996 to almost 1.4 million last year, according to a report by state labor department economists Neal Fried and Karinne Wiebold.
Mike Tibbles, with Cruise Lines International Association Alaska, said so far 419 voyages to Alaska, with a passenger capacity of 825,200, have been canceled.
Carnival Cruise Line, in a release, said it is committed to supporting public health efforts to manage COVID-19 and focusing its return to service in North America starting in August on “a select number of ports where we have more significant operations that are easily accessible by car for the majority of our guests.” Those include Miami, Port Canaveral and Galveston.