Alaska lawmakers seek to expand waiver of foreign ports rule: Travel Weekly

Alaska congressional lawmakers are reintroducing legislation that would allow cruise ships to skip their legally required stops in Canada if borders there close again.

Although Canada’s borders have reopened during the pandemic, the delegation argues that Alaskans shouldn’t have to bet the country won’t close its borders and stop browsing.

“Alaska’s economy and our communities should not be at the mercy of decisions made by the Canadian government, and I will do whatever is necessary to ensure prosperity for Alaskans,” said the senator. Lisa Murkowski.

The Passenger Ship Services Act requires foreign-flagged ships to stop at a foreign port between U.S. ports. Last year, lawmakers passed a one-year exemption to the law called the Alaska Tourism Restoration Act, which expired on February 28, 2022. A delegation of three Alaskan congressmen (Murkowski, Senator Dan Sullivan and Rep. Dan Young) introduced a bill. to extend the law until February 28, 2023.

Travel agents and cruise line executives see strong bookings in Alaska as a bright spot for 2022 as the industry struggles to recover from two dismal years.

Young said he would prefer a permanent change to the law. However, he said lawmakers were prepared to push the extension to Congress if Canada took action that would disrupt the Alaska cruise season.

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