Updated: Biden signs bill to enable cruising in Alaska this summer

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Alaska’s Congressional Delegation from left, senators Dan Sullivan and Lisa Murkowski and Congressman Don Young, at a White House ceremony as President Biden signed into law H.R. 1318, the Alaska Tourism Restoration Act.
Alaska’s Congressional Delegation from left, senators Dan Sullivan and Lisa Murkowski and Congressman Don Young, at a White House ceremony as President Biden signed into law H.R. 1318, the Alaska Tourism Restoration Act.

President Joe Biden signed the Alaska Tourism Restoration Act, which helps clear the path for an Alaska cruise season this summer. 

The three members of Alaska's congressional delegation, Republican senators Lisa Murkowski and Dan Sullivan and representative Don Young, were present for the signing.

"This law will allow large cruise ships to visit Alaska this year, a critical step toward returning to normal in a state where one in 10 jobs is in the tourism industry," White House press secretary Jen Psaki said during a press conference on Monday.

 "This bill is an example of the critical bipartisan work that can be done in Congress," Psaki said. 

Both chambers in the House unanimously passed the legislation, which temporarily relieves cruise ships sailing in Alaska of the Passenger Vessel Services Act (PVSA) restrictions for as long as Canada's cruise ban is in place, which is currently through February 2022.

The PVSA, a cabotage law enacted in 1886, requires foreign-flagged ships, which almost all large cruise vessels are, to stop in at least one foreign port when sailing between two U.S. ports.

Updated: This report was updated after President Biden signed the bill.

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