Princess and Holland America pull cruises with Canada homeports

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The Coral Princess and the Crown Princess in Ketchikan, Alaska.
The Coral Princess and the Crown Princess in Ketchikan, Alaska. Photo Credit: Ketchikan Visitors Bureau-Frank Flavin

Princess Cruises and Holland America Line canceled their sailings that begin or end in Canada this year, citing the country's extension of its cruise ban into 2022. 

Both lines said they were engaged with U.S. and Canadian officials to try to preserve a portion of their Alaska and Canada & New England 2021 seasons, including sailings from Seattle.

Princess canceled all seven-day cruises between Vancouver and Anchorage, Pacific Coastal cruises that start or end in Vancouver and, on the East Coast, a Canadian Adventure sailing roundtrip from Southampton, England. Holland America canceled several Alaska, three Canada/New England and two Pacific Coastal cruises as well as all of its Land+Sea Journeys.

Gus Antorcha, president of Holland America, said that the line "must be practical in our approach by acknowledging the limitations put in place by the current Canadian order that requires us to cancel select sailings. We thank our guests for their patience and understanding and know that they, like us, are eager to see cruising begin again soon."

Carnival Corp. sister brand Seabourn canceled its entire 2021 Alaska/British Columbia departures. The cancellation applies to 19 cruises on the Seabourn Odyssey.

Princess reiterated its commitment to operating the Kenai Princess Wilderness lodge and the McKinley Chalet Resort in Denali and the Westmark Fairbanks Hotel this summer and will reveal land-package details shortly.

"Princess Cruises has sailed to Alaska for more than 50 years, and the incredible Last Frontier is part of our proud heritage," said Jan Swartz, Princess president, in a statement. "We understand, how much of Alaska is dependent on the cruise economy. We are going to do all we can to help our business partners and the communities of Alaska."

Canada this month extended its ban on cruise carrying more than 100 people for one year, until Feb. 28, 2022. The U.S. Passenger Vessel Services Act mandates that foreign-flagged ships call on at least one foreign port on any U.S. itinerary, meaning any foreign-flagged cruise ships in Alaska must begin or call in a Canadian port; on the Alaska itineraries, that is Vancouver or Victoria.

Related: Grim forecast for ground operators in Alaska: 'Not everyone will survive'

Alaska lawmakers called Canada's ban "unacceptable" and called on their neighbors to reconsider its decision.

At least one U.S. official, the head of the U.S. Federal Maritime Commission, has encouraged the Biden administration and Congress to consider a limited exception to the Passenger Vessel Services Act while engaging the Canadian government to address the extension of its ban. 

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