Small cruise ship operators prepare for scaled-back season in Alaska

Published: Feb. 13, 2021 at 7:45 PM AKST
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Alaska Dream Cruises will head back out on the water to celebrate its 10th anniversary.

“We are excited and really grateful to sail this year,” said Zak Kirkpatrick, the cruise line’s executive officer.

Sitka-based Alaska Dream Cruises did not sail last year due to health and safety concerns during the early days of the pandemic. It does not want to wait another year before it operates.

“Given the vaccination rollouts that are happening, proven effectiveness of PPE’s, especially masks, and the myriad onboard mitigation measures, we feel strongly we can have a safe, and successful season,” Kirkpatrick said during a Thursday online news conference to discuss the upcoming season.

Alaska Dream Cruises has scheduled 11 trips this season with its six ships. Each can handle between 10 and 76 passengers as they visit Southeast Alaska.

The state lost large cruise ships until 2022 after Canada banned them from their waters. It’s allowed to do that under maritime law regarding foreign-owned ships.

New York-based Lindblad Expeditions said it plans to operate three of its National Geographic ships in Alaska this summer. A fourth could be added if it’s needed.

Cruise season in Alaska runs from May through September.

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