If you were dreaming of breaking your travel hiatus with an Alaska cruise, only to have Canada dash your hopes by not allowing any ships to port there on the way, you’re in luck! Princess Cruises is returning to Alaska in 2021 with 10 Sunday departures from July 25 to September 26. Majestic Princess will sail a 7-day Inside Passage journey, including spectacular Glacier Bay National Park, and port calls in Juneau, Skagway, and Ketchikan. And you won’t even need your passport because Canada is not on the itinerary.
The reason Princess can do this is that on May 24, 2021, the Alaska Tourism Restoration Act was signed into law, allowing ships to temporarily sail from U.S. port to U.S. port without a foreign port in between. It remains to be seen how long this will be in effect, but it will undoubtedly continue until Canada is open to cruises again.
The guest experience at Princess will look slightly different as it evolves, is guided by science, and is focused on health and safety. Additionally, the exclusive Princess MedallionClassTM experience offers new ways to deliver contactless, personalized service, giving you full control over your vacation, from who you interact with to how.
Enhanced Health Screenings
Guests will complete a health questionnaire, as well as review and accept a COVID-19 Risk Acceptance document. This document can be viewed online but must be accepted via the MedallionClass app using a smartphone or tablet. Health checks will also be conducted throughout the cruise when necessary.
Currently, Princess Cruises to Alaska require all guests aged 12 and older to be fully vaccinated. Specifically, that means having received their second shot of Pfizer or Moderna or a single shot of Johnson & Johnson at least 14 days before sailing. You must show proof of vaccination at embarkation. Travel Maestro tip: Do not laminate your original vaccination certificate in case you need a future booster shot. You can make a copy and laminate that.
The CDC’s Conditional Sail Order does allow cruise lines to sail from a U.S. port with a certain percentage of unvaccinated guests. Princess will allow a certain number of children under the age of 12 who cannot be vaccinated yet, and adults who have verifiable medical or religious vaccine exemptions to sail; however, that number will be closely managed. Travel Maestro tip: Depending on the number of confirmed guests on any given sailing, unvaccinated passengers may be waitlisted, so those people should book as early as possible.
Princess Cruises to Alaska do not require negative COVID-19 test results for fully vaccinated guests before sailing. For any unvaccinated guests, Princess will follow the current CDC recommendations. The same policy goes for wearing masks. As Princess resumes sailing to other destinations, testing and use of face coverings will depend on the requirements of the destination. Travel Maestro tip: Requirements change constantly, so verify before sailing.
Enhanced Environmental Sanitization
Princess is thoroughly cleaning everywhere from embarkation terminals to staterooms and public areas with a safe disinfectant that kills coronaviruses.
The cruise line is also maximizing fresh air and enhancing air filtration by upgrading the ships’ HVAC systems. Air is replaced throughout public spaces and staterooms every five to six minutes. Plus, ships are adding HEPA filtration systems to key areas, such as medical centers and isolation rooms.
Princess is helping promote physical distancing (you can still be social at sea!) by managing the timing and size of groups in venues, serving you in what used to be self-service areas, and more.
Safe Shoreside Experiences
A big part of any cruise is your time in port. Princess Cruises is working with local authorities in Alaska to ensure everyone follows their health measures – and they follow those at Princess – to make shore excursions as safe as possible. The line expects that guests will have the option of exploring a port on their own (without using a Princess excursion); however, Princess will adhere to the CDC recommendations at the time of sailing.
The MedallionClass Difference
The same innovation that makes MedallionClass cruising effortless also helps Princess serve you better in a few ways:
- TrulyTouchlessTM check-in and embarkation that lets you choose your arrival time and answer your health questionnaire digitally.
- TrulyTouchless payment when buying anything on board.
- Remotely ordering delivery of food, drinks, retail items, and amenities from your smart device or stateroom TV — no need to wait in line!
Book Your Princess Alaska Cruise for 2021 With Confidence
Princess has temporarily modified its Book with Confidence policy, taking the worry out of booking your next cruise:
- For reservations made through September 30, 2021, and voyages departing through December 31, 2021, you can cancel up to 30 days before you sail and get your cancellation fees back as a Future Cruise Credit.
- NEW: Within 30 days of your sail date, Princess covers you with a new COVID-19 Protection Program.
- For voyages departing through September 30, 20921, final payment is now only 60 days prior to sailing.
The people of Alaska whose livelihoods rely on tourism are elated to have Princess Cruises return to Alaska. People who have been wishing for a cruise to Alaska throughout the pandemic can fulfill dreams this summer and not wait for another year. So booking a Princess Alaska cruise is a win/win, but the season is short and in 2021 ships will sail with a reduced capacity, so contact your Covington cruise advisor today to hold your cabin. Then all you have to do is relax, breathe in the pristine air, and enjoy the natural beauty of the Great Land.