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Business/Economy

Carnival Cruise Line cancels its final Alaska sailings for 2020

The Carnival Spirit cruise ship is seen beyond flags on top of the Alaska Capitol on May 3, 2012. (ADN file photo)

Carnival Cruise Line said Monday it will cancel the 2020 sailings of its last remaining Alaska-bound ship, the Carnival Spirit.

The announcement further batters an Alaska tourist season already weakened by the coronavirus pandemic. Carnival said in a written statement that it intends to resume North American cruises Aug. 1, but Carnival Spirit cruises after that date will remain canceled.

Carnival Cruise Line is part of Carnival Corp., an umbrella corporation that includes Holland America, Princess and other lines that also send ships to Alaska. None of those affiliated companies announced similar moves Monday.

Kirby Day, head of government and community relations in Alaska for Holland America and Princess, said Monday morning that the cancellation was Carnival-specific “at this point.”

Neither Celebrity Cruises, a branch of Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines, nor Norwegian Cruise Lines announced additional cancellations by noon Monday.

Alaska had been expecting 1.44 million cruise ship tourists this year, but cancellations through Friday had already removed 800,000 potential visitors from that forecast.

The Carnival Spirit can carry 2,124 passengers and according to an April 24 schedule was expected to make 11 sailings to Alaska between July 7 and Sept. 23.

According to figures from the McDowell Group, 86% of Alaska’s tourists visit in the summer, and most of those arrive by cruise ship. Their absence will have significant impacts on the state’s economy. In April, the Alaska Department of Labor estimated the summer tourist industry is worth 18,265 jobs.

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