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Business/Economy

Alaska’s last remaining big-ship cruises of 2020 have been canceled

Juneau's cruise ship docks are seen empty on Monday, April 27, 2020, as the downtown Juneau Public Library displays a message urging residents to stay at home. (James Brooks / ADN)

Norwegian Cruise Line has canceled the last remaining big-ship voyages of Alaska’s 2020 cruise ship season, saying in a written statement that it is suspending all of its cruises through the end of September, plus its three October sailings to Alaska.

Carnival Cruise Line canceled its sailings in early May, as did Holland America Line and Princess Cruises. Celebrity Cruises, a division of Royal Caribbean, canceled its Alaska sailings one month later, as did Disney.

“This effectively cancels all of the large-ship cruise passengers as projected ... in 2020,” wrote Kirby Day, head of government and community relations in Alaska for Holland America and Princess, in an email Monday.

Day estimated that the cancellations mean over 1 million tourists will not be visiting Alaska this summer as scheduled.

Those missed trips will have a massive impact on Alaska’s economy. In Juneau alone, Day estimated a $225 million economic hit, using estimates from the McDowell Group, a research firm.

A handful of small-cruise operators are unaffected by no-sail public health orders in Canada and the United States and remain on the summer schedule, but their voyages are uncertain.

Lindblad Expeditions, which operates National Geographic cruises, has canceled its sailings through mid-August. American Cruise Lines, which said it intended June sailings, later recanted and has now suspended sailings through June 23. UnCruise Adventures, which has laid up one of its ships in Juneau, has suspended sailings through July 25.

“With the pending small-ship traffic, there is still a potential of approximately 2,500 cruise visitors for 2020, which continues to be beneficial to the health of our economy,” Day wrote by email.

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