Alaska deal in the pipeline

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Anyone planning a cruise in Alaskan waters, as I am later this summer, will be pleased to see that the state’s governor, Sean Parnell, was doing more than soaking up the spring sunshine during his trip to Florida this week.
He was there, of course, for the Cruise Miami convention, and sat in the front row of the audience as Holland America CEO Stein Kruse – one of the biggest operators in the region – warned that the exodus of cruise ships from Alaska would continue in reaction to punitive taxes.
Now the Anchorage Daily News is reporting that Parnell has struck a deal with cruise line executives to reduce the tax, in return for agreement that a federal lawsuit calling for the tax to be repealed will be dropped, and a promise that ships will return.
The tax, introduced in 2006, stands at $46 (£30) per passenger, and is estimated to have brought in $114 million (£75 million) during the last three years. Parnell has offered to reduce it by 25 per cent, hoping to save jobs which would be lost as the number of visiting cruise passengers is reduced.
It’s not yet a done deal however, as the proposed cut still has to be approved by the state legislature – by no means a certainty according to the Anchorage Daily News.
Several major lines operating in Alaska including the Carnival-controlled Princess and Holland America, plus Royal Caribbean and NCL, have significantly reduced the number of ships in the state significantly for 2010, with further capacity cuts already in place for 2011 as vessels are switched elsewhere in the world, particularly to Europe.
Against the trend, P&O’s 2,000-passenger Arcadia will be sailing from Southampton to Alaska in April and May next year.

By | 2010-03-20T16:07:57+00:00 20 March 2010|Cruise Destinations, Cruise News|0 Comments

About the Author:

John Honeywell is a travel writer specialising in cruise ships and cruise travel. Winner of CLIA UK's Contribution to Cruise award 2017.

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