Public Law No: 117-14 (05/24/2021)

Alaska Tourism Restoration Act

This bill temporarily allows specific foreign-owned and foreign-flagged cruise ships to transport passengers directly between ports in the states of Washington and Alaska without stopping in Canada. Under current law, these ships cannot transport passengers from one U.S. port to another without stopping in a foreign country.

The bill deems a round trip voyage between ports in the states of Washington and Alaska as a foreign voyage if (1) during the voyage, the operators of such voyage send U.S. Customs and Border Protection and the Canada Border Services Agency an email containing the names of each alien crew member with a valid nonimmigrant work visa; and (2) the voyage begins not later than February 28, 2022. The operators of these voyages must also retain a COVID-19 Conditional Sailing Certificate from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and operate in accordance with CDC restrictions associated with the certificate.

Authority to conduct these voyages shall terminate on March 31, 2022, or when Canada lifts its COVID-related restrictions, whichever occurs first. Voyages may not occur during any period for which the CDC has issued an order to suspend cruise ship operations.

The bill also directs the Department of Transportation to require, through regulations, the installation of automated external defibrillators on passenger vessels (including cruise ships), among other requirements.