Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd., which operates the Norwegian Cruise Line, Oceania Cruises and Regent Seven Seas Cruises brands, today announces is providing $10 million in cash support to six Alaska port communities severely impacted by the ongoing U.S. suspension of cruise voyages.
Approximately 60% of all tourism in Alaska is generated through cruising, which has been halted for more than a year, continuing to significantly impact families and small businesses reliant on cruise tourism. In addition, as part of the recently announced BuyAlaska and Voyij.com initiative, NCLH has joined the “Shop Local Alaska” program and is encouraging people to help support Alaska small businesses devastated by the halt in cruising.
“My heart breaks for Alaska and its wonderful people as we face a potential second year of zero cruise operations during the all-important summer tourism season, bringing yet another blow to Alaska’s tourism economy,” said Frank Del Rio, president and CEO of Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd. “Alaska is one of our guests’ most popular cruise destinations and we are doing everything in our power to safely resume operations in the U.S. which will provide much needed relief to the families, communities and small businesses who rely on cruise tourism for their livelihoods.”
Cruise travel is vital to Alaska’s extensive tourism economy and the ongoing suspension of cruising is having a devastating ripple effect across the state. Prior to the pandemic the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) estimated that nearly 1.4 million passengers visited the region on 577 voyages in 2019.
The Government of Alaska estimates the cancellation of both the 2020 and 2021 cruise season would result in a devastating $3.3 billion impact, including $2.2 billion of lost revenues for local business. The government also estimates that Port and Cruise Line related communities have seen more than 22,000 of collective job losses, representing over $300 million of lost wages.
“We want to thank Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings for the generous $10 million of support it is providing to our coastal port communities who have been severely affected by the ongoing cruise suspension which is expected to have a devastating $3.3 billion impact to the Alaskan economy,” said Gov. Mike Dunleavy of Alaska. “Thousands of small businesses and Alaskans relying on the summer tourism season to make their living cannot afford another canceled cruise season. We are ready to partner with the cruise lines, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Biden-Harris administration and the Canadian authorities to bring cruising back to Alaska safely this summer.”
The $10 million cash donation will go directly to the port communities of Juneau, Ketchikan, Skagway, Hoonah, Seward and Sitka to provide much needed humanitarian relief from the significant economic hardship these communities are currently facing from the ongoing cruise suspension. NCLH is also working diligently to recommence cruise operations in the U.S. to help restart the broad cruise ecosystem, bringing back American jobs and re-contributing billions of dollars to the U.S.
In addition to the $10 million cash contribution, the Company has joined the ‘Shop Local Alaska’ program by encouraging people to help support Alaska small businesses severely impacted by the halt in cruising. BuyAlaska and Voyij.com launched the Voyij.com Shop Local Alaska program with the goal to directly drive online sales revenue to local Alaskan retailers to help them survive. The program was created as a direct response to the uncertainty of the 2021 cruise season as Alaskan retailers look beyond their brick-and-mortar stores for online sales following a devastating summer in 2020 without cruise ships and very few visitors.
Buyers who live around the globe can browse virtual Alaska stores, and buy with confidence by visiting https://voyij.com/shop-local-alaska.