Norwegian Cruise Line cancels all port calls to Valdez for 2023, 2024 season

Norwegian Cruise Line cancels all port calls to Valdez for next two summers
Published: Jun. 16, 2023 at 3:38 PM AKDT|Updated: Jun. 16, 2023 at 3:39 PM AKDT
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VALDEZ, Alaska (KTUU) - Norwegian Cruise Line, a major tourism provider within the state of Alaska, has canceled all calls to the Port of Valdez, according to city officials.

No reasons were given for the complete cancellation of the rest of the 2023 season — as well as the full 2024 season — according to Valdez Ports and Harbors Director Jeremy Talbott.

Requests for comment to Norwegian Cruise Line were not answered at the time of publication.

Talbott said Norwegian Cruise Line had already made at least one port of call in Valdez this year — a stop on May 16 was the company’s first in the Prince William Sound community — but Talbott said the city still looks forward to working with Norwegian Cruise Line in the future.

Talbott also said other cruise lines have already made stops and are still scheduled to arrive in Valdez, including Viking Cruises, Holland America Line, and Silversea Cruises.

The cancellation of the company’s port of calls to Valdez is a blow to tourism companies such as Keystone Tours, a bus sightseeing company owned by Bryan Rhodes.

“I’m devastated,” Rhodes said by phone. “I had hundreds of people booked for a small tour bus, only 26 passengers. But over the course of the summer, they were going to be here basically every Tuesday and Thursday for the remainder of the summer, being able to do a couple of tours a day.”

Rhodes said the news was a “full-blown death blow” to him, and couldn’t determine whether or not he would be forced into bankruptcy due to his customer base of tourists dwindling down to essentially zero.

“(I was) never really expecting and/or knowing that this was even an option, to be honest with you,” Rhodes said. “I guess — maybe naive? I don’t know, but never knew there was no contractual binding agreement for a cruise line to be able to pull out as abruptly as they did.”