Gov. Mike Dunleavy, seen here at a news conference on April 9, 2021, to promote the state's tourism industry, announced Tuesday Alaska was joining Florida's lawsuit against the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for preventing cruise ship sailings. Dunleavy had said at the conference joining the suit was a possibility. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire)

Alaska joins Florida lawsuit over cruise ship pause

Governors say cruises can sail safely

Gov. Mike Dunleavy on Tuesday joined a lawsuit against the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention over the organization’s decisions to prohibit cruise ship sailings for another year.

The suit was initially filed by Gov. Ron DeSantis, R-Fla., on April 8, and argues the CDC’s Conditional Sailing Order exceeds the CDC jurisdiction and unfairly impacts areas where the ships typically operate.

In a video statement released Tuesday and filmed in Juneau, Dunleavy said he was joining the lawsuit to help the many Alaskan businesses that depend on the cruise ship industry.

“Alaskan families and small businesses need fast action to protect their ability to work and provide for their families,” Dunleavy said in a release. “We have been told to follow the science and facts. Cruise ships have demonstrated their ability to provide for the safety of passengers and crew, and Alaska has led the nation in vaccinations and low hospitalization rates.”

[Governor says help coming for beleaguered tourism industry]

Dunleavy said previously he was considering joining the lawsuit and has been making a push to promote Alaska’s tourism industry, which has been hit hard by COVID-19 closures. On Friday, the state announced plans to administer free COVID-19 vaccines to arriving visitors as a way to promote tourism to the state.

However, the CDC’s order is just one barrier preventing large cruise ships from sailing to Alaska.

Canada’s closure to large cruise ships means the vessels can’t reach Alaska without violating U.S. law. Alaska’s congressional delegation has entered legislation to temporarily waive that law, and the Alaska State Legislature sent a letter to President Joe Biden urging action on the issue.

• Contact reporter Peter Segall at Follow him on Twitter at @SegallJnuEmpire.

More in News

The author managed to take a grouse despite being deep in thought for a good half hour of his deer hunt. He made jalapeno poppers that night.
Internal dialogue of a hunter (Jeff Lund / For the Juneau Empire)
I Went to the Woods: The internal dialogue of a hunter

There is always something that comes to mind when I am outside.

Courtesy Photo / Molly Pressler Collection
Japanese-Americans interned in Alaska in World War II are shown in this photo at a camp in New Mexico where they endured the majority of the war.
Research into interned Japanese-Americans in Alaska receives grant support

104 Japanese-Americans were interned from Alaska at the outset of WWII.

It's a police car until you look closely and see the details don't quite match. (Juneau Empire File / Michael Penn)
Police calls for Sunday, Sept. 19, 2021

This report contains public information available to the Empire from law enforcement… Continue reading

It's a police car until you look closely and see the details don't quite match. (Juneau Empire File / Michael Penn)
Police calls for Friday, Sept. 17, 2021

This report contains public information from law enforcement and public safety agencies.

This undated electron microscope image made available by the U.S. National Institutes of Health in February 2020 shows the Novel Coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, yellow, emerging from the surface of cells, blue/pink, cultured in the lab. Also known as 2019-nCoV, the virus causes COVID-19. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP, NIAID-RML
COVID at a glance for Thursday, Sept. 16

The most recent state and local figures

The Juneau Police Department is seeking more information on a handful of crimes that occurred in Juneau in August. (Michael Penn / Juneau Empire File)
Police seeking information on recent crimes in Juneau

The police need more information if the investigations are to proceed.

The Baby Raven Reads-published book Shanyaak’utlaax̱ – Salmon Boy will represent Alaska at the 2021 National Book Festival, held by the Library of Congress. (Courtesy art / Sealaska Heritage Institute)
Baby Raven Reads book is Alaska’s selection for National Book Festival

It’s the first time a book from the early literacy program has been selected.

Most Read