(BELLINGHAM, Wash.) — NEWS: Northwest Navigation Co., which operates the small cruise boat, M/V David B in Alaska, is unaffected by Canada’s recent extended cruise ship ban for the summer of 2021. The company will still be offering multi-day cruises this summer, as are a number of small US-flagged Alaska boutique cruises, yacht charters, and niche market adventure cruises that specialize in remote wilderness small group tours.
Canada’s ban on cruise ships with over 100 passengers may force major cruise lines that are registered in countries outside of the United States to cancel their Alaska sailings due to laws that require those ships to stop in countries outside the United States. As one of several small US-flagged vessels that operate with 12 or fewer passengers, the David B is unaffected by Canada’s ban and will be able to continue regularly scheduled operations in southeast Alaska.
“Most people are not aware that there is a class of small American boats which run tours in Alaska,” says Christine Smith who’s the co-owner, chef, and naturalist aboard the David B. “Boats like ours are unique, for example, we have a maximum of just eight passengers. Some of our closest competitors carry only 10 or 12. The boats are big enough that we’ve always given people plenty of space. There’s never been a good name for our niche, but some people call us a micro-cruise, boutique cruise, small boat or small ship cruise. We offer light impact eco-tours that are more on the adventure side of Alaska cruises. We focus on being in nature and visit wilderness locations for our anchorages, hikes, and kayaking excursions.”
If Canada continues with its ban on cruise ships, Alaska’s economy will be adversely affected. A recent article in the Washington Post noted that only 48 passengers cruised Alaska in 2020. “We operated last summer too, but because of our small size I don’t think our passengers were even included in the tally,” Christine said. “We’re a very niche market. You really have to look to find boats like ours. But for the people who do find us this year, they’ll see a quieter Alaska, even if the large cruise ships find a way around Canada’s ban.”
For more information about Northwest Navigation visit: https://northwestnavigation.com/
About Northwest Navigation Co.:
Northwest Navigation Co. is based in Bellingham, Washington and owns and operates the Motor Vessel David B. Since 2006 Northwest Navigation has offered multi-day, small boat tours in Alaska and Washington state. The David B is an historic 65-foot boat originally built for Alaska’s salmon fishing industry in 1929. Jeffrey and Christine Smith started Northwest Navigation in 1998 with the purchase and restoration of the David B.
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Related link: https://northwestnavigation.com/
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