Earlier this week, I attended the "Cruise Shipping Miami" convention here in Miami and reported on the threats against Alaska's Governor Parnell leveled by Holland American Lines' CEO Stein Kruse to pull HAL cruise ships from Alaska. (photo courtesy Travel Agent Central)
As we all know, HAL is wholly owned by Carnival and Kruse reports directly to Carnival CEO and multi-billionaire Mickey Arison. Mickey has been threatening Alaska ever since the state's voters passed legislation to protect its waters from major polluters like HAL, Princess Cruises and other subsidiaries of Carnival who cruise to Alaska.
But the issue is not the $50 head tax, as Carnival's lackeys argue. Its the fact that Alaska has serious environmental regulations which the cruise industry wants to avoid.
Did the cruise industry's tongue lashing and finger pointing work? Newspapers like the Alaska Daily News and the Alaska Journal are now reporting that the Governor now wants to reduce the cruise head tax by 25% and make Alaska more conducive to attracting cruise ships.
In exchange for lower taxes, the cruise industry would drop its lawsuit to repeal the tax and send more ships to Alaska.
The fact that these huge cruise ships burn nasty bunker fuels and discharge massive amount of ammonium, phosphorus, and fecal matter into Alaskan waters was probably not a topic of conversation when Governor Parnell (right) was chatting with the cruise line executives.
Alaskan voters previously voted in favor of the cruise tax to protect its waters. Who did Governor Parnell pledge his allegiance to? The citizens of Alaska, or the Miami-based cruise lines?
Wiggling out of Alaska's laws will be the cruise industry's next step. Cruise lines don't like to be regulated, especially where Alaska's environmental regulations cause the cruise industry to spend money on state-of-the-art wastewater technology.
Cruise line executives Travel Agent Central