The Alaska Senate approved a measure today which will lower Alaska’s head tax on cruise ship passengers by at least $11.50 a passenger – from $46 to $34.50.

Count this one as a big win for Carnival and it subsidiaries – Princess Cruises and Holland America Line – which are the major polluters of Alaska’s waters.    

Alaska Head Tax - Cruise Pollution In exchange for the tax reduction, the Miami-based cruise lines have more or less suggested that they may dismiss the lawsuit filed against Alaska.

Three Democrat Senators dissented, Senate Majority Leader Johnny Elli, Bill Wielechowski and Hollis French.  The bill lowering the taxes must still pass the House. 

There is no agreement that cruise ships, which Carnival and its subsidiaries re-positioned out of Alaska, will return if the tax cut takes effect.  There also is no guarantee that another cruise association or individual cruise lines will not sue Alaska to try and slip out of the state’s taxes. 

Carnival played this beautifully.  Parlaying a bogus lawsuit and strong arm tactics to effectively repeal the will of the Alaskan citizens.  The cruise industry has set the stage for concessions from Alaska for Carnival’s polluting cruise ships in the future.  


Credits:                Michael Penn / Juneau Empire