Coronavirus may delay plans for subport

    Howard Sherman.

    Juneau, Alaska (KINY) - Norwegian Cruise Lines Executive Vice President Howard Sherman responded to a number of current events in an interview with News of the North.

    Sherman said the company plans no additional cruises to Southeast Alaska this year, "We don't anticipate adding any calls to our current schedule."

    Sherman said the scare over the Coronavirus has taken away some time he spends working on the Juneau subport plan, "We like everyone else has been pretty consumed by this Coronavirus situation around the world.  That has been the main focus of our attention."

    He noted NCL will be in town later this month for a community meeting on the subport project.

    Sherman said the cruise ship industry is taking every possible precaution dealing with the Coronavirus outbreak, "We started to restrict travel onto our ships of people from certain areas.  It's been expanded to China, Hong Kong, South Korea, Iran and parts of Italy.  We don't allow people onboard that have any kind of temperature, anything above 100.4 degrees.  We are being as proactive as we can be."

    He said they are emphasizing cleaning of the ships and personal hygiene, washing hands and using hand sanitizer.

    He said the cruise industry has seen a decline in bookings and an increase in cancellations.  He said that has also impacted other means of travel. 

    "I think it is a time where people are living in fear and that fear is being stoked by the media.  They are postponing travel plans.  What we've found in other years is people will still travel, they won't stay home all year, they perhaps will make their decisions later on."

    Sherman said Juneau and Alaska will remain popular destinations.

    "If you see a flight to safety, domestic travel destinations become more popular in these times of uncertainty.  We are looking forward to a great season in Juneau and Alaska."



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