By Leigh Armstrong
It could be “highly detrimental” to Skagway if Carnival Corp. cruise ships are banned from U.S. ports, Mayor Andrew Cremata said.
A federal judge in Miami has scheduled a hearing for June to decide whether she will ban Carnival’s multiple cruise lines from U.S. ports for allegedly violating terms of a 2017 probation order for illegally dumping oil from its ships into the water.
Cremata was at the Seatrade Cruise Global conference in Miami when the judge issued her order for Carnival Corp. officials to appear in court in June. Seatrade is an annual conference for members of the cruise ship industry and representatives from ports of call.
On the morning that the news broke, Cremata was at a seminar that touched on environmental concerns. The possible ban was never addressed directly at the conference, he said.
“No one specifically mentioned any of the violations that have happened,” the mayor said. “The day that I talked to (Carnival) was the same day that the article had come out.”
The borough has heard nothing from the company, the mayor said in an interview after he returned home. “I would have thought there would’ve been some kind of response, especially considering everything that’s going on with the port.”
Carnival owns a non-majority share of White Pass & Yukon Route, which currently holds a lease on the Skagway port.
If the judge decides to ban Carnival’s cruise lines from U.S. ports, “You could argue that no port would be more impacted than Skagway,” Cremata said.
Carnival currently has one cruise ship that stops in Skagway, but the case would impact other Carnival owned cruiselines, like Princess, Holland America, Seabourn and Cunard. In total 15 ships bound for Skagway would be barred from port if the ban were to happen.