The Government of Canada has decided to end its ban on cruise ships from November 2021. The announcement came from the Minister of Transport, the Honourable Omar Alghabra, on Thursday. This is good news, not just operations in Canada but also scheduled cruises that depart from the US.
Canada Cruise Ship Ban is Coming to An End!
When it comes to the cruise industry, Canada has become one of the most locked-down markets in the world, but now, finally, after 16 months, the government is ready to reopen and end the ban on passenger cruise ships.
The ban will no longer be in effect from November 1, 2021, and as long as cruise ships can comply with health protocols, vessels can resume sailings from that date. The country is ready to push forward the economy due to the improved situation in Canada.
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The Honourable Omar Alghabra, Minister of Transport, said:
“As Canadians have done their part to reduce the spread of COVID-19, our government continues to work hard to safely restart our economy and build back better. We will welcome cruise ships—an important part of our tourism sector—back in Canadian waters for the 2022 season.”
The cruise industry in Canada represents more than $4 billion annual input directly and indirectly. This also generates approximately 30,000 jobs and is an important factor for tourism. Major ports in Vancouver and Montreal will be able to start making plans to welcome back ships along with all the cruise lines that have been heavily impacted over the past year.
The Honourable Rob Fleming, British Columbia’s Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure. Said:
“I would like to thank the federal government for working collaboratively and constructively with us, and for taking action on this issue that is an important part of BC’s economy. We know that cruise ship passengers want a Canadian experience in British Columbia, and we know that British Columbians want to welcome them to our cities when it is safe to do so.”
On February 4, 2021, the government announced that the ban on cruise vessels would remain until February 28, 2022. With a ban already in place since Spring 2020, it would have meant a much longer ban on cruises compared to other major cruise markets such as the US, UK, and Europe.
This also means that the Alaska Tourism Restoration Act that allows cruise ships to temporarily bypass the need to call in Canada to visit Alaska will not be needed. Cruise ships were not previously allowed to sail in Alaska due to the Passenger Vessel Services Act, making cruise ships have to visit a foreign port when departing from the US.
No doubt there are still plenty of details to go through, including the protocols ships will have to follow to restart operations in Canada. It’s a step forward as cruises around the world make a comeback, apart from Australia.