Friday, February 12th, 2021
Canadian Government Extends Cruise Ship Ban
The Canadian government has extended its ban on cruise ships for 12 more months bring the future of Alaskan cruising into doubt.
Canada’s new order also prohibits superyachts and pleasure crafts carrying more than 12 people from entering Arctic coastal waters.
The temporary ordinance which came into force last March banning large cruise ships from operating in Canadian waters was due to expire on 28 February 2021.
That ban has now been extended until February 2022 and will apply to all cruise vessels carrying more than 100 people.
Under this new ruling, foreign-flagged cruise ships departing from and returning to ports in the USA may have to find alternative employment.
This is because the United States’ Passenger Vessel Services Act requires foreign cruise ships to call by at least one foreign port on any US itinerary.
The decision means that now, foreign-flagged cruise ship itineraries that include New England and Alaska are at risk under this mandate.
If ships are banned from calling at ports in Canada, they will be unable to run cruises to Alaska.
The Canadian government transport minister; Omar Alghabra announced his country would be expanding the prohibition on large cruising vessels amid growing concerns over the spread of the Covid-19 virus.
Defending the move Mr Alghabra called his government’s decision ‘the right and responsible thing to do’ to ensure the safety of Canada’s transport systems but has said it will keep the ban under evaluation
Needless to say, the cruise industry is less than pleased and has expressed surprise at the length of the ban’s extension and believes that the timeline should be revisited in line with evolving Covid-19 safety measures.
In 2019 Canada’s cruise industry created 29,000 jobs paying more than £1bn in wages and contributed more than £3bn to the Canadian economy.
The Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) has expressed concern over the devastating impact the pandemic is having on local businesses and fears the consequences for Canadian families of an extended cruise ban could be irreversible.