Citing the COVID-19 pandemic, Canadian authorities have effectively cancelled the rest of the 2020 cruise season in Canadian waters by banning any ships with overnight accommodations allowed to carry more than 100 persons from operating in Canadian waters until October 31, 2020.
The order came down via the Minister of Transport, the Honourable Marc Garneau.
The news cancels the Alaska season except for U.S.-flagged vessels and will put a stop to the late summer and early autumn fall foliage sailings in Canada/New England. It will also impact expedition operators in the Arctic.
“Our Government is committed to protecting Canadians, particularly during these challenging times. It is for that reason I am announcing updated measures for cruise ships and other passenger vessels in Canada, which includes prohibiting larger cruise ships from operating in Canadian waters until October 31, 2020. Our Government continues to work with other levels of government, transportation industry stakeholders, and Indigenous peoples to re-examine measures and to ensure Canada’s transportation system remains safe and secure during this time. We are all in this together,” said Garneau.
As of July 1, 2020, all other passenger vessels must follow provincial, territorial, local and regional health authority requirements for timelines and processes to resume operations, the goverment said.
Passenger vessels with the capacity to carry more than 12 persons continue to be prohibited from entering Arctic coastal waters (including Nunatsiavut, Nunavik and the Labrador Coast) until October 31, 2020.
Beginning July 1, 2020, passenger vessels will be allowed to operate in inland rivers and lakes in the Northwest Territories, Nunavut and Yukon.