Canada has effectively closed the 2020 Cruise Season

May 29, 2020

US, Mexican and Canadian citizens are intertwined through governmental policies in unexpected ways. Canadian citizens who visit foreign countries must be aware of policy changes because of the possible impact of health services available to them while they travel. US citizens planning to cruise to Alaska are unable to do so because of policies designed to protect the health of Canadian citizens by closing ports of call to cruise ships. There are many other examples, where for the good of all, some must postpone vacation plans. The Canadian government has made a decision to effectively cancel the rest of the 2020 cruise season in Canadian waters.

Canada Effectively Cancels Its Cruise Season, Expanding Ban Through October
Published date: May 29, 2020

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.
From the sound of it, Alaska cruies that start in the US would be cancelled too because ships must make at least one call to a foreign port. This will have a significant impact on the economies of Alaskan cities that depend on tourism as their lifeline.
Let's all hope the COVID-19 virus dies off during the summer months so we can all enjoy winter vacations in Mexico. Stay tuned....
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