Canada To End | Cruise Ship Ban In November 2021
The Canadian federal government announced today the cruise ship ban will end on November 1, 2021, which was previously slated to continue through February 28, 2022. But cruise ship operators are required to fully comply with public health requirements.
“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,” said Omar Alghabra, Canada’s federal Minister of Transport, in a statement.
“We will welcome cruise ships, an important part of our tourism sector back in Canadian waters for the 2022 season.”
Cruise ships have been banned from docking at Canadian ports since March 19, 2020, the onset of the pandemic.
Canada’s cruise ship industry is largely centred in Vancouver and Victoria, with itineraries mainly reaching Alaska.
There has been pressure from British Columbia and jurisdictions across the border for the federal government to allow cruise ships to return to Canada earlier than February 2022 to provide certainty and predictability for the full restart of the cruise ship industry, including allowing sufficient lead time for bookings. The Alaska cruise ship season, with Vancouver serving as a major homeport and Victoria as a port of a call, is typically in full swing by late April and sees its last sailing in October.
In May, new US legislation pushed forward by Alaskan officials allowed cruise ships to bypass BC ports, temporarily suspending the longstanding policy of requiring US-departing cruises bound for Alaska to make a stop in Canada.
he Canadian federal government’s decision to end the cruise ship ban four months early follows heavy lobbying from the BC government, the cruise ship industry, local port officials, and the threat of a permanent change to the Passenger Vessel Services Act, which would particularly impact Victoria as it is not a major home port unlike Vancouver.
“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,” said Rob Fleming, BC Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure.
“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.”
A significant proportion of the tourism and hospitality industries in Vancouver and Victoria are driven by the seasonal surge in cruise ship passengers.
Each ship that visits Canada Place in downtown Vancouver creates about $3 million in local economic activity everything from passenger spending on retail, restaurants, attractions, and hotels to cruise ship spending on replenishing their food and supplies.
Roughly 350,000 hotel-night stays in Vancouver in 2019 were attributed to the cruise ship operations. About 120 ships with over 800,000 passengers visit Canada Place each year. Direct and indirect activities spurred by the cruise industry support about 7,000 jobs and $2.2 billion in total economic impact.