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Canada Extends Ban on Cruise Ships Through Oct. 31, 2020



The Canadian government on May 29 extended the ban on cruise ships through Oct. 31, essentially shutting down the 2020 cruise season.

Transport Minister Marc Garneau said cruise ships with overnight accommodations that carry more than 100 people are not allowed to sail in Canadian waters.

“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 Oct. 31, 2020,” Garneau said. “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.”

The previous order, issued March 13, banned cruise ships carrying more than 500 people until July 1 to help stop the spread of the novel coronavirus. The cruise season in Canada was to begin April 2.

The extension of the order dashes any slim hopes that a cruise season could be salvaged this year.

In a May 21 update, the Port of Vancouver said the 2020 Vancouver-Alaska season was canceled by Carnival Cruise Line, Cunard, Holland America Line, Hurtigruten, Princess Cruises, Windstar Cruises, Scenic Luxury Cruises and Seabourn

Cruise lines that tentatively proposed restarting Alaska cruises from Vancouver in August were Celebrity Cruises, Disney Cruise Line, Norwegian Cruise Line, Silversea Cruises, Oceania Cruises, Regent Seven Seas Cruises and Royal Caribbean International.

However, as of July 1, all other passenger vessels can resume operations if they follow provincial, territorial, local and regional health authority requirements for timelines and processes.

Beginning July 1, passenger vessels will be allowed to operate in inland rivers and lakes in the Northwest Territories, Nunavut and Yukon.

Passenger vessels that can carry more than 12 people are still prohibited from entering Arctic coastal waters (including Nunatsiavut, Nunavik and the Labrador Coast) until Oct. 31, 2020.

Those who do not comply with the prohibitions could be subject to a penalty of $5,000 per day for an individual and $25,000 per day for a corporation.

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