Canada lifting cruise ban on Nov. 1

Canada plans to reopen its waters to cruise ships on Nov. 1.

The date effectively means that cruising won’t begin in Canada until spring 2022 since the summer Alaska season and the summer/fall Atlantic Canada season will be over by November. 

In February, Canada extended its cruise ship ban for one year, until February 2022, on cruise ships carrying more than 100 people. The ban put this year’s Alaska cruise season in doubt because the United States’ Passenger Vessel Services Act (PVSA) mandates foreign-flagged ships to call in at least one foreign port on any U.S. itinerary, which is why large cruise ships either begin, end or call in Vancouver and Victoria, B.C., as part of Alaska itineraries.

That problem was solved when Congress approved temporary relief from the PVSA for passengers ships sailing in Alaska this summer. The legislation stipulates that the PVSA waiver terminates when Canada drops its cruise ban or on March 31, 2022.

Government agency Transport Canada said on Thursday that the cruise ship prohibition would no longer be in effect for operators that are able to fully comply with public health requirements.

“We will welcome cruise ships, an important part of our tourism sector, back in Canadian waters for the 2022 season,” said Omar Alghabra, Canada’s minister of transport. 

Victoria mayor Lisa Helps thanked the Canadian government for giving “predictability and certainty to the industry going forward.”

The government of Canada continues to advise Canadians “to avoid all travel on cruise ships outside the country until further notice.”

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