- By Sagar Shere March 14, 2020
“From April 2 through July 1 all the large cruise ships carrying more than 500 passengers will be prohibited at Canada’s ports, nationwide,” this was announced by the Canadian Minister of Transport, Marc Garneau on Friday. The ban will extend through the entire season for Canada's northern and Arctic ports.
The ban may have a significant effect on the Seattle-to-Alaska cruise season, a market that serves more than a million passengers per year. All large cruise ships on the route are foreign-flagged, and they must stop in a foreign port - typically Victoria, B.C. - during their voyage in order to comply with the U.S. Passenger Vessel Services Act. With no Canadian port call, they cannot operate between ports in Washington and Alaska (unless they incorporate a port in a different foreign nation).
Two out of the three publicly-listed American cruise lines have already suspended all U.S. sailings for several weeks, but Canada's restriction would last far longer.
"We are reviewing Transport Canada’s actions and evaluating the order’s impacts on the 2020 Alaska cruise season," the Port of Seattle said in a statement. "The pace of change and scale of operational impact is significant, and we will continue to work closely with stakeholders on the next steps."