Canada to Lift Cruise Ship Ban in November
Cruise ships can resume sailing in Canada on Nov. 1, the country's Minister of Transport announced Thursday.
"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," Omar Alghabra said in a statement. "We will welcome cruise ships — an important part of our tourism sector — back in Canadian waters for the 2022 season."
Cruise lines that do take to the Canadian waters are expected to "fully comply with public health requirements."
"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," British Columbia's Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure, the Honorable Rob Fleming, said in the announcement.
The decision comes as the vaccination rate continues to increase across Canada. Currently, over 50% of Canadians are fully vaccinated, while 80% have received their first dose of the vaccine, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said on a call with premiers on Thursday.
Previously, cruising in Canada was not expected to resume until February 2022. As a result, the United States passed legislation allowing ships to skip Canadian ports so cruises could begin in Alaska. Princess, Holland America, and Norwegian cruise lines all announced itineraries to Alaska this year following the passing of the legislation.
While the return of cruising in Canada may be on the horizon, U.S. citizens are still not allowed to return to the country, and the land border remains closed to non-essential travel.
However, Trudeau said on Thursday's government call that "we could expect to start allowing fully vaccinated U.S. citizens and permanent residents into Canada as of mid-August for non-essential travel" and that more details would be shared next week.