Ready for the best news you’ll hear all day? Canadian Minister of Transport the Honourable Omar Alghabra announced this morning that as of November 1, 2021, cruise ships could return to ports in the country so long as they fully comply with public health requirements. The country had previously banned all cruise ships until late-February 2022 due to the risk posed by COVID-19.
According to the press release issued by the Canadian government, the economic situation led to the decision to lift the ban.
“As the outlook of the COVID-19 pandemic continues to improve, Canada looks forward to having a cruising season in 2022. The cruise ship industry, which represents more than $4 billion annual input into the Canadian economy and directly and indirectly generates approximately 30,000 jobs, is an important part of Canada’s domestic tourism sector,” the release stated.
“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. We will welcome cruise ships—an important part of our tourism sector—back in Canadian waters for the 2022 season,” said Alghabra.
Today Minister @OmarAlghabra and I announced that cruise ships that comply with public health orders will be welcome back to Canadian waters by Nov 1st, 2021- providing the certainty the cruise ship industry needs to plan for a safe and full restart in 2022. pic.twitter.com/sn2bUlUvzh
— Rob Fleming (@Rob_Fleming) July 15, 2021
It’s hard to read the news and not find the date interesting. Opening up the country to cruise ships just when the vast majority of cruise ships stop visiting the country for the winter seems like a quick win in the court of public opinion overall, it doesn’t really do much. Holland America Line, for example, sails ships on both of Canada’s coasts, but they don’t start each year until late April or early May when the weather is more cooperative. Had the ban remained in place from November 2021 until February 2022, it wouldn’t have affected the cruise line at all.
The one advantage for cruise lines is they now have more time to schedule itineraries, sell bookings and position ships, something that would have been difficult if they had to wait around for the ban to expire.
Will you be booking a cruise to Canada in 2022? Let us know in the comments!