Canada decided to extend the ban on cruise ships until February 2022, due to Covid-19, which will lead to the suspension of popular summer trips to Alaska for another year.
The Canadian government said in a statement on Wednesday evening: The ban will allow the authorities to focus on rolling out the Coronavirus vaccine and limiting the spread of new virus variants.
The decision is a setback for an industry trying to return to work, after being stuck in dry docks for nearly a year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Alaska is one of the industry’s top destinations – attracting a record 1.33 million cruise passengers in 2019 – and the ban will also affect cruise ships in New England, which travel north to Montreal and other destinations.
In this context, Carnival Corp, the largest cruise operator, said in an e-mail: “This extension, if it is not modified with the improvement in the conditions of the epidemic, or through the measures taken by the US authorities, it is will likely require our company to cancel the cruise holiday seasons in Alaska and Canada / New England this year. “
Hopes to return again
For its part, the company, “Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings”, which also sails to Alaska, said that it is studying the orders issued and has not yet canceled the cruises heading to Canadian ports.
The Norwegian company added, “We are currently exploring several initiatives that may allow such cruises to continue, especially in the important Alaska season.” The company stated: “Given the current liquidity situation, we will also continue to work with the Canadian government to amend its current suspension.”
Royal Caribbean Cruises did not comment directly upon requesting its comment on this news. The outbreak of Covid-19 onboard cruise ships early at the beginning of the epidemic resulted in deaths among passengers and crew members, and many ships were stranded as a port after port drove them away, which eventually stopped their travel. The industry is still stalled in the United States, but cruise companies have aimed to gradually return to service, returning most of their fleets to the sea by the end of the year.
And maritime law prohibits foreign-flagged ships from transporting passengers directly between two US ports, so Alaska cruises usually stop in Canada. Alaska accounts for about 5% of the world’s popular cruise lines, according to the International Cruise Line Association, the trade group known for short as CLIA.
“While this is out of our control, we remain committed to operating any portion of our Alaska season, we hope that the positive progress in connection with the pandemic will accelerate to such an extent that it will allow the Canadian Minister of Transport to revoke this temporary order and allow the resumption of flight holidays,” Carnival Corp said. Navy in 2021. “