As a response to COVID-19, the Government of Canada has decided to defer the start of the cruise ship season in Canada, from April 2, 2020, to July 1, 2020, at the earliest. This deferral applies to cruise ships capable of carrying more than 500 passengers and crew members.
The government will re-examine the ban after June 30 and further decisions on whether the season can resume on July 1, 2020, will be based on science and evidence in the best interests of the health and safety of Canadians.
Given the limited public health capacity in Canada’s Northern communities, the government has also decided to suspend the cruise season for cruise ships with Canadian Arctic stops for the entire season this year. This applies to cruise ships of all sizes.
“The safety and security of Canadians is a top priority. There is no immediate solution to allow cruise ships to operate in Canada while adequately containing the public health risk associated with COVID-19, other than delaying the start of the cruise ship season. We do not take these decisions lightly and will continue to reassess as the situation evolves.” – Marc Garneau, Minister of Transport
In 2019, Canada welcomed over 140 cruise ships sailing directly from more than 10 different countries, bringing at least 2 million travellers to the Canadian shores.