Canada has announced a ban on cruise ships, with a few exceptions. The restrictions will ban all cruise ships with more than 100 passengers through Canadian waters, including the Canadian arctic, through Feb. 28, 2022.
Canadian minister of transport Omar Alghabra made the announcement, and said any companies not complying could be liable for up to $1 million fine or 18 months in prison.
Canada “continues to monitor the evolving COVID-19 pandemic and the impact it is having on the marine and tourism sectors,” the press release said. “Keeping Canadians and transportation workers safe and healthy are top priorities for Transport Canada. Cruise vessels in Canadian waters pose a risk to our health care systems.”
There are a number of restrictions (most of them continuations of current rules in place) in the new announcements, including:
Watercraft looking to enter the Arctic waters, including any passenger vessels with more than 12 people.
Any cruise vessels with more than 100 people are prohibited from operating in any Canadian waters.
Residents who are local to the Arctic regions are exempt from the restrictions.
The announcement will continue the current restrictions on cruise lines that dock in popular ports Quebec City or Vancouver, mostly eliminating any potential for summer Alaskan cruises.
Because of U.S. restrictions, cruise ships cannot sail within U.S. ports without also docking at an international port — meaning no Seattle to Alaska, or even one Alaskan port to another.
Ships carrying fewer than 100 passengers are still required to follow their local health authority rules. Essential vessels like ferries will also be exempt from the rules.