Canada OKs Cruising Starting in April

Canada is now ready to welcome cruise ships safely back to our waters,” Transport Canada said in a press announcement Monday.

To resume sailings, Transport Canada worked with its partners to develop a comprehensive pubic health plan for cruise ships, including:

  • Crew and passengers being required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19
  • Crew and passengers being required to self-monitor for symptoms
  • Passengers being required to take a COVID-19 molecular test within 72 hours before boarding a cruise ship or take an antigen test within one day of boarding a cruise ship
  • Passengers being required to take a COVID-19 molecular test within 72 hours before arriving in Canada or taking an antigen test within one day of the scheduled arrival

In a statement following the news, Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) in Canada said it “welcomes the announcement today by the Honourable Omar Alghabra, minister of transport, confirming the return of cruise to Canadian waters the first week of April 2022.”

It added: “Many months of work have led to this announcement by Transport Canada, and we are delighted to be coming back. When cruise resumes in April, CLIA member cruise lines will be sailing with COVID-19 protocols that span the entirety of the cruise experience and provide some of the highest levels of prevention, detection and mitigation compared to virtually any other tourism setting. We acknowledge the support of officials of British Columbia’s Transportation, Tourism and Health Ministries as well as Transport Canada and the Public Health Agency of Canada, who worked collaboratively with Cruise Lines International Association and its member lines, ports and community partners in order to support the responsible return of cruise to Canada.”

Cruise Response

Publication of procedures for the safe resumption of cruises to Canadian ports allowed Holland America Line to complete preparation for a full season of Alaska and Canada/New England sailings. Holland America Line will sail itineraries as scheduled that include Canadian homeports and ports of call from late spring through fall. 

The resumption comes as Holland America Line gets ready to celebrate 75 years of Alaska exploration in 2022. Ships in Alaska use Vancouver, Canada, as a homeport for roundtrip cruises and itineraries between Vancouver and Whittier, Alaska. Cruises that sail roundtrip from Seattle, Washington, to Alaska call at Victoria, Canada

In Canada/New England, ships cruise between Montreal and Quebec City, Canada, and Boston, Massachusetts. Itineraries range from six to 24 days and call at 13 Canadian ports in Quebec, Newfoundland, Nova Scotia, Labrador and Prince Edward Island.

The line’s first ship to arrive in Canada is Koningsdam, which calls at Victoria April 9 en route to Vancouver for an April 10 arrival. On the eastern seaboard, Zaandam calls at Halifax, Nova Scotia, May 17 while on a nine-day "Atlantic Coast" cruise sailing from Fort Lauderdale, Florida, to Montreal.

In addition, Princess Cruises Caribbean Princess is scheduled to call in Victoria, British Columbia on April 6 before transiting to Vancouver, British Columbia. It will be the first cruise ship to call in Canada since April 2019.

The cruise ship industry represents more than $4 billion annual input into the Canadian economy and directly and indirectly generates approximately 30,000 jobs.

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