CLIA-NWC Responds to Canadian Ban of Cruise Ships With 100-Plus Guests

Cruise Lines International Association – North West & Canada (CLIA-NWC), the cruise industry's trade association, responded to the Government of Canada's ban on cruise ships carrying more than 100 passengers in Canadian waters. That order is in effect through February 28, 2022. 

That decision is expected to seriously impact this summer's Alaska cruise season, as well as fall foliage cruises in Northeastern Canada. 

CLIA-NWC, the voice of the cruise industry in Canada, said in a statement that it's "surprised by the length of the extension of the Government of Canada’s "No-Sail Order."

“While we understand and support the government’s focus on combatting COVID-19 in Canada, we are surprised by the length of the extension of the prohibition of cruise,” said Charlie Ball, chair of CLIA-NWC, in a statement. “We hope to have an opportunity to revisit this timeline and demonstrate our ability to address COVID-19 in a cruise setting with science-backed measures, as CLIA members are doing in Europe and parts of Asia where cruising has resumed on a limited basis.”

The trade association noted that the pandemic is having a devastating impact on local businesses, and "two years without cruising in Canada will have potentially irreversible consequences for families throughout the country."

In 2019, the cruise industry generated a total of $4.25 billion in economic activity in Canada, a 33 percent increase from 2016. Further, 29,000 Canadian jobs paying $1.43 billion in wages were generated in 2019—a 26 percent increase in employment and 43 percent increase in wages since 2016.

“We stand ready to work with Canadian health and transportation officials to operationalize a path forward,” Ball said. Cruising activity supports multiple sectors of the global economy—from transportation and aviation to food and beverage, lodging, manufacturing, agriculture, travel agencies and an extensive supply chain.

CLIA also stressed that cruising is resuming on a gradual, phased-in basis in Europe. CLIA members have sailed on a variety of modified itineraries from Germany, Italy and Greece under strict protocols. These protocols have been developed by operators in collaboration with medical experts, scientists and health and government authorities, and have been informed by guidance from the E.U. Healthy Gateways and European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA).

Since the beginning of July 2020, there have been more than 200 sailings in Europe (and parts of Asia) with enhanced measures in place and approval from authorities in those regions. CLIA-NWC said that the success of these initial sailings demonstrates the effectiveness of a multi-layered approach and confirms that the new protocols are working as designed—to mitigate the risk of COVID-19 in a cruise setting.

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