There’s finally a date for the return of Canadian large ship cruising.
Canada’s Minister of Transport, the Honourable Omar Alghabra, on Thursday, announced that the government would lift its cruise ship ban as of Nov. 1, 2021, months earlier than previously planned. The decision was made with an improving COVID-19 outlook in Canada.
“As Canadians have done their part to reduce the spread of COVID-19 our government continues to work hard to safely restart our economy and build back better. We will welcome cruise ships—an important part of our tourism sector—back in Canadian waters for the 2022 season,” he said.
Transport Canada had originally extended its cruise ship ban to February 2022 earlier this year, a move that was met with outrage from the travel community. That ban not only stopped Canadian sailings but initially also prevented sailings out of Seattle to Alaska.
At the time, Transport Canada said “temporary prohibitions to cruise vessels and pleasure craft are essential to continue to protect the most vulnerable among our communities and avoid overwhelming our health care systems” and called the ban’s extension “the right and responsible thing to do.”
Now, with the cruise ship ban expected to end, Canada will now await news on the future of the country’s non-essential travel ban with the U.S.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Thursday said that Canada could start allowing fully vaccinated Americans into Canada as soon as mid-August. It could then welcome other fully vaccinated international travelers as soon as September. The most important factor continues to be vaccination rates and COVID-19 infection rates, which both are trending in the right direction.