New Canadian cruise guidelines have cleared the way for the cruise industry to resume sailing from Canadian ports, both on roundtrip and open jaw itineraries. Holland America will take full advantage of the new guidance with a full lineup of Alaska and Canada/New England cruises, the first full season since 2019.
Ships in Alaska will use Vancouver as a homeport for roundtrip cruises and open jaw itineraries between Vancouver and Whittier, Alaska. Cruises that sail roundtrip from Seattle will call at Victoria, Canada.
Canada/New England sailings will depart Montreal and Quebec and call at 13 Canadian ports in Quebec, Newfoundland, Nova Scotia, Labrador and Prince Edward Island. Itineraries range from six to 24 days.
“The completion of this guidance by Transport Canada, Canada Border Services Agency, Public Health Agency of Canada, and port officials will allow us to sail our Alaska and Canada/New England seasons as planned,” said Gus Antorcha, president of Holland America Line. “This is a positive step for everyone who loves to travel to these regions and for all of the businesses in Canada that we support through tourism.”
Many Canada’s new rules have already been implemented in the U.S., though Canada’s rules are a bit more stringent. For example, while the CDC allows cruise ships to carry up to 5% unvaccinated passengers, all cruisers stopping at a Canadian port must be fully vaccinated.
Testing will also be required though it is yet unclear whether pre-cruise testing is okay for port visits or whether passengers will need to be tested the day before arriving at port or while at the port.
“Many of the protocols Canada is applying were successfully implemented in the United States after the restart of cruising, and they are working well,” Antorcha said. “We are well-positioned to follow Canada’s direction and continue delivering memorable cruise vacations that include Canadian ports.”
The resumption comes in time for Holland America to celebrate 75 years of Alaska exploration in 2022. The first ship to arrive in Canada will be Koningsdam, which will call at Victoria on April 9 en route to Vancouver for an April 10 arrival.
On the eastern seaboard, Zaandam calls at Halifax on May 17, while on a nine-day Atlantic Coast cruise from Fort Lauderdale to Montreal.
Alaska Line Up
- Seven-day “Glacier Discovery” (northbound & southbound): Whittier to Vancouver or vice versa onboard Nieuw Amsterdam and Noordam. Ports include Ketchikan, Juneau and Skagway.
- Seven-day “Alaska Inside Passage”: Roundtrip from Vancouver on Koningsdam, Nieuw Amsterdam, Noordam and Zuiderdam. Ports include Ketchikan, Juneau and Skagway.
- Seven-day “Alaskan Explorer”: Roundtrip from Seattle on Eurodam and Westerdam. Ports include Victoria, Ketchikan, Juneau, Icy Strait and Sitka.
Canada/New England Line Up (May through October)
- Seven-day “Canada & New England Discovery”: Montreal to Boston (or vice versa) on Nieuw Statendam or Zaandam. Ports include Bar Harbor (ME), Quebec City, Charlottetown (PEI), Sydney (NS) and Halifax.
- Six- or eight-day “Canada & New England Discovery”: Quebec to Boston (or vice versa) on Nieuw Statendam or Zaandam. Ports include Bar Harbor, Quebec City, Charlottetown, Sydney and Halifax
- 10- and 11-day “Newfoundland and New England Discovery”: Quebec (with overnight) to Boston (or vice versa) on Nieuw Statendam or Zaandam. Ports include Halifax; St. Johns, Corner Brook and St. Anthony, all in Newfoundland; and Baie-Comeau and Havre-Saint-Pierre, in Quebec
- 24-day “Canada, New England and Iceland”: Roundtrip from Boston. Ports include Sydney, Corner Brook, St. Anthony, St. Johns, Halifax, Saint Pierre & Miquelon and Red Bay, all in Canada; along with Qaqortoq and Nanortalik, Greenland; Isafjordur, Seydisfjordur, Djupivogur, Reykjavik and Grundarfjordur, in Iceland; and Bar Harbor.