UPDATE: Since this story was published, the government of Canada announced cruise ships carrying 100 passengers or more would be banned until October. Read more here.
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Margaret asks: “Will there be any cruise ships coming or leaving Vancouver in 2020?”
The Government of Canada has delayed the start of the cruise ship season until at least July 1, 2020, for ships capable of carrying more than 500 passengers and crew members, at which point the decision will likely be reassessed.
All cruises with Canadian Arctic stops will be cancelled for the rest of 2020 due to the “limited public health capacity in Canada’s Northern communities,” says a statement from the Canadian government.
However, numerous cruise lines—Celebrity, Hurtigruten, Oceania, Ponant, Regent, and Royal Caribbean—currently offer Alaska-bound itineraries (avoiding Arctic Canadian ports) from Vancouver throughout July, August, and September. Holland America has numerous itineraries departing Vancouver in late September.
Minister of Health Patty Hajdu is advising Canadians to avoid all travel on cruise ships because of the ongoing coronavirus outbreak.
“With this delay in allowing cruise ships to dock in our ports, we can help prevent the spread of COVID-19 in our communities,” she says.
Minister of Transport Marc Garneau adds, “There is no immediate solution to allow cruise ships to operate in Canada while adequately containing the public health risk associated with COVID-19, other than delaying the start of the cruise ship season.”
A statement issued by The Port of Vancouver, which runs the cruise ship terminal at Canada Place, says, “We will continue to be in discussions with our cruise line partners over the next few months, as we actively monitor the Canadian and international response to this extraordinary circumstance.”
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control has a “no sail” order in place until at least July 24, 2020. Many American cruise lines are not currently booking until the fall, though Carnival Cruise Lines, the world’s largest operator, released plans to begin operations starting Aug. 1 with eight ships from Miami and Port Canaveral in Florida and Galveston. None of these routes would affect Vancouver.
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