ALASKA BLASTS CANADA FOR BANNING CRUISES UNTIL MARCH 2022
The cruise industry's worst-ever crisis has taken yet another blow after Canada announced a year-long ban on large holiday vessels as the pandemic stretches on through another travel season.
Cruise ships with room for more than 100 passengers and crew members will no longer be allowed to sail through Canadian waters or dock in Canada's ports, the Canadian Ministry of Transport announced February 4, Deutsche Presse-Agentur (dpa) reported.
In what is yet another indication of a disastrous year to come for North America's cruise industry, Canada's cruise ban, which had been set to expire at the end of February, is now being extended until March 2022. A cap of 12 passengers is being set on vessels entering the Arctic, while ferries, water taxis and small passenger ships are exempt from the ban.
News of the ban was met with criticism in the US, where cruise ships have been able to continue sailing, despite cancellations from cruise lines such as Norwegian. According to US officials, the ban effectively prevents sailings from Seattle to Alaska via Canada, and lawmakers in the US state slammed the new rules as unacceptable.
"Canada's announcement to ban all cruise sailings carrying 100 people or more travelling through Canadian waters, without so much as a courtesy conversation with the Alaska Delegation, is not only unexpected — it is unacceptable," Alaskan senators said in a joint statement.