Canada extends cruise ship ban through October, leaving little hope for Alaska’s delayed cruise ship season

The Holland America Cruise Ship Westerdam prepares to dock in Juneau July 16, 2012. (Photo by Heather Bryant/KTOO)

Canada has extended its ban on cruise ships until at least the end of October due to the global pandemic.

“Cruise ships with overnight accommodation and a capacity of more than 100 persons — that includes passengers and crew — will be prohibited from operating in Canadian waters until at least Oct. 31,” said Canadian Federal Transport Minister Marc Garneau, speaking to reporters in Ottawa on Friday.

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The announcement extinguishes any chance of salvaging Alaska’s delayed cruise ship season, thanks to a federal law requiring foreign-flagged ships to stop in a foreign port when traveling between U.S. ports.

The Port of Seattle announced an indefinite port closure for cruise ships in March, after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued a no-sail order for cruise ships following several outbreaks on international sailings.

Many major cruise lines have already delayed their seasons in response to the earlier announcements. Alaska expected to see a record-breaking 1.4 million passengers during this year’s April to October season.

According to recent industry numbers, more than 550 Alaska sailings have been canceled at this point. That accounts for almost 90% of sailings.

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