Cruise ship companies in Canada are working on the next step in their plans as the country prepares to lift its ban on foreign ships docking at Canadian ports. The Canadian Food Inspection Agency recently received a report on the environmental and safety assessment of cruise ship operations in Canada, and the agency is now working on a detailed report that will outline the safety precautions cruise companies must take.  The report will be completed by early November and will allow the CFIA to officially lift the ban on cruise ships visiting Canadian ports.  Cruise ship companies are expected to make their final decisions on their Canadian operations by the end of October, with the first ship expected to dock in Vancouver next summer.

In the early 2000s, Canada imposed a ban on new passenger cruise ships to protect the critically endangered Royal Canadian Sea Otter, which lives only in the Broughton Archipelago in the Pacific Northwest. However, the government’s decision earlier this year to lift the ban is very controversial, as it will allow cruise ships to once again ply the waters off the B.C. coast. The otter is the Canadian national animal and has been protected under Canadian law since 1977, when the federal government passed the Endangered Species Act.

After initially banning all large cruise ships from calling at Canadian ports until February 28, 2024, the Canadian government has announced that ships will be allowed to call from February 1, 2024. In November 2024 it will again be possible to dock there.

Canada Set to Lift Cruise Ship Ban on November 1

Vancouver, Canada

I know many of you are wondering when we will see cruise ships here again, Transport Minister Omar Algabra said as he made the announcement today at Ogden Point, Victoria Harbour and Canada’s busiest cruise ship berth.

While Canadians helped contain the spread of COVID-19, our government continues to work hard to get our economy safely back on track and make things better. We look forward to welcoming cruise ships – an important part of our tourism industry – to Canadian waters in the 2024 season.

The minister said the accelerated reopening will allow cruise lines and related companies to prepare and be fully operational for the 2024 season.

New date to ensurewill be a full season in 2024.

Canada Set to Lift Cruise Ship Ban on November 1

Duck tours are available at the Halifax Cruise Terminal.

In terms of actual cruise traffic, this decision makes little difference. The cruise season on the west coast of Alaska and the east coast of Canada and New England opened on January 1. November is almost over.

Nonetheless, politicians, port officials and other stakeholders applauded the decision, which brings great certainty to an industry that contributes more than $4 billion a year to the Canadian economy, said Rob Fleming, B.C.’s minister of transportation and infrastructure.

This is important to British Columbians because thousands and thousands of livelihoods are tied to this industry, Fleming said. The cruise industry will be part of our economic recovery.

On the other coast, Andrew Dixon, Vice President of Trade and Business Development for the Port of St. John’s, is a member of the Board of Directors. The decision was also noted by the St. John’s Port Authority and the chair of the National Committee on Cruises of the Association of Canadian Port Authorities.

This is great news for all businesses that rely on cruise tourism revenue and we now have more than enough time to plan for a safe recovery of the industry in collaboration with all business partners. This is another glimmer of recovery as we look toward 2024, Dixon said in a statement.

We welcome the return of the cruise and will strive to ensure a strong and safe

Canada Set to Lift Cruise Ship Ban on November 1

A popular excursion for cruise ship passengers in Halifax – Peggy’s Cove.

Anna Pusti, president of the Victoria Cruise Industry Alliance, which represents local retailers and service providers, told the audience gathered for the announcement that the lack of ships had been a trying experience for many in the group. We welcome the return of the cruises and will work to make them strong and safe, Mr. Pusti said.

This announcement comes as the Canadian government continues to advise its citizens to avoid all cruise ship travel outside the country until further notice. The government recently eased restrictions on international air travel for fully vaccinated Canadians, but the land border with the United States remains closed to all but essential workers.

After Canada announced in February that its ports would remain closed to large ships for another year, the U.S. passed legislation granting cruise lines operating on the Seattle-Alaska routes a temporary exemption from requiring foreign-flagged vessels – virtually all large cruise ships – to call at Canada.

Some American politicians are currently working on legislation that would make this temporary permission permanent. Minister Algabra said his government intends to work with our American friends to ensure that the ships continue to arrive. He added that confidence in the completion of the 2024 cruise season in Canada will help the industry return to normalcy.

[READ MORE : Carnival bans smoking on ships while refuelling

Frequently Asked Questions

Has Canada banned cruise ships?

No, Canada has not banned cruise ships.

Are Canadian ports open to cruise ships?

Yes, Canadian ports are open to cruise ships.

Are cruise ship workers still stuck at sea?

No, cruise ship workers are not stuck at sea.

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