Canada lifted a ban on cruise ships in Canadian ports four months ahead of schedule. Theoretically, cruise ships can now call again in Canada from November 1, 2021.
Cruise season in Canada, Alaska and the Canadian East Coast is over by this time. As of now, Canada has put a cruise ban in place until February 28, 2022, with the open question of whether it will be extended again after this date.
Therefore the decision has no direct impact on cruise. At this point the Alaska season has already ended and New England-Canada cruises will no longer operate in November. However, the lifting of cruise restrictions for Canada from November 1, 2021 gives shipping companies more planning protection for the 2022 season.
For the summer of 2021, the USA had passed an exemption law that would allow cruise ships to sail from Seattle to Alaska this summer despite a Canadian ban that usually requires a stopover in Canada. The New England season in summer and fall 2021, however, does not survive this law, as Canadian ports on these routes are an integral part of cruises and are not just a necessary stop abroad.advertisement
The exception law to the so-called Passenger Vessel Service Act (PVSA) is expressly limited to the duration of the cruise ban in Canada. Therefore the validity of this law will expire even earlier with the Canadian decision on November 1, 2021.
Canada justifies the lifting of cruise restrictions with rising vaccination rates in the North American country. 80 percent of Canadians are currently vaccinated for the first time, and more than half have full vaccination protection.
For US travelers arriving by plane or land, Canada will likely reopen in mid-August to all other countries in early September 2021. Entry requirements, however, are full vaccination protection.