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Canada to lift cruise ship ban in November

A ban on big cruise ships sailing in Canadian waters is being lifted on November 1. It effectively means that cruises will not restart until spring 2022 when next year’s Alaska and Atlantic Canada seasons start. Canada extended a ban on ships carrying  more than 100 people for a year in Febraury.

Transport Canada said that the cruise ship prohibition would no longer be in effect for operators that are able to fully comply with public health requirements. Canada’s minister of transport minister Omar Alghabra said: “We will welcome cruise ships, an important part of our tourism sector, back in Canadian waters for the 2022 season.” The ban had put this year’s Alaska cruise season in doubt because the US Passenger Vessel Services Act (PVSA) mandates foreign-flagged ships to call in at least one foreign port on any US itinerary, which is why large cruise ships either begin, end or call in Vancouver or Victoria as part of Alaska itineraries.

The issue was overcome when US Congress gave approval for temporary relief from the act for passenger ships sailing in Alaska this summer.

The legislation stipulates that the PVSA waiver terminates when Canada drops its cruise ban or on March 31, 2022.