Cruises to Alaska look almost certain to be cancelled for the next 12 months.
Canada has extended its cruise ban until February next year, which effectively means no Alaska cruises before 2022.
The Canadian ‘no sail order’ covers all ships carrying more than 100 people. It also prevents cruise ships carrying more than 12 people from entering Arctic coastal waters.
While Canada cannot ban US ships from Alaska, there’s an odd law that means that if they do they have to stop at a foreign port before returning to the US. Usually they stop at Victoria or Vancouver, but the ‘no sail order’ bans them from Canadian ports until February 2022.
Are Alaska cruises cancelled for 2021?
Cruise lines seem to be taking a wait-and-see attitude before cancelling Alaska cruises for the whole of 2021.
Princess Cruises has stopped selling its Alaska West Coast and Canada New England cruises – but it says it’s hoping that Canada will reverse its ban before next year.
Royal Caribbean Cruises is also hoping Canada will lift the ‘no sail order’ later this year. It says it will update passengers booked on Alaska cruises by Friday 12 February.
Disney Cruise Line hasn’t commented on the cruise ban, but it seems to have stopped selling its Alaska cruises.
Will the Alaska Cruise ban be lifted before 2022?
Canada’s Transport Minister Omar says the ban is necessary due to the gravity of the Covid-19 pandemic.
“Temporary prohibitions to cruise vessels and pleasure craft are essential to continue to protect the most vulnerable among our communities and avoid overwhelming our health care systems,” he said.
“This is the right and responsible thing to do.”
However, the Canadian Government has said that if the pandemic improves sufficiently, the Minister of Transport can lift the ban earlier.