The Ruby Princess is escorted by the U.S. Coast Guard into Juneau downtown harbor on Monday, April 30, 2018. The ship was the first of the season. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire File)

The Ruby Princess is escorted by the U.S. Coast Guard into Juneau downtown harbor on Monday, April 30, 2018. The ship was the first of the season. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire File)

Large cruises banned in Canada at least until Oct. 31

Alaska will feel the effects.

OTTAWA, Ontario — Large cruise ships will continue to be prohibited from operating in Canadian waters until at least Oct. 31 because of the coronavirus pandemic, the country’s transport minister announced Friday.

Transport Minister Marc Garneau said the order applies to cruise ships with overnight accommodations and more than 100 passengers and crew. The move extends and expands an order issued in mid-March that barred ships with more than 500 passengers from Canadian waters until July.

Foreign-flagged cruise ships that come to Juneau and depart from Seattle must stop at a Canadian port due to the Jones Act.

[Cruise companies extend delay, cut trips]

Smaller ships will be allowed to operate after July 1, but only with the permission of provincial and regional health officials. However, vessels with more than 12 passengers will be barred from going to the Arctic until at least Oct. 31, for fear that one might carry the virus to a remote northern community.

“Keeping Canadians and transportation workers safe continues to be my top priority during the COVID-19 pandemic,” Garneau said.

Garneau said he understands this will create a significant economic hardship for Canada’s tourism industry. He indicated the federal tourism department is working on a plan to help.

Last year, 140 cruise ships brought more than 2 million visitors to Canadian ports. A 2016 study found the cruise contributed more than $2.1 billion to Canada’s economy, including nearly $1.01 billion in direct spending by cruise lines and their passengers. More than 23,000 Canadians were directly or indirectly employed because of cruise ships.

British Columbia, Quebec and the Atlantic provinces benefit the most.

Prince Edward Island will be among the areas hurt by the order, said the CEO of the island’s Charlottetown Harbour Authority, Mike Cochrane.

“The human impact is dramatic, there’s no question about it,” he said. “To see it all come to a halt, it’s a very sad day for us.”

“You look at mom-and-pop shops, restaurants, tour bus operators, taxis, Green Gables — it reaches everywhere,” Cochrane added.

Cruise ships were one of the first and worst-hit sectors from in the pandemic, with hundreds of passengers falling ill on ships sailing in various parts of the world. Transport Canada monitored hundreds of ships with Canadians on board as the vessels battled outbreaks or weren’t allowed to dock in planned ports as countries closed to foreign tourists to keep the coronavirus out.

Several hundred Canadians were flown back to Canada and quarantined in Ontario after disembarking ships with outbreaks that docked in Japan and California. At least a dozen passengers from the Grand Princess cruise ship were diagnosed with COVID-19 after being quarantined in Trenton. One Canadian who had been on board the Diamond Princess died in Japan in March after being hospitalized with COVID-19.

• This is an Associated Press report

More in News

A signal flare burns bright enough to light up the day lit shores of the Sacramento Delta during a flare training exercise held at Coast Guard Station Rio Vista, Friday, April 6, 2012. (Courtesy Photo | Petty Officer 2nd Class Levi Read)
Coast Guard reminds boaters not to use flares as fireworks

It’s punishable by a fine and prison time.

This July 2019 photo provided by Peter Westley shows the carcass of a chum salmon along the shore of the Koyukuk River near Huslia, Alaska, July 2019 was the hottest month ever recorded in the state. Global warming looks like it will be a far bigger problem for the world’s fish species than scientists first thought, since a study led by Dr. Flemming Dahlke released on Thursday, July 2, 2020 shows that when fish are spawning or are embryos they are far more vulnerable to hotter water. (Peter Westley | University of Alaska Fairbanks)
Fish more vulnerable to warming water than first thought

Study shows that when fish are spawning or are embryos they are more vulnerable to hotter water.

Police calls for Friday, July 3, 2020

This report contains public information available to the Empire from law enforcement… Continue reading

Police calls for Thursday, July 2, 2020

This report contains public information available to the Empire from law enforcement… Continue reading

Elizabeth Hope holds up the Chilkat Protector Mask at a ceremony. (Courtesy Photo | Sydney Akagi Photography for Lily Hope)
Weaver donates ‘Chilkat Protector Mask’

It will enter Sealaska Heritage Institute’s permanent collection.

The former Walmart building, shown in this July 1 photo, located in the Lemon Creek area is for sale at a price about $2.3 million below its assessed value. (Peter Segall | Juneau Empire)
Former Walmart building for sale at reduced price

The former Walmart Inc. store that has been vacant since 2016 is… Continue reading

An officer from the Juneau Police Department investigate an officer involved shooting off Cinema Drive on Dec. 29,2019. (Michael S. Lockett | Juneau Empire File)
Parents of man killed by JPD to sue department

The officer was cleared by the state, but not everyone finds that decision valid.

Police calls for Wednesday, June 31, 2020

This report contains public information available to the Empire from law enforcement… Continue reading

Police calls for Tuesday June 30, 2020

This report contains public information available to the Empire from law enforcement… Continue reading

Most Read