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

(Juneau Empire file photo)
Aurora forecast for the week of April 8

These forecasts are courtesy of the University of Alaska Fairbanks’ Geophysical Institute… Continue reading

Juneau Assembly members and other visitors examine a meeting room formerly used by the nine-member Alaska State Board of Education and Early Development on Monday, April 8, which is about 25% larger than the Assembly Chambers at City Hall. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)
Of three possible new City Hall buildings, one stands out — but plenty of proposed uses for other two

Michael J. Burns Building eyed as city HQ; childcare, animal shelter among options at school sites.

Senate President Gary Stevens, R-Kodiak, speaks to members of the Senate majority caucus’ leadership group on Friday. (James Brooks/Alaska Beacon)
Schools, university and projects across Alaska are set to receive money from new budget bill

Alaska Senate sends draft capital budget to House as work continues on a state spending plan

The Boney Courthouse in downtown Anchorage, across the street from the larger Nesbett Courthouse, holds the Alaska Supreme Court chambers. (Yereth Rosen/Alaska Beacon)
Alaska judge strikes down state’s cash payments to families using correspondence school programs

Decision will become a ‘hot-button legislative item’ in final weeks of session, lawmakers say.

A statue of William Henry Seward stands outside the Dimond Courthouse in downtown Juneau. (Clarise Larson / Juneau Empire file photo)
Juneau man convicted of sexual abuse of 15-year-old girl more than four years after incidents occur

JPD: Randy James Willard, 39, sent explicit videos to and engaged in sexual contact with victim.

Capital Transit buses stop at the Valley Transit Center on Thursday. Two bus routes serving areas of the Mendenhall Valley and near the airport will temporarily be discontinued starting April 22 due to lack of staff. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)
Capital Transit temporarily suspending two Mendenhall Valley routes due to shortage of drivers

Officials hope to fix situation by July; extra tourist buses also scaled back due to fleet shortage.

A fenced lot proposed as a campsite for people experiencing homelessness located next to the city’s cold weather emergency shelter, in the background, is also next door to a businesses where extensive construction is scheduled, thus prompting city leaders to rethink the proposal. (Photo by Laurie Craig)
Indefinite ‘dispersed camping’ for homeless proposed by city leaders due to lack of suitable campsite

Proposed Rock Dump site is next to long-term construction, more costly than expected, report states.

(Michael Penn / Juneau Empire file photo)
Police calls for Wednesday, April 10, 2024

This report contains public information from law enforcement and public safety agencies.

Rep. David Eastman, R-Wasilla, watches as the tally board in the Alaska House of Representatives shows the vote against House Joint Resolution 7 on Thursday. Eastman supported the amendment. (James Brooks/Alaska Beacon)
Alaska House votes down constitutional guarantee for Permanent Fund dividend

Guarantee had been discussed as part of long-term plan to bring state expenses in line with revenue.

Most Read