Canada Suspends Cruise Season Until July 2020 Due To Coronavirus Threat

Today, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced the cruise season is suspended until July, and the government will re-examine the ban after June 30th. In short, Canada is barring all cruise ships that carry more than 500 people, including crew, from docking in Canada until July to protect against the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Threat.

Below is an embedded video from Prime Minister Justin Trudeau public address on COVID-19. The portion regarding the cruise season is at 27:20.

27:20 mark – “the cruise season is suspended until July”

The following is the news release for the Canadian Government.

March 13, 2020           Ottawa          Transport Canada and Public Health Agency of Canada

Ensuring the safety and security of Canadians is the Government of Canada’s top priority. 

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has announced a comprehensive $1 billion COVID-19 Response Fund in response to the pandemic. The Fund will help put in place the plans, infrastructure, and resources needed to protect the health and safety of all Canadians.

Canada’s Chief Public Health Officer has issued a formal health advisory, recommending that Canadians avoid going on cruise ships at this time. The health risk is for all the people touched by the cruise ship industry in Canada.

To further complement these measures, today the Minister of Transport, the Honourable Marc Garneau, announced the implementation of new measures pertaining to cruise ships in Canadian waters. 

In 2019, Canada welcomed over 140 cruise ships that came to our shores directly from more than 10 different countries. The cruise industry brings at least 2 million travellers to our coasts annually.

As a response to COVID-19, the Government of Canada will defer the start of the cruise ship season in Canada, from April 2, 2020, to July 1, 2020, at the earliest. This deferral will apply to cruise ships capable of carrying more than 500 passengers and crew members.

Given the limited public health capacity in Canada’s Northern communities, the cruise ship season for vessels with Canadian Arctic stops will be deferred for the entire season this year. This would apply to cruise ships of all sizes.

While this measure does not apply to ferries or smaller vessels at this time, the Government of Canada is also developing an approach to ensure health measures are strengthened in all passenger vessels across Canada.

The Government of Canada recognizes that COVID-19 is having a major impact on the economy and communities across Canada. We are continually assessing the risks of the COVID-19 based on science and evidence, and consulting with our government, industry and regional health partners. Further decisions on whether the season can resume on July 1, 2020, will be based on science and evidence in the best interests of the health and safety of Canadians

The Government of Canada will continue to engage with the Tourism sector and regional partners to understand the effects of COVID-19 on local businesses and their employees.

These measures are part of a larger strategy the Government of Canada is implementing that prioritizes the health and safety of Canadians, ensures the capacity of the public health-care system, aligns Canada’s international and domestic approaches, and strives to mitigate the health and economic impacts in Canada.

Government of Canada announces intention to defer the start of cruise ship season in Canada as COVID-19 response measure archived

At this time, Disney Cruise Line has not made any formal announcements regarding the Disney Wonder’s upcoming Alaskan cruise season which was scheduled to begin May 18, 2020. Before the Alaskan season, the Wonder is scheduled to reposition from San Diego to Vancouver on Friday April 24, 2020 with a stop in Victoria. Then on Wednesday April 29, 2020 the Wonder is scheduled to sail to Hawaii followed by a return from Hawaii on Friday May 8, 2020 scheduled to end on May 18th in Vancouver.

The following are the sailings that include Canadian ports of call for the Disney Wonder through June 30, 2020.

It is important to remember, Canada’s announcement just occurred leaving cruise lines scrambling during an already chaotic situations. Please wait until Disney Cruise Line makes a formal announcement as this post is meant just to pass along the news coming out of the Canadian Prime Minister’s announcement.

According to CTV Vancouver Island News, today’s temporary suspension of cruise ships comes one day after the City of Victoria asked the Greater Victoria Harbour Authority to delay the cruise ship season due to the coronavirus pandemic.

11 Replies to “Canada Suspends Cruise Season Until July 2020 Due To Coronavirus Threat”

  1. John Welch

    So bummed, but really it’s for the best. We’ll miss out on the 10N HI to Vancouver cruise. I hope the re-booking window gets pushed out past 12 months.

  2. Ed Cairns

    Perhaps the Disney Wonder could sail out of Seattle as opposed to Vancouver? I’m sure DCL is considering all the options….

      1. John Welch

        But that was closed loop , so Ensenada worked for the PSVA (“any port”). For a one way I’ve been told it wouldn’t. A visit to a “distant port” outside of North America would be required.

  3. Andrew

    The difficulty, I think, on the face of it would be that the 2012 Wonder sailing to Hawaii was a round-trip, which can be achieved by including a stop at a Mexican port. A one-way trip between two US ports requires a stop at a distant foreign port, and I can’t think of a port that would meet that requirement that a Hawaii sailing could realistically include. Perhaps the relative rules could be extended – uncertain times!

  4. Alice

    This, combined with the drop in oil prices will destroy Alaska’s fragile economy. I hope that the feds can pass emergency legislation allowing transit without the required CAN port

  5. Paul T

    i know this may seem selfish on my part, but the Wonder is the only ship that we have not sailed on. As a Florida resident, I can only hope that they could bring the Wonder to Florida on a temporary basis. I’m thinking Tampa-Key West- Castaway-Tampa or Miami-Bermuda-Castaway-Miami or Port Canaveral-Key West-Castaway- Nassau-Port Canaveral. I have a couple placeholders ready to be used.

  6. Sam

    I bet the Wonder stays in San Diego and does the Hawaii sailings with Ensenada as the foreign port. Maybe some of the Alaskan sailings can turn into 7 night Mex reviera instead.

    1. Paul T

      Sam, You are probably correct. I just looked the Web Cams from Port Canaveral and Miami and it appears that the ports are quickly running out space for the ships


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