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Canada Kills 2021 Alaska/N.E. Cruise Season

· Travel News,Cruise

It's Monday, and the week starts off with yet another shocking industry announcement. I wanted to feature a positive post, but that will have to wait. Catching up with an announcement from Canadian authorities at the Ministry of Transport informing the world that...

"As Canadians continue to do their part to reduce the spread of COVID-19, our government continues to work hard to ensure Canada's transportation system remains safe," Minister of Transport Omar Alghabra. "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. This is the right and responsible thing to do."

This came with an extension of the cruise ban that was set to expire at the end of this month now extended until Feb 28th, 2022. Which bluntly put means the Alaska cruise season, typically from May through October, along with the fall cruise season up the eastern coast of Canada, are both completely done for 2021.

You may ask why does the Canada notice effect Alaska cruises? The reason being:

This includes any cruises sailing north even from Seattle through the inside passage has been prohibited through Canadian waters, so cruise lines cannot sail up & back to/from Seward. Cruise lines would have to get very creative with itineraries to bypass this. They could potentially sail from Seward south down the Panhandle to the likes of Juneau, or vice versa. This would allow them to sail through US Coastal waters not Canadian and include Glacier Bay National Park. But it remains to be seen if cruises will be allowed to sail even in US waters by this summer, as the beginning of the season is quickly approaching.

Extension of the ban does comes with some allowances, such as if the ship is carrying less than 100 people, it is permitted to sail in Canadian waters, as long as they follow Canadian pandemic guidelines. So private yachts and small ship cruising would be allowed to sail from Seattle or Vancouver up to Alaska.

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One line that comes to mind right off the top of my head is Uncruise a small ship expedition fleet that some of their ships can carry as few as 36 guests. Though Uncruise typically would sail from US Alaskan ports up the panhandle anyways, so the Canada ban really does not effect them as is. The 100 person capacity retires the major lines like Holland America, RCCL, and all Carnival brands for the Canadian sailing season on both coasts.

I'm just stunned they banned the entire year so early. The only good thing about this move is that being the industry knows it so early, we advisors can now focus clients who are looking into Alaska cruises or North Eastern coastal cruises, and get them confirmed for 2022 early. The demand for this is going to be huge in 2022, being 2021 is shot. So it is best to get booked early,... everything is going to be sold out in 2022 if you are late to the pent up party.

Disappointed though, this is going to hurt Alaska's economy much much more than it is going to hurt the Canadian economy. Vancouver is a stunning metropolis and a hub for Canadian sailings, but while they love the millions$ the cruise season brings, it will not hurt Vancouver's thriving city. Those small fishing villages on Canada's eastern coast will take a hit though.

You can still go to Alaska as long as the state remains open to tourism in 2021.

You'll just need to fly up & back to/from Anchorage, Fairbanks or Juneau. I can customize self drive & or land tour itineraries, with private local flights, helicopters, guides, boats and more. The beauty of Alaska is still accessible to you in 2021.

For more details, any questions or to discuss future travel plans please reach out to me anytime and thank you for reading!

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Derek Schemonitz

Avenue Two Travel

Luxury Travel Advisor