Forget about Disney Cruise Line visits to Alaska this summer. Or any other cruises with most major lines to Alaska or New England this year.
Canada has banned large cruise ships from operating in Canadian waters until this time next year, effectively ending the 2021 northern cruise season months before it could begin. That's two lost seasons now for many ports of call in those markets.
The order is to remain in effect through February 28, 2022. It continues the ban of cruise vessels carrying more than 100 people from operating in Canadian waters, cutting off access to Alaska and northern ports used on many New England and Great Lakes cruises.
U.S. laws prohibit foreign-built and foreign-flagged vessels from sailing to port-to-port within the United States without a call to a non-U.S. port. Calls to Canadian ports satisfied that requirement for foreign-flagged vessels - including those from the Bahamian-flagged Disney Cruise Line - when they sailed to Alaska. But Canada does not want an influx of foreign tourists to its airports and cruise ports as it looks to contain and eradicate Covid-19 in the country.
"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. 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," Minister of Transport Omar Alghabra said. "This is the right and responsible thing to do.”
Disney Cruise Line currently has canceled sailings aboard the Disney Fantasy through April 24, the Disney Dream through April 30, the Disney Magic through May 9, and the Disney Wonder through May 12. The Wonder had been scheduled to sail from Vancouver to Alaska this summer, so cancelations of its 2021 sailings after May 12 should be forthcoming.
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