(Bloomberg) — Canada is extending its ban on cruise ships through February 2022 because of Covid-19, effectively shutting down popular summer trips to Alaska for another year.
The prohibition will allow authorities to focus on the rollout of the coronavirus vaccine and limit the spread of new variants, the government said in a statement Thursday
The decision is a setback for an industry trying to get back in business after being in dry dock for almost year due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Alaska is one of the industry’s top destinations — it attracted a record 1.33 million cruise guests in 2019 — and the ban will also affect New England cruises that travel north to Montreal and other stops.
“This extension, if not amended as pandemic conditions improve, or through action by U.S. authorities, would potentially require our brands to cancel our Alaska and Canada/New England cruise vacation seasons this year,” Carnival Corp., the largest cruise operator, said in an email.
Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd., which also sails to Alaska, said it was studying the order and hasn’t canceled cruises that visit Canadian ports.
“We are currently exploring several initiatives that may allow such cruises to continue, especially for the important Alaska season,” Norwegian said. “Given the fluidity of the current environment, we will also continue to work with the Canadian government to amend their current suspension.”
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