Seattle cruise season at risk after Canada banned cruise ships through 2022

   February 7, 2021 ,   Cruise Industry

Seattle WA's cruise season 2021 was put at risk on Thursday, February 4, after Canada’s Minister of Transport announced the extension of the cruise shipping ban through February 2022.

It is the second year in a row that the roughly billion-dollar cruise season of Seattle has been cancelled.

Canada made the decision to make sure its population and transportation workers would be safe during the pandemic. The reason why it is impacting Seattle is that there is no getting to Alaska without cruise calls being made in Canada. According to the USA's Passenger Vessel Services Act, vessels that are not USA-built and/or flagged must stop (for Alaskan voyages this is Canada) at a foreign port between US ports.

Port of Seattle (Washington)

Canadian officials said passenger ships carrying 12+ people will continue to be prohibited from entering Arctic coastal waters, and cruise ships with 100+ people will not be able to operate in Canadian waters.

Officials added cruise ships that enter the waters posed risks to Canada’s health system.

Anyone who doesn't comply with the measures could be hit with a penalty anywhere from UD 5000 per day for individuals to USD 25000 for groups or corporations, including possible imprisonment if found liable.

Alaska’s congressional delegation said the decision was not only unexpected but unacceptable. They said they were exploring all avenues, including changing existing laws to ensure there was a cruise season.