The ban extends to February 28, 2022, and is a response to the ongoing Coronavirus/COVID crisis. It applies to cruise ships carrying 100+ people (passengers plus crew) in Canadian waters.
Cruise season usually runs from May through October. In 2019, Port Halifax handled 179 cruise ship calls and 323,709 passengers. Cruises are one of port's 3 business arms - together with cargo shipping and real estate.
According to Lane Farguson, spokesperson for the port, in 2019 cruises had brought in USD 166 million in economic benefit to the region, which includes tourists' activities (tours and shopping) and fueling and food supplies for the ships.
The seaport sees upwards of 1,2 million visitors in a typical year. Farguson added he didn’t know yet what the numbers had been for 2020, but it had been “down significantly from normal years.”
Canada's government has advised its citizens against any ship cruises since March 2020.
In February and March 2020, the federal government repatriated citizens from outbreaks on 2 liners (Diamond Princess and Grand Princess) on which were 800+ confirmed COVID cases, according to a US government report.
Currently, the federal government is advising Canadians against non-essential travel (including flights) and has closed the border to international travellers except those who meet certain eligibility requirements.