Canada authorizes cruise operation after two years
This decision allows the tourism sector to begin rebuilding the 30,000 jobs and more than $4 billion in economic activity
Transport Canada's announcement regarding the new environmental measures is the result of ongoing dialogue with the cruise industry and reflects the industry's commitment to environmental stewardship and continued advancement of environmental sustainability practices. CLIA cruise line members have instituted industry policies that in many cases are more comprehensive than national and international regulations on wastewater discharges. For example, CLIA members must implement a mandatory CLIA policy not to discharge raw sewage into the ocean, anywhere, at any time, under normal operating conditions, even though international regulations allow such discharges within specific guidelines.
CLIA and our member cruise lines will continue to collaborate with Transport Canada to work together to find the agency's intent with the new measures and to help correct misunderstandings reflected in recent third-party defense reports.
The first cruise ship to call at a Canadian port since 2019 arrived in Victoria on Saturday, April 9. Holland America's Koningsdam then sailed to Vancouver, arriving on April 10.
"We've worked a long time to make this day happen and we're thrilled to be back," said Kelly Craighead, president and CEO of Cruise Lines International Association. “I want to acknowledge the support of British Columbia Premier John Horgan and Provincial Transport, Tourism and Health officials, as well as the Minister of Transport, Hon. Omar Alghabra and his officials, the Public Health Agency of Canada and the Canada Border Services Agency. They have all worked tirelessly with cruise lines, ports and community partners to facilitate a responsible return of cruise tourism to Canada.
The cruise industry has developed a robust, multi-layered approach to health and safety that encompasses the entire cruise experience, including proof of a negative COVID-19 test prior to embarkation; periodic crew tests; a setting in which all eligible individuals are vaccinated; ongoing sanitation of all public spaces and guest/crew quarters; use of masks, social distancing, improved air ventilation and other measures that public health experts around the world have endorsed. As a result, CLIA cruise line members sail today with some of the highest levels of COVID-19 mitigation, with effective health protocols that are virtually unmatched by any other business environment.
“British Columba celebrates the return of cruise ships and their passengers, as we work to rebuild our tourism economy and the important contributions the cruise industry made to our province before the pandemic,” said the Hon Rob Fleming, Minister for Transport and Infrastructure "We know that cruise ship passengers enjoy all that our communities have to offer, helping to generate thousands of jobs in the maritime, tourism, hospitality and agricultural sectors throughout the province."
More than 7.5 million guests have sailed in almost 90 markets around the world. Virtually all CLIA member cruise ships are expected to resume sailing by August. While much of the fleet was initially idled due to the pandemic, our commitment to environmental sustainability has remained steadfast. With a commitment to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 40% by 2030 compared to 2008 levels and pursuing net carbon neutral cruises by 2050 across the global fleet, investments in research and new technologies have continued. An increasing number of ships have shore-power capability and there are now 26 LNG cruise ships in operation or on order.
“Our government looks forward to welcoming cruise ships back to Canadian waters for the 2022 season,” said the Honorable Omar Alghabra, Minister of Transportation. "Cruise ships are an important part of the travel and tourism sector and we will continue to work with our partners to prioritize the safety of travelers and transportation workers."
“The cruise industry is an important sector within Canada's tourism economy,” says Beth Potter, executive director of the Tourism Industry Association of Canada. These years have been incredibly difficult and TIAC has been actively involved in guiding the industry through these difficult times, creating the National Cruise Committee in June 2021 made up of our members, Canadian organizations operating in the global cruise industry. delighted to welcome cruise ship visitors to our beautiful shores."