U.S. Decides to Let Cruise Ships Sail Past B.C.

Cruise ships are not expected to be back in Vancouver until next year and that isn’t working out well for the American cruise market that often comes up through the B.C. region on the way to various sailing trips like Alaska.

The Canadian government decided that they would put off allowing those cruise ships come in until 2022 and the U.S. cannot wait that long to get their cruise market back on track. Now, after a recent vote in the U.S. Senate they will be bypassing B.C. and going straight on to their other destinations.

Bill that will allow cruise ships from the U.S. to sail to Alaska without stopping in Canada passes the Senate

There are still pandemic restrictions in place for B.C. for certain social activities, services, and events, and it isn’t expected that those cruise ship sailings will return to normal until after those restrictions are lifted.

The Alaska Tourism Recovery Act (H.R. 1318) recently passed in the U.S. and it is seeking some sort of solution for their cruise market to be able to go around B.C. while they are still prevented from stopping here in Canada for some time.

Photo by Diego F. Parra on Pexels.com

The cruise ship industry brings a significant amount of economic support to areas like Vancouver, Alaska, and elsewhere, and without those ships coming in that is millions of dollars not coming into the local economy.

There are hotels, cafes, restaurants, and other businesses that are suffering until those travel services can get back to normal.

In this circumstance the U.S. wasn’t left with much of a choice after Canada decided to ban cruise ships for the rest of the year and prohibit them from navigating or anchoring etc in Canadian waters until 2022 or until those restrictions are lifted.

When they do get lifted then the hope is that those U.S. cruise ships will once again stop by but what if they don’t? If this is the beginning of a new change in ships bypassing the region then that could have devastating effects for the economy in B.C. that relies on the tourist spending coming from those ships.

However, according to the province it is expected that these recent changes will be rescinded once those ports in Canada are open once again and B.C. will be ready to welcome ships coming through once again.

They will be required by U.S. law to stop in Canadian ports on their way to Alaska and that isn’t expected to change.

Categories: bc, blog, news, travel

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3 replies »

  1. As an American, any comment I make here will be from a position of bias. But, from what I have read, Canada has not been able to be as aggressive in getting it’s people vaccinated as the US, and from what I have read, this is due largely to a supply issue.

    So, since Canada is farther behind the vaccination curve than the US, it seems fair and reasonable that Canada continues to take steps to protect its citizens.

    Hopefully in the interest of neighborliness, the US will reroute those ships back to BC when Canada feels it is safe to have visitors.

    As for me personally, I am so disappointed that we cannot yet visit our northern neighbors. But this will change, and when it does, well BC is calling.


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