OTTAWA — The Government of Canada has announced two new Interim Orders, which prohibit pleasure craft in Canadian Arctic waters and cruise vessels in all Canadian waters until Feb. 28, 2022.
Under these orders:
• adventure-seeking pleasure craft are still prohibited from entering Arctic waters
• passenger vessels carrying more than 12 people are still prohibited from entering Arctic coastal waters, including Nunatsiavut, Nunavik and the Labrador Coast
• cruise vessels carrying more than 100 people are still prohibited from operating in Canadian waters
“Temporary prohibitions to cruise vessels and pleasure craft are essential to continue to protect the most vulnerable among our communities and avoid overwhelming our health-care systems,” says Omar Alghabra, Minister of Transport. “This is the right and responsible thing to do.”
Prior to this announcement, the temporary measures for pleasure craft and cruiseships, were scheduled to end on Feb. 28, 2021.
There is no national ban for smaller cruiseships certified to carry 100 or fewer people. They are required to follow provincial, territorial, local and regional health-authority protocols for timelines and processes around their operations.
Following the government announcement, Port Credit, Ont.-based Adventure Canada, a small-ship expedition-travel provider, made the decision to cancel its 2021 schedule. And, while the extension of the ban challenges the company and the travel industry, Cedar Swan, CEO, Adventure Canada, states: “Out of respect for the health and well-being of all involved — particularly that of our valued community hosts — Adventure Canada genuinely supports this decision. We care deeply about the places we travel to and the people who travel with us, all of whom we consider part of the extended Adventure Canada family. The safety of our guests, community partners, expedition team and crew is of utmost priority.”