The 2020 Alaska cruise season is now virtually a write-off after Canada extended its large cruise ship ban until the end of October.
Transport Minister Marc Garneau extended the ban through October 31.
It bans cruise ship in Canadian waters that accommodate more than 100 guests overnight.
Garneau admitted it will severely impact tourism related businesses in Vancouver and Victoria, BC and in Quebec and the Atlantic provinces.
“Keeping Canadians and transportation workers safe continues to be my top priority during the Covid-19 pandemic.”
The initial ban was imposed in March for ships of more than 500 people, but is now not only extended but also expanded to include smaller vessels.
Due to a decades old law, companies with foreign flagged ships cannot operate cruises without an intermediate call at a foreign port, meaning ships cannot go from direct from Seattle to Alaska, for example, without a stop in Canada.
It is not only a major financial blow to hard-hit communities in Alaska, but also in New England with popular summer and fall foliage itineraries now impacted.