Destinations on Canada’s east and west
coasts canceled their 2020 cruise seasons after the government said it would
prohibit cruise ships with more than 100 passengers from calling at its ports
until at least Oct. 31.
Cruise the Saint Lawrence said the decision would mean the
cancellation of the cruise season for its nine members ports, including
Montreal and Quebec.
“The move comes as a blow to the cruise industry which
contributes handsomely to the growth and prosperity of hundreds of businesses
in eight different tourism regions spread out across the province,” the
organization said, adding that the 567,000 expected passengers this year would
have amounted to $1 billion in direct economic impact and 7,000 jobs.
Cruise the Saint Lawrence president Tony Boemi appealed to
the government to “help these businesses traverse the crisis at hand.”
The Halifax Port Authority also suspended its 2020 cruise
season, saying that it will “work with partners across tourism in Nova Scotia
to rebuild the cruise industry in Halifax and Atlantic Canada. Together, we
will weather this storm and prepare for brighter days ahead.”
The Greater Victoria Harbour Authority (GVHA) said it
supported Canada’s decision. This season, the port had planned to receive 300
cruise ship calls and 770,000 passengers between April and October, mostly
large cruise ships on Alaska itineraries.
“Cruise represents 70% of our annual revenues, which
supports our operations across all properties, including community amenities,”
the authority said. “Without cruise revenues in 2020, we will need to explore
how we maintain these facilities for community use over the next several years.
This will include further deferring capital projects and reducing maintenance
and repairs, while not compromising safety.”
The GVHA said that cruise supports 800 indirect and direct
jobs in Victoria and contributes more than $130 million to the regional economy
“We also want to acknowledge that dozens of cruise-related
small businesses and their staff members in Greater Victoria are deeply
impacted by the loss of cruise this year,” the port said.