Deferring Canadian Cruise Ships Season

Classification: Unclassified

Branch/Agency: Transport Canada

Proposed Response:

Additional measures coming for smaller cruise ships and ferries:

The Government of Canada is actively developing additional measures to reduce COVID risk for smaller cruise ships with less than 500 passengers and for passenger ferries.  These measures will be announced shortly – before the start of the season for smaller cruise ships.


Cruise ships

Cruise ships represent a very high-risk medium for viral transmission of infectious respiratory diseases like COVID-19. Close proximity and frequent interactions among passengers and crew make successful quarantines on board vessels virtually impossible. Incoming cruise ships in these circumstances could pose a significant safety risk to persons in a port of call.

In a regular cruise ship season, Canada sees over 140 cruise ships arriving from more than 10 different countries. The cruise ship industry brings at least 2 million travellers to our coasts annually.

In 2018, there were over 900 thousand visitors that entered Canada from cruise ships, with an additional 114 thousand Canadian returning to Canada from a cruise. 

(Source:  Statistics Canada)

There are currently more than 140 cruise ships scheduled to arrive at a number of Canadian ports on the west and east coast (e.g. Vancouver, Victoria, Prince Rupert, Halifax, St. John and Îles de la Madeleine) this season.

To address all of these risks, an integrated international and domestic strategy has been developed. As part of this strategy, two measures will be implemented pertaining to cruise ships in Canadian waters:


Prepared by: Adriana Simedrea, Chief, Parliamentary Affairs, Transport Canada, 613-993-9177

Approved by: Jimmy Brackenridge, Director, Strategic Services, Transport Canada, 613-852-5763

Date modified: