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Congress members call Canada's ban of cruise ships "unacceptable"

In:
Category: 
09Feb2021

Canada's decision to ban all cruise ships for a year is not sitting well with the state of Alaska.

Following Canada's Ministry of Transport decision to ban cruise ships from its waters until February 2022, lawmakers are looking for ways to salvage a critical piece of Alaska' tourism industry.

Without access to Canadian ports, cruise ships cannot legally sail to Alaska due to U.S. maritime law. 

In a joint statement, Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski, Sen. Dan Sullivan, and Congressman Don Young, called the Canadian cruise ship ban, "unacceptable" and said they are looking for answers as to why the ban had to be so long.


Sens. Lisa Murkowski and Dan Sullivan

The joint statement criticizes Canada's decision without first discussing the matter with the Alaska delegation, "Canada’s announcement to ban all cruise sailings carrying 100 people or more traveling through Canadian waters, without so much as a courtesy conversation with the Alaska Delegation, is not only unexpected—it is unacceptable—and was certainly not a decision made with any consideration for Alaskans or our economy."

"We expect more from our Canadian allies."

Since the ban was announced, the Senators and Congressman have reached out to American and Canadian authorities to get a better sense of why the ban had to be so long.

"We are exploring all potential avenues, including changing existing laws, to ensure the cruise industry in Alaska resumes operations as soon as it is safe. We will fight to find a path forward."

On Twitter, Senator Sullivan said he was "stunned" by Canada's ban.

"I was stunned by Canada's decision to ban cruise vessel crossings in Canadian waters for another full year—a decision made without consultation or notice of Alaskans. This is unacceptable, and not in keeping with the cooperative relationship we’ve had with our Canadian neighbors."

Why can't cruises sail without Canada?

Canada's ban will prevent Alaska sailings out of Seattle via Canada because of maritime law.

Most countries, including the United States, have cabotage laws designed to protect the U.S. maritime industry.  

The Passenger Vessel Service Act (PVSA) of 1886 requires foreign flagged cruise ships to call on a foreign port if sailing a closed-loop cruise form the United States.

This means, cruise ships cannot sail from Seattle and only visit Alaska ports.  It must make a stop outside the country, and Canada is the only place between Seattle and Alaska for that.

The justification for both the PVSA is to protect the U.S. Merchant Marine (the licensed (officers) and documented (trades) personnel on the ships) and to protect U.S. shipyards that both build and repair the ships .

Royal Caribbean removes 2021 Alaska and Canada cruises from website

In:
Category: 
05Feb2021

Less than 24 hours after Canada announced it banned cruise ships for a year, Royal Caribbean's website no longer shows cruises to Alaska or Canada available to book.

Canada announced it was extending its ban on cruise ships for an entire year, through February 2022.

While Royal Caribbean has not officially informed guests that sailings that visit Canada in 2021 are cancelled, all potentially affected sailings have been removed from being able to be booked on the cruise line site.

When searching for Alaska sailings, no dates in 2021 are available to search, and New England/Canada cruises are also missing from the available cruises to book.

If cruise ships cannot visit Canada, Royal Caribbean cannot legally operate sailings that do not visit a "nearby foreign port" during the sailing, due to the Passenger Vessel Services Act of 1886.

Canada made the sweeping ban on Thursday that prohibits any cruise vessel carrying more than 100 or more people from operating in Canadian waters.

Cruises to Alaska or New England that sail from the United States are required to make at least one stop in a foreign port in order to satisfy U.S. law.

Without the possibility of visiting Canada, the Alaska and New England cruise season is effectively cancelled.

There are only two possible ways these cruises could be salvaged:

First, Canada could lift the cruise ship ban if the health situation improves. Canada added in its announcement that if the global health crisis sufficiently improve to allow the resumption of these activities, the Minister of Transport has the ability to rescind the Interim Orders. 

Second, the U.S. could provide a temporary waiver of the Passenger Vessel Services Act.  The chances of that happening seem low based on recent comments by the new U.S. Transportation Secretary.

During confirmation hearings, Pete Buttigieg told the Senate committee that he supports the Jones Act, which is the part of the law that applies to cargo vessels.

"[The Jones Act] is so important to a maritime industry that creates hundreds of thousands of jobs, as well as a shipbuilding industry here in the U.S.," Buttigieg said in response to questioning from Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA), the Senate Commerce Committee’s ranking member.

Canada bans cruise ships for one year

In:
Category: 
04Feb2021

The 2021 Alaska cruise season looks to be in serious trouble with a new ban just announced.

Canada's Minister of Transport announced on Thursday it has banned all cruise vessels from Canadian waters until February 28, 2022.

Citing the need to keep "Canadians and transportation workers safe and healthy", the government announced two interim orders that prohibit pleasure craft in Canadian Arctic waters and cruise vessels in all Canadian waters until February 28, 2022. 

Specifically, cruise vessels carrying 100 or more people are not allowed in Canadian waters.

According to Canada's government, cruise ships, "pose a risk to our health care systems."

"As Canadians continue to do their part to reduce the spread of COVID-19, our government continues to work hard to ensure Canada’s transportation system remains safe. 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. This is the right and responsible thing to do."

Minister of Transport Omar Alghabra added that if the global health crisis sufficiently improves to allow the resumption of these activities, the Minister of Transport has the ability to rescind the Interim Orders. 

Prior to this extension, Canada's ban on cruise ships was set to expire on February 28, 2021.

Not only does the ban affect Alaska cruises, but New England cruises in the fall visit Canadian ports as well during the popular leaf peeping season.

Just like Alaska cruises, New England cruises rely on a stop in Canada to make the visit legal under U.S. law.

In case you are wondering, the penalties for violating the ban include $5,000 per day for individuals and $25,000 per day for groups or corporations. 

Canada banning cruise ships means cruise lines cannot legally offer cruises to Alaska because of cabotage laws that require a foreign port to be visited during the sailing.

Royal Caribbean has three cruise ships schedule to sail to Alaska in 2021.  Quantum of the Seas already had her entire 2021 cruise season in Alaska cancelled in favor of keeping the ship sailing from Singapore.

Cruises sailing from the United States must adhere to the Passenger Vessel Service Act of 1886 (sometimes referred to as the Jones Act).

Even if the United States allows cruise ships to sail again, they would not be able to sail to Alaska without Canadian waters and ports open to satisfy U.S. cabotage laws.

There is some talk of a temporary amendment to the PVSA to allow cruise ships to depart without a foreign port stop, although there has been no progress made beyond proposals. 

The Greatert Victoria Harbour Authority issued a statement in support of the Canadian government's decision to extend the cruise ship ban.

"Cruise will resume when it is safe to do so, when border restrictions are removed, and when people may safely enjoy non-essential travel."

The port authority did concede the decision will, "create a devastating impact on the dozens of local, small businesses that are involved with cruise in Victoria," due to a combination of no cruise ships in 2020 and now another year without them.

Royal Caribbean cancels Quantum of the Seas 2021 Alaska season

In:
21Jan2021

The first casualty of the Alaska 2021 cruise season will be Quantum of the Seas.

Guests who had cruises booked on Quantum of the Seas for Alaska cruises in 2021 received an email that the cruise ship will not leave Singapore to go to Alaska as planned.

This affects scheduled Quantum of the Seas sailings between April 25- October 14, 2021.

This decision does not affect Alaska sailings on Ovation, Serenade, and Radiance of the Seas, as Royal Caribbean continues to work closely with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and government authorities in North America.

Instead, Quantum of the Seas will remain in the Asia-Pacific region.

A Royal Caribbean spokeswoman said, "Because of the success Quantum’s had, we made the decision to keep the ship in the Asia-Pacific region for the 2021 summer season and cancel her Alaska season."

Sailings on Quantum of the Seas to Alaska, including the transpacific sailing, have been cancelled. This includes Quantum’s Hawaii sailing, departing Vancouver on October 4th, 2021, and her Transpacific sailing, departing Honolulu on October 14th, 2021.

Royal Caribbean apologized to guests for having to make this change, "We’re terribly sorry for the impact to your vacation. Our primary goal continues to be a seamless and healthy return to service; we’re hyper-focused on welcoming you back!"

Back in March 2020, Royal Caribbean announced Quantum of the Seas would sail to Alaska in 2021 for the first time.

She was scheduled to sail from Seattle and offer mostly 7-night Alaska Glacier cruises between May and October.

Like all cancelled cruises during the global health crisis, Royal Caribbean is offering a series of compensation choices:

Lift & Shift: On or before February 4, 2021, move to a 2022 sailing onboard Quantum of the Seas departing within 1-week of the original sail date and your cruise fare/promotion is protected.

125% Future Cruise Credit: To account for the inconvenience this has caused, guests are eligible for a 125% Future Cruise Credit (FCC) based on your total cruise fare paid to book and cruise by October 31st, 2022.

Similar 2022 Hawaii and Transpacific sailings will open for sale in the coming months.

This will be automatically issued on or before February 19, 2021 if no other option is selected.

Refund: If you prefer a cash refund, you can do so by requesting this option on-or-before March 31, 2021.

You can expect their refund to the original form of payment within 45 days from the cancellation date. 

If you redeemed a Cruise with Confidence Future Cruise Credit on an impacted sailing and would now prefer a refund instead, Royal Caribbean will process this request in the amount of any new funds paid above the original certificate and, in turn, will reinstate the Cruise with Confidence FCC for future use.

Cruise Planner Purchases: If you had purchased any cruise add-ons, such as shore excursions, drink packages, wifi and more, you could opt to convert your Cruise Planner purchases  to an Onboard Credit valued at 125% of the total amount paid. This offer expires on February 4, 2021.

Mailbag: Will there be any Alaska cruises in 2021?

In:
Category: 
18Jan2021

While all cruises in 2021 are still questionable if they will be able to sail, Alaska cruises seem to be the most at-risk itinerary cruise fans are facing right now.

Every week the RoyalCaribbeanBlog mailbag answers a question a reader has sent in about going on a Royal Caribbean cruise.

We're getting closer to the Alaska cruise season in 2021, and I saw the Canadian government is still holding firm with their travel ban. Will any Alaska cruises be allowed to sail in 2021? - Frank Carter

The cruise industry has been shutdown in North America since March 2020, but Alaska cruises face the most obstacles to returning to service due to the government challenges between two countries.

Royal Caribbean's Alaska cruise season typically runs between May and October, and while there have been no changes to their schedule, other cruise lines are already canceling their Alaska 2021 cruises for some of the year.

Princess Cruises cancelled Alaska cruises through mid-May and Holland America Line cancelled all Alaska cruises through mid-May, and Alaska departures on three ships through early June.

Cunard even went as far as to cancel their entire 2021 Alaska cruise season, because they wanted to reposition their ship from the U.K.

Why are Alaska cruises in trouble?

The global health crisis has nearly all cruise ships shutdown, including Alaska sailings.

In order to restart operations, Alaska cruises would require approval from two countries to sail: the United States and Canada.

Most readers are aware of the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) ban of cruise ship travel, which has shutdown operations from the United States. This remains an unanswered question, although theoretically the new Conditional Sail Order could open up the possibility of cruises resuming sometime soon.

Over in Canada, Transport Canada has banned all cruise ship activity through February 28, 2021, and more extensions of that ban are very possible.

On top of that, Canada has closed its border with the United States for travel until at least February 21, 2021. 

The land borders have been closed since March 18, 2020.

The reason why Canada matters for Alaska cruise is because any cruise ship needs to be able to stop in Canada to operate legally from the United States.  Cruises that would depart from Vancouver would need the Canadian government to open their ports.

Cruises sailing from the United States must adhere to the Passenger Vessel Service Act of 1886 (sometimes referred to as the Jones Act).

Commander Don Goldstein, Retired United States Coast Guard, explained why these laws are in place.

Both the PVSA (1886) and the Jones Act (the Merchant Marine Act of 1920) are cabotage laws designed to protect the U.S. maritime industry.  Most countries with coastal ports have some form of cabotage laws, some very similar to ours.  The U.S. also has cabotage laws regard aviation. The justification for both the PVSA and the Jones Act is the same:  the need to protect the U.S.Merchant Marine (the licensed (officers) and documented (trades) personnel on the ships) and to protect U.S. shipyards that both build and repair the ships .  Both laws require that ships carrying people (PVSA) and cargo (Jones Act) between U.S. ports, including territories, be done on U.S. registered and enrolled (flagged) vessels.  This is called the Coasting or Coastwise Trade.  In order to be flagged in the U.S. the vessel must be built in the U.S.,the owner must be a U.S. citizen, and the vessel must be crewed primarily by U.S. citizens (all officers) or at least be authorized to work in the U.S.  It means that most, if not all, U.S. laws apply to the vessels and their crew, including wage and labor laws, OSHA laws, etc.

In order for a cruise to Alaska to be allowed to sail, the Canadian and American governments would have to allow cruise ships to sail again.

Even if the United States allows cruise ships to sail again, they would not be able to sail to Alaska without Canadian waters and ports open to satisfy U.S. cabotage laws.

There is some talk of a temporary amendment to the PVSA to allow cruise ships to depart without a foreign port stop, although there has been no progress made beyond proposals. 

Will there be Alaska cruises this year?

Like any sailing, it is unclear what to expect in the coming months.

Vaccines are beginning to be rolled out in mass quantities, which will hopefully turn the tide of new cases in the global health crisis and put governments at ease about lifting restrictions.

Both the Canadian and U.S. governments are keenly aware of the immense financial struggle these port towns are facing after an entire year without tourism revenue. Another year of no tourism would be catastrophic to many businesses in this region.

Realistically, a full cruise season in Alaska seems unlikely, but a limited cruise season in Alaska is far from out of the question.

The best time to take an Alaska cruise

In:
Category: 
16Dec2020

Want to know when is the best time to go on an Alaska cruise for great weather, low prices, or fewer crowds?

While the short-term future of cruises is still murky at best, eventually cruise ships will be heading back out to Alaska and the beautiful natural scenery to enjoy in Alaska is simply unparalleled.

It is hard to top the majesty beauty of rugged glaciers, plethora of unique animal sightings, or huge mountains. Going on a cruise to Alaska is an extremely popular kind of cruise, because it offers an easy way to see so much in a compact amount of time.

While it is impossible to see and do it all over the course of a one week cruise, Alaska has the power to enchant even brief visitors.  So while you are stuck at home, this may be the perfect time to start planning a cruise to The Last Frontier.

Here is your guide for figuring out the best times to visit for your first (or 50th) Alaska cruise.

The best time for an Alaska cruise to avoid crowds

The Alaska cruise season runs between May and September, but there are definite ebbs and flows to demand and crowds in the ports you will visit.

If you are looking for the months with the lowest crowds in Alaska, try for May or September.  These are the "shoulder season" months, which is when the season begins and ends, and is when you will find less people vying for a cruise. 

Moreover, going during May or September is also when most kids are still in school, which means families are unable to cruise during this period.

The downside to these months is the weather tends to be the most unpredictable, and that can be an issue with possibly impacting your shore excursions.  Most notably helicopter and boat excursions are the most at risk.

Read moreWhat is the best time to cruise to Alaska?

The best months for an Alaska cruise for good weather

The weather in Alaska can, and will, change multiple times per day, but you will find the warmest months to be June, July and August.

The median months will see higher temperatures and longer days for touring, and it represents the limited summer that Alaska enjoys. However, July and August tend to also have higher levels of precipitation.

If you do book a cruise during summer, be sure to plan your shore excursions well in advance to avoid tours selling out.

If you are willing to trade warmth for less precipitation, then go for May. In fact, the end of May and the beginning of June offers some of the best weather in the region throughout the year.

If you want to see snow on the ground, May is the best month for that.

Read moreComparing the Royal Caribbean ships sailing in Alaska 2021

The best months for an Alaska cruise for low prices

Alaska is not a cheap cruise, but if you want to save money on your cruise fare, then your best bet is May or September.

For the same reasons May and September feature lower crowds, these months see most often the lowest prices for a cruise because of the combination of colder temperatures and the school calendar.

Read moreWhat is the cheapest month to go on a cruise?

The best time to see the Northern Lights on an Alaska cruise

Few places allow for viewing of the aurora borealis, and the best time see the Northern Lights is in September.

September is the time of year when the sun sets earlier during the cruise season, which means the sky gets darker and makes for the most ideal viewing conditions.

Of course, temperatures during September will be lower than other times of the year, but the opportunity to see the Northern Lights is a real treat.

As mentioned in this article, not only does September provide the opportunity to see the Northern Lights, but you will also enjoy less crowds and likely lower prices on a cruise.

Read moreTop 10 tips for planning your Alaska cruise

The best time to see wildlife on an Alaska cruise

You will see plenty of wildlife during your Alaska cruise throughout the cruise season. The best months to catch a glimpse of the amazing fauna that call Alaska home are the months of June and July. 

  • Moose: Moose give birth around June.
  • Caribou: June is the best month to see herds of caribou
  • Humpback Whales:  June and July is when the humpback whales migrate through Alaska's Inside Passage.
  • Black bears: Spring is ideal because the new vegetation lures back in sheep, mountain goats and black bears. July is also good because that is when salmon runs start to get busy.
  • King Salmon: King salmon runs start in late May.
  • Bird watching: June is when you have the best change to see unusual birds migrating.

Read moreWhat Is an Alaska Inside Passage Cruise?

How to choose the right Alaska cruise itinerary

In:
Category: 
13Nov2020

A cruise to Alaska is one of the most popular kind of cruises, but which itinerary should you pick?

If you have never cruised to Alaska before, you may find the decision of which ship, embarkation port, and itinerary a tough decision.  There are many considerations when choosing an Alaska cruise, but ultimately the decision may come down to budget, convenience, and time.

Before booking a cruise to Alaska, here is what you need to know about picking the perfect Alaska cruise for your family.

Embarkation port

Royal Caribbean offers cruises from two primary ports, Seattle and Vancouver.

Cruises that go from Seattle are more convenient for Americans, because there are more daily flights to Seattle from around the country, and prices are cheaper since a flight to Seattle is a domestic flight.

Flights to Vancouver can be a little more difficult to get (especially direct flights), but you could always fly to Seattle and take the train or a rental car to try to save money.

Cruises from Seattle are roundtrip sailings that begin and end in Seattle. Many cruises from Vancouver can be open-jaw sailings, which means they begin in Vancouver and end in Anchorage. You could book the next sailing to return to Vancouver, but that would require two weeks. Otherwise, you will have to fly to/from Anchorage.

Be sure to consider where your cruise begins and ends the sailing before booking.

Ports you will visit

Where your ship goes in Alaska is also a major consideration, because there are a few different itineraries you can choose.

Cruises from Seattle tend to visit the more common ports, such as Juneau and Skagway, whereas cruises that begin in Anchorage or Vancouver get to visit more remote ports.

Cruisers that sail to Alaska often will tell you the more remote ports offer a more authentic view of Alaska, with more dynamic scenery and varied wildlife.

Of course, Alaska is stunning from any port you visit, and Juneau and Skagway are still beautiful places to visit and explore.

If you are looking to see the most stunning scenery, a cruise that takes you to further north is the way to go.

Ships and price

Royal Caribbean has four cruise ships offering cruises to Alaska, and each has a compelling reason to choose either of them.

Ovation, Quantum, Radiance and Serenade of the Seas sail to Alaska in 2021 and 2022.

The Quantum Class ships (Quantum and Ovation of the Seas) are newer ships, and offer much more to see, eat, and do onboard. They are also priced higher since you are sailing on one of Royal Caribbean's newer cruise ships.

It is important to note that the Quantum Class ships have two indoor pools, one for adults and one for all ages.  The other ships only have an indoor pool for adults.

The Radiance Class ships (Radiance and Serenade of the Seas) are smaller vessels that do not offer all the bells and whistles of the Quantum Class, but are perfectly suited for a port intensive itinerary like Alaska, where the destination is far more important than the ship you are sailing on. 

Moreover, Alaska's constantly changing weather makes outdoor activities on a ship not nearly as important as in the Caribbean.

One other consideration is Royal Caribbean offers land tours that you can add onto Alaska cruises from Vancouver, where you can explore the interior of Alaska before or after your cruise. Land tours are not available with cruises from Seattle.

Generally speaking, the Quantum Class ships will cost you more than a cruise on the Radiance Class ships. The exact price difference will vary from week to week, but you will have to weigh the price versus airfare costs.

Which Alaska cruise should you choose?

Ultimately, the decision on which ship and itinerary to pick comes down to price, dates, and ships.

If you are cruising to Alaska for the first time, many will defer to the Quantum Class ships from Seattle for the convenient travel options to Seattle, ship accommodations, and the fact it is roundtrip.

If you want to see the most authentic and exotic views of Alaska, an open jaw sailing from Anchorage or Vancouver is what you want. You will see much more of the "real" Alaska on these itineraries.

Ultimately, there are no bad choices for which cruise to choose for Alaska. You will find stunning views and really fun explorations in any of the ports. Understanding the differences between the ships and itineraries will ensure you make the right choice for your family.

More Alaska cruise info

Want to learn more about a Royal Caribbean cruise to Alaska, as well as helpful tips and secrets? Check out these blog posts:

Royal Caribbean releases new Alaska 2022 cruises to book

In:
10Nov2020

Royal Caribbean has released its Alaska 2022 cruises, which are available to book now.

In 2022, Royal Caribbean will send four cruise ships to Alaska, making it another big cruise season for the cruise line in the region.

New Alaska 2022 cruises are available to book between May and September 2022.

According to Royal Caribbean these new sailings are available for Crown & Anchor members on November 10, 2020, and the general public on November 11, 2020.

Ovation of the Seas returns to Alaska in 2022.  She will offer a transpacifc sailing from Sydney to Hawaii in April 2022, and then sail from Seattle and offer 7-night Alaska Glacier cruises.

Quantum of the Seas will also sail from Seattle, and offer 7-night Alaska cruises.  The Royal Caribbean website only lists one Alaska sailing for Quantum, so more could be loaded in later.

Both Quantum Class ships will vist scenic cities and towns along the Northwest coastline, including Victoria, British Columbia; Sitka, Skagway, Ketchikan and Juneau, Alaska.

Radiance of the Seas returns to Alaska again to offer 7-10 night Alaska cruises that can also combine with Land Tours to offer immersive visits to Alaska, including in-land destinations such as Denali. Radiance of the Seas will sail from Vancouver, British Columbia.

Sailing alternating, open-jaw itineraries between Vancouver and Seward, Radiance will introduce a second northbound itinerary that includes a visit to Icy Strait Point – a port owned and operated by native Alaskans.

Rounding out the Alaska deployment will be Serenade of the Seas, which will sail out of Vancouver and offer 7-night Alaska cruises, as well as land tour options. Serenade even has a 7-night Multi Glacier Experience cruise for six weeks of the season.

Guests on board Serenade can extend their stay with Royal Caribbean’s signature CruiseTours, a series of 2- to 6-night pre- or post-cruise land tours led by local experts.

Radiance and Serenade of the Seas will further expand Royal Caribbean’s reach with a fresh take on 7-night itineraries anchored by visits to Haines, Sitka, Ketchikan, Juneau and Seward, Alaska.

View the full Alaska 2022 itineraries:

Be sure to consult the Royal Caribbean website or your travel professional for further assistance with itinerary options and booking.

More about Alaska cruises

Royal Caribbean cancels 2020 Alaska, Canada/New England and Hawaii cruises

In:
02Jun2020

Royal Caribbean has informed travel agents that due to the Canadian Government restricting all cruise traffic through October 2020, its Alaska, Hawaii and Canada/New England cruises are cancelled.

The cruise line indicated itineraries touching on a Canadian port through October 2020 are suspended.

Similar to other cancelled cruises due to the current global health crisis, Royal Caribbean is offering guests three options:

Lift & Shift: Move your existing booking to next year, protecting the current price/promotion, simply by electing to remain on the same itinerary type, sailing length, stateroom category, and within the same 4-week period of their original cruise date same-time-next-year. Opt-in deadlines are as follows:

  • Sailings departing June 12-July 31, 2020
    • On-or-before June 10, 2020
  • Canada Port closures departing August 1-October 31, 2020
    • On-or-before June 17, 2020

Future Cruise Credit: You client will receive a Future Cruise Credit for 125% of the amount paid, to be redeemed on-or-before December 31, 2021 on sailings through April 2022. This option is automatic and will default if neither of the other options are selected.

Refund: If a refund is preferred, you can opt to receive a 100% refund of their cruise fare. No need to decide now – refund requests are available through December 31, 2020.

Last week, Canada's Public Health Agency announced it was extending its ban on cruises ships with more than 100 people through October 31, 2020.

Canada had originally closed off its borders to all cruise ships carrying more than 500 passengers and crew until between April 2 and July 1, 2020.

Without the ability to visit Canadian ports, Royal Caribbean cruises cannot legally offer sailings because of U.S. cabotage laws that require foreign-flagged vessels leaving from a U.S. port of call to first call on a "distant foreign port" before returning to the United States.

Royal Caribbean removes 2020 Alaska and Canada cruises from website

In:
Category: 
31May2020

Royal Caribbean's website no longer has 2020 cruises to Alaska or Canada available to book.

Canada announced on Friday it was extending its ban on cruise ships through the end of October 2020.

While Royal Caribbean has not officially informed guests that sailings that visit Canada between July 1 - October 31 are cancelled, all potentially affected sailings have been removed from being able to be booked on the cruise line site.

When searching for Alaska sailings, no dates in 2020 are available to search, and Brilliance of the Seas 2020 sailings from Boston are all removed, minus a repositioning cruise from Boston to Tampa.

Royal Caribbean indicated a "full update" will be made by Royal Caribbean on Tuesday, June 2nd, 2020.

If cruise ships cannot visit Canada, Royal Caribbean cannot legally operate sailings that do not visit a "nearby foreign port" during the sailing, due to the Passenger Vessel Services Act of 1886.

Thanks to RoyalCaribbeanBlog reader Bud Dickson for alerting us to this news.

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