Minister Garneau announces extended measures for cruise ships and pleasure craft in Canada

From: Transport Canada

The Government of Canada continues to monitor the evolution of the COVID-19 pandemic and the impact it is having on the marine and tourism sectors. Keeping Canadians and transportation workers safe during the pandemic is Transport Canada’s top priority.

Today, given the ongoing situation with COVID-19, the Minister of Transport, the Honourable Marc Garneau, announced the extension of measures pertaining to cruise ships and pleasure craft until February 28, 2021. This means:

  • Cruise ships with overnight accommodations carrying more than 100 people continue to be prohibited from operating in Canadian waters.
  • All other passenger vessels must continue following provincial, territorial, local and regional health authority guidance.
  • Passenger vessels carrying more than 12 people continue to be prohibited from entering Arctic coastal waters, including Nunatsiavut, Nunavik and the Labrador Coast.
  • Adventure-seeking pleasure craft also continue to be banned in Arctic waters.

Essential passenger vessels, such as ferries and water taxis, should continue following federal guidance and provincial, territorial, local and regional protocols, as well as mitigation measures, to reduce the risk of spreading COVID-19. These could include: reducing the number of passengers, ensuring physical distancing, the wearing of masks, as well as enhanced cleaning and hygiene measures.


“As Canadians are doing their part to help reduce the spread of COVID-19, the Government of Canada is working hard to ensure Canada’s transportation system remains safe. The extension of these temporary measures for cruise ships and other passenger vessels in Canada reflects our ongoing work with all levels of government, transportation industry stakeholders, and Indigenous peoples to help ensure appropriate measures are in place.”

The Honourable Marc Garneau

Minister of Transport

Quick facts

  • The temporary measures for cruise ships and pleasure craft, initially announced on March 19, 2020, and May 30, 2020, were scheduled to end on October 31, 2020.

  • Those who do not comply with the prohibition could be subject to
    penalties: $5,000 per day for individuals and $25,000 per day for

  • In Canada’s Arctic waters, these restrictions do
    not apply to craft used by local communities for essential
    transportation, subsistence fishing, harvesting and hunting.

  • There is no national ban for smaller cruise ships certified to carry 100
    or less passengers and crew. They must follow provincial, territorial,
    local and regional health authority protocols for timelines and
    processes around their operations.

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