Despite concerns up until quite recently that Canada's strict, 100 per cent vaccination requirements for entry into Canada could quash the resumption of cruising into the country, one cruise line has now confirmed it'll be operating full Alaska and Canada/New England cruise seasons this year.
While most cruise lines require almost complete vaccination to sail, the few exceptions permitted mean that ships are operating in the high 90-percentile of vaccination. That would have put them off-side of the Government of Canada requirement that every Canadian arrival must be vaccinated.
However, updated guidelines issued 07MAR by the Government of Canada 07MAR are enough to break the ice on the cruise season in Canada in 2022.
“We are well-positioned to follow Canada’s direction and continue delivering memorable cruise vacations that include Canadian ports,” said Gus Antorcha, president of Holland America Line.
“The completion of this guidance by Transport Canada, Canada Border Services Agency, Public Health Agency of Canada, and port officials will allow us to sail our Alaska and Canada/New England seasons as planned,” he added, calling it “ a positive step for everyone who loves to travel to these regions and for all of the businesses in Canada that we support through tourism."
Antorcha continued. “Many of the protocols Canada is applying were successfully implemented in the United States after the restart of cruising, and they are working well.”
Holland America Line says it will sail its full season of itineraries as scheduled that include Canadian homeports and ports of call from late spring through fall. Its Alaska cruises depart from Vancouver and call at Victoria; Canada/New England itineraries depart Montreal and Quebec and explore 13 Canadian ports.
The resumption comes as Holland America Line gets ready to celebrate 75 years of Alaska exploration in 2022. Ships in Alaska use Vancouver, Canada, as a homeport for roundtrip cruises and itineraries between Vancouver and Whittier, Alaska. Cruises that sail roundtrip from Seattle, Washington, to Alaska call at Victoria, Canada.
In Canada/New England, ships cruise between Montreal and Quebec City, Canada, and Boston, Massachusetts. Itineraries range from six to 24 days and call at 13 Canadian ports in Quebec, Newfoundland, Nova Scotia, Labrador and Prince Edward Island.
"We greatly value our longstanding partnership with Holland America Line, which was the first cruise line to call at the new Canada Place cruise terminal at the Port of Vancouver in 1986,” said Robin Silvester, president and CEO of Vancouver Fraser Port Authority. “We’re pleased to see the return of cruising in Canada, and we look forward to welcoming cruise lines, guests and crew back to Vancouver.”
“As people return to travel this summer, we know some will choose to stay a little closer to home,” Antorcha said. “Our Alaska land and sea packages and our Canada/New England sailings are great ways to resume exploring the world without traveling a great distance.”
The line’s first ship to arrive in Canada is Koningsdam, which calls at Victoria 09APR. On the eastern seaboard, Zaandam calls at Halifax, Nova Scotia, 17MAY while on a nine-day Atlantic Coast cruise sailing from Fort Lauderdale, Florida, to Montreal.
Alaska Cruises Sail from Vancouver and Call at Victoria
In 2022, Holland America Line will resume cruises to Alaska from the port of Vancouver and between Vancouver and Whittier.
- Seven-day “Glacier Discovery Northbound” and “Glacier Discovery Southbound” itineraries between Whittier and Vancouver aboard Nieuw Amsterdam and Noordam. Ports include Ketchikan, Juneau and Skagway, Alaska.
- Seven-day “Alaska Inside Passage” cruises sail roundtrip from Vancouver on Koningsdam, Nieuw Amsterdam, Noordam and Zuiderdam. Ports include Ketchikan, Juneau and Skagway.
- Seven-day “Alaskan Explorer” cruises sail roundtrip from Seattle aboard Eurodam and Westerdam. Ports include Victoria, Ketchikan, Juneau, Icy Strait and Sitka.
Canada/New England Cruises Resume for Summer and Fall
From May through October, Nieuw Statendam and Zaandam offer a series of six to 24-day departures between Boston and Quebec City or Montreal.
- Seven-day “Canada & New England Discovery” cruises between Montreal and Boston in summer and fall. Ports include Bar Harbor, Maine; and the Canadian destinations of Quebec City; Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island; and Sydney and Halifax, Nova Scotia.
- Six- or eight-day “Canada & New England Discovery” cruises between Quebec and Boston in the fall. Ports include Bar Harbor, Quebec City, Charlottetown, Sydney and Halifax.
- 10- and 11-day “Newfoundland and New England Discovery” cruises between Quebec and Boston visit a combination of Bar Harbor; Halifax; St. Johns, Corner Brook and St. Anthony, Newfoundland; and Baie-Comeau and Havre-Saint-Pierre, Quebec. The 11-day includes an overnight at Quebec.
- 24-day “Canada, New England and Iceland” departing Aug. 3, 2022, roundtrip from Boston. Calls at Sydney, Corner Brook, St. Anthony, St. Johns, Halifax, Saint Pierre & Miquelon and Red Bay, all in Canada; along with Qaqortoq and Nanortalik, Greenland; Isafjordur, Seydisfjordur, Djupivogur, Reykjavik and Grundarfjordur, Iceland; and Bar Harbor.
- Leisurely nine-day repositioning cruises along the Atlantic Coast between Montreal and Fort Lauderdale, Florida, in May and October feature calls at Boston, Bar Harbor, Halifax, Sydney and Quebec. A 14-day cruise in fall from Quebec to Fort Lauderdale adds Portland, Maine; and Charlottetown, Gaspe and Saguenay, Canada.