Halifax 2020 Cruise Season Suspended

The Covid Chronicle

**** Port of Halifax Release

Halifax 2020 Cruise Season Suspended

The Halifax 2020 Cruise Season has been suspended due to COVID-19. Updated measures announced earlier today by the Minister of Transport, the Honourable Marc Garneau, effectively mean there will be no cruise vessel calls in Halifax this year. Please click here for the full announcement. This is done to protect the health and well-being of all involved.

The Halifax Port Authority has been and will continue to 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.

Minister Garneau announces updated measures for cruise ships and passenger vessels in Canadian waters up to October 31, 2020

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

Today, the Minister of Transport, the Honourable Marc Garneau, announced updated measures pertaining to cruise ships and passenger vessels in Canadian waters.

  • Cruise ships with overnight accommodations allowed to carry more than 100 persons are prohibited from operating in Canadian waters until October 31, 2020.
  • As of July 1, 2020, all other passenger vessels must follow provincial, territorial, local and regional health authority requirements for timelines and processes to resume operations.

Passenger vessels with the capacity to carry more than 12 persons continue to be prohibited from entering Arctic coastal waters (including Nunatsiavut, Nunavik and the Labrador Coast) until October 31, 2020.

Beginning July 1, 2020, passenger vessels will be allowed to operate in inland rivers and lakes in the Northwest Territories, Nunavut and Yukon.

Essential passenger vessels, such as ferries and water taxis, should continue to operate using mitigation measures. These could include reducing the number of passengers or using alternative practices such as keeping people in their vehicles, when safe to do so, or enhanced cleaning and hygiene measures to reduce the risk of spreading COVID-19.


“Our Government is committed to protecting Canadians, particularly during these challenging times. It is for that reason I am announcing updated measures for cruise ships and other passenger vessels in Canada, which includes prohibiting larger cruise ships from operating in Canadian waters until October 31, 2020. Our Government continues to work with other levels of government, transportation industry stakeholders, and Indigenous peoples to re-examine measures and to ensure Canada’s transportation system remains safe and secure during this time. We are all in this together.”

Minister of Transport
The Honourable Marc Garneau

Quick facts

  • Those who do not comply with the prohibitions could be subject to a penalty of $5,000 per day for an individual and $25,000 per day for a corporation.
  • In Canada’s Arctic Waters, these restrictions do not apply to pleasure craft used by local communities, or used for purposes such as essential transportation or subsistence fishing, harvesting and hunting.

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