On March 13, Canada’s Transport Minister announced a suspension of cruise across Canada until July 1. United States maritime laws require foreign flagged vessels, which include many cruise ships, to stop at a foreign port on a U.S. port to U.S. port itinerary. This is why most Seattle to Alaska cruise itineraries visit Victoria, and changes in Canada can impact Seattle-based cruises.
All aspects of the Port’s operations are impacted by the global response to COVID-19, including Canada’s decision to suspend its cruise season. Maintaining the health, safety, and wellbeing of our community is our top priority. The Port has already cancelled the first two sailings of its season, originally scheduled for April 1 and 5. We are reviewing Transport Canada’s actions and evaluating the order’s impacts on the 2020 Alaska cruise season. The pace of change and scale of operational impact is significant, and we will continue to work closely with stakeholders on next steps.
About Cruise at the Port of Seattle
- 2020 schedule originally expected to run April 1 – October 19
- Generates approximately $900 million in business activity for the region
- Directly supports 5,500 jobs
- 2020 cruise season expected to serve 1.3 million revenue passengers. (Revenue passengers counts passengers as they depart and arrive at our terminals. The number of individuals who cruise through the Port of Seattle is closer to 650,000).