After a two-year absence, the province of British Columbia, Canada, was set to welcome its first cruise ship in more than two years. Holland America Line’s Koningsdam arrived in Victoria on Saturday, April 9 and then sailed to Vancouver on Sunday, April 10.
“We are thrilled to be the first cruise line back into Canada after such a long absence, and we look forward to celebrating a great moment for everyone who loves to travel and for those in Canada and Alaska whose livelihoods depend on tourism,” said Gus Antorcha, president of Holland America Line. “Holland America Line has a robust schedule of cruises that explore Canadian ports on both coasts with Alaska, Hawaii, transatlantic and Canada and New England itineraries.”
Canada was one of the primary nations to disassociate itself from cruising when the pandemic hit in March of 2020. The complete industry has since taken broad measures to overhaul its wellbeing and safety measures.
That incorporates verification of a negative COVID-19 test prior to boarding; regular testing of Crew; an environment where each qualified individual is inoculated; continuous sanitation of all open spaces and guest/crew rooms; mask-wearing, social separating, improved discuss ventilation, and other measures that public health specialists around the world have endorsed.
As a result, CLIA cruise lines individuals are cruising nowadays with a few of the most noteworthy levels of COVID-19 moderation, with compelling health protocols that are unmatched by for all intents and purposes any other commercial setting.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a staunch critic of the cruise industry, finally relaxed its warnings on cruise travel late last month.
“British Columba celebrates the return of cruise ships and their passengers, as we work toward rebuilding our tourism economy and the significant contributions the cruise industry made to our province prior to the pandemic,” said Hon. Rob Fleming, B.C.s Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure. “We know that cruise ship passengers enjoy everything our communities have to offer, helping support thousands of jobs in the maritime, tourism, hospitality, and agricultural sectors across the province.”
“The cruise industry is an important sector within Canada’s tourism economy,” says Beth Potter, CEO, the Tourism Industry Association of Canada (TIAC). “Prior to 2020, it contributed more than $4 billion to the Canadian economy annually and supported 30,000 jobs.”
Koningsdam’s call at Victoria marks 905 days since a cruise ship has visited the port, and it also will be a maiden call for the ship. To mark the milestones, Antorcha and local government officials will be on hand in both Victoria and Vancouver to celebrate the return to Canadian cruising and address the importance Canada and Alaska to Holland America Line.
In 2022, six Holland America Line ships will call at Victoria and Vancouver for the Alaska cruise season. In total, the six ships will make 45 calls at Victoria and bring nearly 75,000 guests to the port, and 76 cruises begin or end at Vancouver, welcoming approximately 140,000 guests.
For Canada and New England cruising on the East Coast, two ships return in May and cruise between Boston, Massachusetts, and Quebec City or Montreal, Quebec. Nieuw Statendam and Zaandam offer itineraries ranging from seven to 24 days to more than 12 Canadian ports.
In total for 2022, Holland America Line operates 141 cruises on eight ships in Canada with more than 250,000 guests visiting both coasts.