Canada welcomes HAL ship as cruise returns following hiatus

Cruise ships return to Canada following two-year hiatus

The first cruise ship to call in Canada since 2019 arrived in the country on 9 April, following a two-year hiatus due to the pandemic.

Holland America Line’s Koningsdam sailed into Victoria, before departing for Vancouver.

CLIA president and CEO Kelly Craighead said: “We’ve worked a long time to make this day happen and we are delighted to be back.

“I want to acknowledge the support of British Columbia’s premier John Horgan and provincial Transportation, Tourism and Health officials, as well as the minister of transport, Omar Alghabra and his officials, the Public Health Agency of Canada and the Canadian Border Services Agency.

“They’ve all worked tirelessly with cruise lines, ports, and community partners to facilitate a responsible return of cruise tourism to Canada.

“We can now get on with rebuilding the 17,000 jobs in British Columbia and $2.7 billion in economic activity that cruise generated prior to 2020.”

Cruise an ‘important’ part of Canadian economy

Canada’s transportation and infrastructure minister Rob Fleming added: “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.

“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 return was also welcomed by the Tourism Industry Association of Canada (TIAC). Its CEO Beth Potter said: “The cruise industry is an important sector within Canada’s tourism economy. Prior to 2020, it contributed more than $4 billion to the Canadian economy annually and supported 30,000 jobs.

“The past two years have been incredibly difficult and TIAC has been actively involved with shepherding the industry through these challenging times, creating the National Cruise Committee in June 2021 made up of our members, Canadian organisations that operate in the global cruise industry. As such, we’re delighted to welcome cruise visitors back to our beautiful shores.”

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