Many ports will continue restrictions on cruise ship visits well into 2020

Ports at many of the world’s leading cruise destinations have no intention of opening up their borders to cruise ships. British Columbia’s Health Minister and Provincial Health Officer have said that they were “not in favour of cruise ships coming anywhere in British Columbia at this time.”

However, the Port of Vancouver, in British Columbia, has been quoted as saying they were making preparations to welcome cruise ships back.

The province continues to have a 14-day self-isolation rule in place that would prevent passengers or crew on a visiting ship from coming ashore.

The ports of British Columbia are needed by cruise ships on an Alaskan itinerary. More than 600 cruises had been scheduled for the Alaskan market in 2020, with 1,440,000 passengers providing a vital economic contribution to the region.

Holland America Line and Princess Cruises have already announced the cancellation of all their 2020 cruises to Alaska, although Norwegian Cruise Line and Royal Caribbean International are still offering 2020 Alaska cruises.

Grand Cayman, which is a frequent stopping point for cruises in the western Caribbean, has said that its borders would remain officially closed until at least September 1st.

Australia and New Zealand’s governments and travel officials have said it was too soon to think about lifting the restrictions currently in place.

Norway has announced that it plans to keep its borders closed until at least the end of the summer season.

In the Seychelles there have been reports that cruise ships could be barred through to 2022.

The Bahamas and Jamaica have said that they will do everything they can to support the cruise industry.

A seemingly unrelated decision by US Customs and Border Protection in 2015 eliminated the possibility of “cruises to nowhere”. For crew visas to be processed on ships that start and end in the US, there has to be at least one port of call.

Executives at European and Asia-based cruise lines have postulated the possibility of intra-country cruises, stopping off only at ports in the same country as where the cruise ship begins and ends its journey. What is uncertain is to what extent this will appeal to cruise ship passengers.