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Canada cruise protocols clear way for HAL's Alaska, Canada/New England

Nieuw Amsterdam at Vancouver's Canada Place
Holland America Line said Canada's newly published procedures for the safe resumption of cruises to its ports allows the completion of preparations for a full season of Alaska and Canada/New England sailings.

Vaccination for 12 and up

The protocols include COVID-19 vaccination for everyone 12 and older, a PCR test taken within 72 hours or an antigen test taken within one day of embarking for the cruise and, if disembarking in Canada, a PCR test taken within 72 hours or an antigen test no more than one day before the scheduled arrival. 

Cruise travelers must also use the ArriveCan website to provide mandatory travel information before their cruise departs.

Holland America confirmed it will sail itineraries as scheduled that include Canadian homeports and ports of call from late spring through fall.

Positive step

'The completion of this guidance by Transport Canada, Canada Border Services Agency, Public Health Agency of Canada and port officials will allow us to sail our Alaska and Canada/New England seasons as planned,' HAL President Gus Antorcha said. 'This is a positive step for everyone who loves to travel to these regions and for all of the businesses in Canada that we support through tourism.

'Many of the protocols Canada is applying were successfully implemented in the United States after the restart of cruising, and they are working well,' Antorcha continued. 'We are well-positioned to follow Canada’s direction and continue delivering memorable cruise vacations that include Canadian ports.'

Vancouver and Victoria calls

The resumption comes as HAL gets ready to mark 75 years of Alaska exploration in 2022. Its ships use Vancouver, BC, as a homeport for round-trips and open-jaw sailings between Vancouver and Whittier. Round-trip Seattle cruises also call at Victoria, BC.

Montréal and Québec turnarounds

In Canada/New England, HAL ships cruise between Montréal and Québec City, and Boston. Itineraries range from six to 24 days and call at 13 Canadian ports in Québec, Newfoundland, Nova Scotia, Labrador and Prince Edward Island.

'We greatly value our longstanding partnership with Holland America Line, which was the first cruise line to call at the new Canada Place cruise terminal at the Port of Vancouver in 1986,' said Robin Silvester, president and CEO of Vancouver Fraser Port Authority. 'We’re pleased to see the return of cruising in Canada, and we look forward to welcoming cruise lines, guests and crew back to Vancouver.'

Close-to-home options

'As people return to travel this summer, we know some will choose to stay a little closer to home,' Antorcha said. 'Our Alaska land and sea packages and our Canada/New England sailings are great ways to resume exploring the world without traveling a great distance.'

Six ships in Alaska and two in Canada/New England

HAL is fielding six Alaska ships this season, while two ships will be in Canada/New England from May through October. 

The line’s first ship to arrive in Canada is Koningsdam, set to call at Victoria April 9 en route to Vancouver for April 10 arrival. On the Eastern Seaboard, Zaandam is scheduled to visit Halifax, Nova Scotia, May 17 as part of a nine-day Atlantic Coast cruise sailing from Fort Lauderdale, Florida, to Montréal.

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