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Thursday,  June 13, 2024 11:30 PM 

“We will continue to push for a solution:” ASTA CEO sounds off on Canada cruise ban

“We will continue to push for a solution:” ASTA CEO sounds off on Canada cruise ban
Zane Kerby, ASTA President & CEO.

According to The American Society of Travel Advisors (ASTA), Canada's decision to close its ports to cruise ships until early 2022 is another example of how government action is destructive to the travel industry.

Association CEO Zane Kerby says the move shatters any hope of saving the Alaska and New England cruise season.

“Whether legislative, regulatory, or diplomatic, we will continue to push for a solution to this impasse, wrote Kerby in a statement published this past weekend.

When it comes to Alaska cruises, couldn't the answer be to simply offer cruises between Alaska and Washington State (non-stop in Canada)?

Not in the current state of things, wrote Kerby. 

READ MORE: Canada cruise ban: America suggests a compromise

It should be noted, in fact, that an American law (the Passenger Vessel Services Act - PVSA) prohibits ships flying a foreign flag from sailing directly between ports in the United States.

ASTA therefore endorses the compromise proposed last week to Canada's Ambassador to the United States by the House of Representatives' Transport and Infrastructure Committee.

It should be noted that this proposal suggests that Canada allow cruise ships to make technical stops in Canada without disembarking passengers there. In this way, the ships would meet the requirements of the PVSA without risking the health of Canadians.

READ MORE: “Unacceptable”: Alaska is angry at Canada for extending cruise ban to 2022

Another option that would also be approved by ASTA: that the United States government temporarily relax the PVSA to allow round-trip cruises between Alaska and Washington State (non-stop in Canada).

Save promising seasons

No matter what, efforts must attempt to save the Alaskan and New England cruise season, ASTA insists.

While the deployment of the COVID-19 vaccination is well underway in the United States and the CDC is collaborating with the cruise lines to revive the cruises from the American ports, "the summer and fall seasons are promising,” said Kerby.

“Government and industry must work together, find a solution and keep that promise,” Kerby wrote.

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