NL Gazette

Cruise ships back to St. John’s after two years of COVID-19 revocations

Nfld and Labrador

Key takeaways: 

  • The first ship is planned to arrive on June 12.
  • St. John’s Coun. Debbie Hanlon says 30 cruise vessels will arrive at St. John’s between June and October.

Cruise vessels will be back to St. John’s port this summer for the first time since 2019, with the first one will come in June.

St. John’s Coun. Debbie Hanlon and St. John’s Port Authority harbor master Melissa Williams declared Thursday, saying 30 ships will enter the port between June and October — good news for the region’s businesses, stated Hanlon.

“They’re keen about it,” Hanlon said. “With the pedestrian mall opening, we hope it to be an improved feature for the cruise vessel passengers.

“So everyone I’ve spoken to is enthusiastic regarding it on the business level.”

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Cruise vessels will be back to St. John’s port this summer

Cruise ships have not been able to work in local waters since 2019, as the COVID-19 pandemic closed down both the 2020 and 2021 seasons. The federal government’s prohibition on cruise ships traveling to Canadian ports, passed in 2020 to restrict the spread of COVID-19, was raised by federal Transport Minister Omar Alghabra on Nov. 1.

Hanlon said the city hopes to see about 80 percent of its traffic in 2019 when cruise ship passengers and crew spend around $10 million in the province.

Ships and passengers will face rigid COVID-19 guidelines enforced by Transport Canada and Public Health, demanding travelers be vaccinated entirely and give a negative COVID-19 test one to two days before entering port.

Williams said ships would also have to identify any positive cases of symptomatic travelers on board four days before coming. Boats will be set by a string of four threat levels, which will decide how the ship is managed when it comes. She said vessels could be diverted if the COVID-19 threat tier is too high. 

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