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Cruises U.S. Congressional Committee Asks Canada to Reconsider Cruise Ban


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This is part of an email that my Travel Agent sent me. It was from a Cruise trade organization.

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March 1, 2021

""The U.S. House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee recently sent a letter about the negative impact of that ban to Canada’s ambassador to the United States. That bipartisan letter was signed by U.S. Congressional representatives Peter DeFazio, Bob Gibbs, Sam Graves, Salud Carbajal and Don Young.

Finding a Solution 

Current U.S. law does not permit foreign-flagged ships (most of the global cruise fleet) to sail between U.S. ports without a foreign port call. So, port calls at such Canadian destinations as Victoria and Vancouver, B.C., are essential during the Alaska season.

 

It's also expected that the current Canadian cruise ship ban (if that continues) will adversely impact the fall New England/Canada season. 

The committee's letter encouraged the Government of Canada to work together with U.S. officials and cruise and travel stakeholders to find “a mutually agreeable solution.” It suggested that Canada could permit ships to make a “technical stop” in Canada with those ships not letting any passengers go ashore. 

"It is our hope that this solution would both address the important health concerns of Canadian authorities and allow cruises to resume with the approval of U.S. government authorities when it is deemed safe to do so," the letter stated. 

In a statement, Zane Kerby, president and CEO of the American Society of Travel Advisors (ASTA), said: “Government action—here and abroad—has played a key role in the decimation of our industry, the most recent example being the Canadian government’s announcement that it is closing its ports to cruise ships through early 2022."

Given U.S. law, "Canada’s decision (unless soon reversed) imperils any chance to execute the 2021 Alaska and Canada/New England cruise seasons," Kerby added. 

ASTA said it's seeking a solution to the impasse whether that be legislative, regulatory or diplomatic: "With the vaccination rollout underway and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention working with cruise lines to resume cruising from U.S. ports, there is promise for the summer and fall seasons. Government and industry must work together, find a solution and keep that promise.”

Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA), the cruise industry’s trade association, thanked the House members for their leadership in facilitating dialogue with the Canadian government. In a statement, CLIA said that it "looks forward to working with the Canadian and U.S. authorities on a solution that addresses the public health needs of Americans and Canadians alike, while responsibly restarting a critical economic driver for the Pacific Northwest and Alaska.""

 

 

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I would guess we're going to need the CDC to say it's ok to cruise, before we even think about Canada allowing us in. If Canada says, fine you can come and the CDC doesn't sign off, we're still in a mess. I think we need the CDC first, don't we?

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, Mudhen said:

I would guess we're going to need the CDC to say it's ok to cruise, before we even think about Canada allowing us in. If Canada says, fine you can come and the CDC doesn't sign off, we're still in a mess. I think we need the CDC first, don't we?

Agree!!! The CDC should begin to re-examine the cruising issue. Biden says everyone in the US can be vaccinated by May.... let’s get moving on new rules. 
sheila

Edited by Bellaggio Cruisers
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This is a sincere question.  Why is Congress putting the onus on Canada, without first looking to fix the problem within its own borders?  In other words, why not amend (temporarily) the PVSA?  Or why can't cruise ships nip down to Mexico, to fulfill the foreign port requirement?  There must be problems that I can't fathom when this solution is so obvious.

 

I acknowledge that Canadian tourism will stand to gain (or suffer if the ports remain closed).  Let's assume for this situation they can live with that.

 

Thanks for your ideas and responses.

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To an outsider it does seem odd that U.S. Representatives are lobbying Canada to change its policy when the basis of the problem seems to be with an archaic, and apparently ineffective, U.S. law; and when the CDC has  given no clarity as to when it will allow cruising to/from U.S. ports.

 

All academic for us in the UK as we are not yet allowed to travel and even when we can there is no indication as to when we might be allowed to enter the USA.

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1 minute ago, flossie009 said:

All academic for us in the UK as we are not yet allowed to travel and even when we can there is no indication as to when we might be allowed to enter the USA.

. . . or Guernsey.

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5 hours ago, flossie009 said:

To an outsider it does seem odd that U.S. Representatives are lobbying Canada to change its policy when the basis of the problem seems to be with an archaic, and apparently ineffective, U.S. law; and when the CDC has  given no clarity as to when it will allow cruising to/from U.S. ports.

 

All academic for us in the UK as we are not yet allowed to travel and even when we can there is no indication as to when we might be allowed to enter the USA.

You nailed it, as usual. Great analysis. Hope all is well.

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17 hours ago, Bellaggio Cruisers said:

Agree!!! The CDC should begin to re-examine the cruising issue. Biden says everyone in the US can be vaccinated by May.... let’s get moving on new rules. 
sheila

Actually what was said is that enough vaccine to vaccinate everyone in the US will be available.  Much different than everyone being vaccinated.   Of course this depends on the ability of the companies to actually deliver the vaccines and the ability to actually vaccinate everyone since based on the number of people being vaccinated per day of say 2 million (higher than we have ever been), with about 300 million needing to be vaccinated would take 150 days from now or end of July and that does not take into account the number of people who need 2 jabs from Maderna and Pfizer.  So not before the fall at the 2 million rate and certainly not May.

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3 minutes ago, rallydave said:

Actually what was said is that enough vaccine to vaccinate everyone in the US will be available.  Much different than everyone being vaccinated.   Of course this depends on the ability of the companies to actually deliver the vaccines and the ability to actually vaccinate everyone since based on the number of people being vaccinated per day of say 2 million (higher than we have ever been), with about 300 million needing to be vaccinated would take 150 days from now or end of July and that does not take into account the number of people who need 2 jabs from Maderna and Pfizer.  So not before the fall at the 2 million rate and certainly not May.

Potentially, everyone who wants to cruise can be vaccinated before July or August. So, don’t you think the CDC and the cruise lines should start talking now and can come to some agreement  on how and when to start cruising again.
The situation is much different than last October, when now antiquated proposals were made. 

I will not debate which vaccines will be used..don’t forget the one-shot J and J vaccine. 
You may not be anxious to cruise....we are!

sheila

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10 minutes ago, Bellaggio Cruisers said:

Potentially, everyone who wants to cruise can be vaccinated before July or August.

Sincerely doubt everyone.  For instance those under 16 or 18 depending on the Vaccine cannot be vaccinated until studies are complete.  And some who want to cruise will not be able to get vaccinated.  A lot yes  but, certainly not everyone.

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1 minute ago, rallydave said:

Sincerely doubt everyone.  For instance those under 16 or 18 depending on the Vaccine cannot be vaccinated until studies are complete.  And some who want to cruise will not be able to get vaccinated.  A lot yes  but, certainly not everyone.

Come on... how many 16 or 18 year olds cruise on Regent? Sorry you are such a downer. I do not believe anyone who wants to cruise can not be vaccinated by July! And, those who refuse to be vaccinated, that’s your problem. No vaccine.. no cruise. 
Now, for those of us who want to cruise by end of summer, beginning of fall, plans need to be made by CDC and the cruise lines, based on the vaccine information. 
sheila

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Follow the science on vaccinations for children. It is basically not needed, especially is herd immunity is in place for adults and the most vulnerable.

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Posted (edited)

Ok... I am reading some of your comments and wonder why you think it is controversial to want the CDC to revisit its rules about cruising, with the vaccines being given throughout the the United States. 
Certainly, most everyone, who is a Regent cruiser, would like to know what the new proposals will be. 
I guess some folks feel the need to comment. Yes, Children cruise Alaska. But with Canada not allowing our ships into their waters, Alaska will not happen this summer. The age issue is mute. Those that plan to visit Europe this summer with children, may not be able to. 
It’s  time for all the speculation to be over. 
But, back to my issue.... what will the CDC propose with vaccines being so readily available to cruisers? The date is up to the CDC. Not you or me. 
Thats been my point all along. Sorry to those who were confused.

sheila

Edited by Bellaggio Cruisers
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12 minutes ago, Bellaggio Cruisers said:

Ok... I am reading some of your comments and wonder why you think it is controversial to want the CDC to revisit its rules about cruising, with the vaccines being given throughout the the United States. 
Certainly, most everyone, who is a Regent cruiser, would like to know what the new proposals will be. 
I guess some folks feel the need to comment. Yes, Children cruise Alaska. But with Canada not allowing our ships into their waters, Alaska will not happen this summer. The age issue is mute. Those that plan to visit Europe this summer with children, may not be able to. 
It’s  time for all the speculation to be over. 
But, back to my issue.... what will the CDC propose with vaccines being so readily available to cruisers? The date is up to the CDC. Not you or me. 
Thats been my point all along. Sorry to those who were confused.

sheila

 

Sorry Sheila, I thought this thread was explicitly about Alaska.  Right?  As for children as passengers being a moot point, well maybe.  Cruiselines will have to decide what to do about this, since there is no vaccine for kids right now, and probably the foreseeable future.

 

As for the CDC, they are probably attempting to regroup and re-gather their scientific sensibilities under the new administration.  Plus, I'm sure they are looking at the numbers to see if they can forecast the downward trajectory that I'm sure they want.  Since they did what they did last year, now they have to come up with a rational, well-thought-out plan, so they're not rushing it.  Just my opinion.

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2 minutes ago, Wendy The Wanderer said:

As for the CDC, they are probably attempting to regroup and re-gather their scientific sensibilities under the new administration.  Plus, I'm sure they are looking at the numbers to see if they can forecast the downward trajectory that I'm sure they want.  Since they did what they did last year, now they have to come up with a rational, well-thought-out plan, so they're not rushing it.  Just my opinion.

I agree.  It would probably be a good thing for the cruise lines and CDC to be actively working together on a plan for reopening, but I will be very surprised if the existing order is revised much before it expires.  I think the CDC would rather keep it very slow than move too fast.

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Posted (edited)
5 hours ago, Bellaggio Cruisers said:

...everyone who wants to cruise can be vaccinated before July or August. ...

Everyone? The world's estimated population is 7.8 billion. Perhaps you mean everyone in the US.  But other countries may not.  Where will you go?  There are a number of coronavirus vaccine trackers on the internet.  Here is just one.

https://ourworldindata.org/covid-vaccinations

 

Secondly, where on CDC's priority list do you think resuming cruising falls?  You might want to look at their annual report for 2020, which includes looking forward for 2021.  

https://www.cdc.gov/about/organization/strategic-framework/2020-annual-report.html

 

And it's not just the CDC.  A month ago on cruiseindustry news, I was reading about the various players that need to be involved in order to get cruising going again.  

https://www.cruiseindustrynews.com/cruise-news/24278-immigration-new-zealand-throws-wrench-into-ponant-s-february-cruises.html

https://www.cruiseindustrynews.com/cruise-news/24275-baltic-ports-ready-for-2021-cruise-season-ask-authorities-to-cooperate.html

 

Ponant seemed to be doing a good job of working with the various players, and getting necessary approvals in place.  Then one new player was added to the mix, 

https://www.cruiseindustrynews.com/cruise-news/24307-immigration-new-zealand-denies-ponant-s-local-program.html

and Ponant was forced to cancel entirely.

 

I think it just highlights that no matter how optimistic we all try to be, we must be prepared for cruising again to be a long way off.

Edited by crickette
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Posted (edited)

Cruising will be a long way off... because not enough of you are asking questions of the CDC or the cruise lines. 
We just canceled our cruise for September 2021 because there isn’t a bit of information with regard to any ideas and solutions being discussed for future cruising.
After all CDC approvals are made public, it will take months to be implemented by the cruise lines. September is just six months away. 
Remember, the cruise lines will not be able to financially sustain themselves through 2022.
Many of you use your own suppositions of what you think might happen.

I have tried to be pro active and positive..
Since none of you try to encourage the release of any new information, I will no longer get into a contest with anyone. ..I surrender.


We just booked a two week land trip to Israel to replace our cruise. 
sheila

Edited by Bellaggio Cruisers
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43 minutes ago, Bellaggio Cruisers said:

Cruising will be a long way off... because not enough of you are asking questions of the CDC or the cruise lines. 
We just canceled our cruise for September 2021 because there isn’t a bit of information with regard to any ideas and solutions being discussed for future cruising.
After all CDC approvals are made public, it will take months to be implemented by the cruise lines. September is just six months away. 
Remember, the cruise lines will not be able to financially sustain themselves through 2022.
Many of you use your own suppositions of what you think might happen.

I have tried to be pro active and positive..
Since none of you try to encourage the release of any new information, I will no longer get into a contest with anyone. ..I surrender.


We just booked a two week land trip to Israel to replace our cruise. 
sheila

You will not give up...and that is what I admire. Travel does not always need to be on a ship, although it makes life easier.

The CDC cannot even figure out what the now vaccinated are allowed to do. Crazy! This was supposed to be the chance to be normal again or at least semi normal. 14 days to slow the spread and here we are:(

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3 hours ago, TrulyBlonde said:

You will not give up...and that is what I admire. Travel does not always need to be on a ship, although it makes life easier.

The CDC cannot even figure out what the now vaccinated are allowed to do. Crazy! This was supposed to be the chance to be normal again or at least semi normal. 14 days to slow the spread and here we are:(

Thank you so much for your support... I needed it!

sheila

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On 3/3/2021 at 5:52 PM, crickette said:

Why is Congress putting the onus on Canada, without first looking to fix the problem within its own borders? 

Crickette, this as well as your other observations are very perceptive.

 

It's unbelievable that members of the US Congress would ask Canada to create a loophole to circumvent a US law for which the US Congress is responsible. It's the responsibility of the US government to suspend the PVSA if it wants Alaska and New England cruises.

 

As for the CDC, it's a giant slow-moving bureaucracy which has no incentive to get US passengers quickly back on foreign flagged cruise ships.

 

As for vaccines, most countries are way behind the US, especially the countries where most of the cruise ship crews come from.

 

Cruising will resume again, but it's going to take more time.

 

Tom.

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But, back to my issue.... what will the CDC propose with vaccines being so readily available to cruisers? The date is up to the CDC. Not you or me. 
Thats been my point all along. Sorry to those who were confused.
 

shelia, this is my concern as well. I don’t understand why the CDC hasn’t updated, released or provided any other information as to sailing requirements since the vaccine is becoming widely available. We are going to have to live with covid one way or another, so i don’t see why no one seems to be doing anything about this. It’s not just that I want to sail again, but this is a huge economical factor as well. 

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On 3/4/2021 at 10:25 PM, giustot said:

 

It's unbelievable that members of the US Congress would ask Canada to create a loophole to circumvent a US law for which the US Congress is responsible. It's the responsibility of the US government to suspend the PVSA if it wants Alaska and New England cruises.

 

 

Because the members of congress can then claim "Hey, look we did something and tried"..but "Canada didn't budge...their fault", rather than doing something constructive and fix it in country.  

:-)

 

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