Last month, the Canadian government announced that all cruise liners carrying over 100 people would not be permitted in Canada’s internal waters until at least February 28, 2022.
According to the official announcement:
The Government of Canada continues to monitor the evolving COVID-19 pandemic and the impact it is having on the marine and tourism sectors. Keeping Canadians and transportation workers safe and healthy are top priorities for Transport Canada.
Today, the Minister of Transport, the Honourable Omar Alghabra, announced two new Interim Orders, which prohibit pleasure craft in Canadian Arctic waters and cruise vessels in all Canadian waters until February 28, 2022. This means:
- Adventure-seeking pleasure craft are still prohibited from entering Arctic waters.
- Passenger vessels carrying more than 12 people are still prohibited from entering Arctic coastal waters, including Nunatsiavut, Nunavik, and the Labrador Coast.
- Cruise vessels carrying more than 100 people are still prohibited from operating in Canadian waters.
This decree, of course, impacted Disney Cruise Line’s 2021 Alaskan cruise season, which runs from May through September annually. DCL has already canceled all of its May 2021 cruises.
Disney Cruise Line Blog provided a full list of potentially affected Alaskan cruises:
- Monday June 7, 2021 7-Night Alaskan Cruise from Vancouver
- Monday June 14, 2021 7-Night Alaskan Cruise from Vancouver
- Monday June 21, 2021 7-Night Alaskan Cruise from Vancouver
- Monday June 28, 2021 7-Night Alaskan Cruise from Vancouver
- Monday July 5, 2021 2-Night Seattle Cruise from Vancouver
- Wednesday July 7, 2021 5-Night Alaskan Cruise from Vancouver
- Monday July 12, 2021 7-Night Alaskan Cruise from Vancouver
- Monday July 19, 2021 7-Night Alaskan Cruise from Vancouver
- Monday July 26, 2021 7-Night Alaskan Cruise from Vancouver
- Monday August 2, 2021 7-Night Alaskan Cruise from Vancouver
- Monday August 9, 2021 7-Night Alaskan Cruise from Vancouver
- Monday August 16, 2021 7-Night Alaskan Cruise from Vancouver
- Monday August 23, 2021 7-Night Alaskan Cruise from Vancouver
- Monday August 30, 2021 7-Night Alaskan Cruise from Vancouver
- Monday September 6, 2021 7-Night Alaskan Cruise from Vancouver
- Monday September 13, 2021 4-Night Pacific Coast Cruise from Vancouver
All of the ships in the Disney Cruise Line fleet — the Disney Wonder, the Disney Magic, the Disney Fantasy, and the Disney Dream — carry far more than 100 passengers onboard at any given time.
It was assumed that it would be a total of three years before Disney Cruises to Alaska could resume, seeing as the last time Disney sailed to Alaska was in 2019. Now, however, Disney has given Alaskan cruisers hope for 2021. The official Disney Cruise Line website now features the following notice:
In light of the Canadian government’s announcement that they will not allow ships with more than 100 passengers to dock in any Canadian port until February 28, 2022, we are evaluating various options for the Disney Wonder’s scheduled season in Alaska. Once a decision is made, we will reach out to Guests booked on these sailings.
Additionally, as previously shared, based on the conditional sail order provided by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Disney Cruise Line must cancel sailings longer than 7 nights.
This new information indicates that Disney might not be ready to cancel its 2021 Alaska season just yet, as the cruise operator was forced to do in 2020.
There are a couple of possible options Disney Cruise Line officials could be looking at in a bid to save Alaskan itineraries this year. First, they could consider limiting capacity to under 100 people on a ship — this, however, seems extremely unlikely.
The more plausible option is that Disney is considering routes to Alaska that would not include traveling in Canadian waters. Canada’s internal waters include everything within the boundaries of the Canadian Arctic islands. This encompasses the famous Northwest Passage.
It is also worth noting that any Disney ship departures scheduled out of the Port of Vancouver are likely to be impacted by Canada’s new cruise restrictions. If you have questions regarding your departure port for any upcoming Disney vacation itinerary, contact your travel agent or Disney Cruise Line directly.
Disney recently extended its future cruise credit deadline to allow Guests whose itineraries have been canceled more time to re-book. This could make it easier for passengers to reserve a stateroom on an Alaskan sailing or an upcoming Disney Wish sailing in 2022.
Stay tuned to Inside the Magic for additional details about Alaska Disney Cruise vacations in 2021. Remember, at this time Disney has not officially confirmed whether or not Disney Cruise Line will be able to visit Alaska this year.
If you are interested in booking a Disney Cruise Line vacation for a future date, contact the expert team at Academy Travel for assistance with every magical detail! Whether or not you have an existing cruise credit, they can help you book passage to Disney’s private island, Castaway Cay, in the Bahamas out of Port Canaveral or help you set sail on a Frozen-inspired adventure to Northern Europe.