British Columbia’s first cruise season in three years looks set to get off to a stylish start with the cancellation of the first ship scheduled to dock in BC since the start of the epidemic.
Princess Cruise’s Caribbean Princess was scheduled for April 6 in Victoria and April 7 in Vancouver.
The agency said it had been canceled because it wanted to work on the ship, but U.S. officials confirmed they were also investigating the COVID-19 on board.
The US Center for Disease Control and Infection listed the ship with an “orange” status, meaning the number of cases reported to the board (0.3 percent of passengers and crew or more) met its threshold for investigation.
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Princess Cruz has confirmed that the Caribbean Princess’ scheduled four-day trip from San Francisco to Vancouver has been canceled, but did not mention Covid-19 as a reason.
“Princess Cruises has made a tough decision to cancel the coastal portion of the upcoming cruise from San Francisco to Vancouver to give extra time to prepare for the planned wide dry dock scheduled for April 7,” a spokesman said in a statement.
“This extra time will help ensure that the ship relies on our highest quality before the upcoming busy summer season.”
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The company said it offered full refunds to 1,600 passengers on the ship and 100 percent future cruise credit at equal prices, as well as helping them book their hotel or flight.
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Gord Halverson and his wife were scheduled to visit his brother and brother-in-law in Victoria when the ship arrived.
They are being dropped off at San Francisco tomorrow, and Princess Cruz is taking them straight home. And so we’re going to miss that tour, “he said.
“We haven’t seen them since the pre-epidemic and in the fall of 2019, so it’s a bit disappointing that we won’t be able to see them and we’ve been waiting a few days in Victoria. And so the announcement and I am sorry for all the people in Victoria who were doing the same thing on that ship and then in Vancouver.
Despite the disasters, Greater Victoria Harbor authorities remain enthusiastic about the upcoming season, estimating that 350 cruise ships will see the dock in town.
Brian Kent, a spokesman for the port authority, said: “You know, we’ve been waiting two years for this to happen, the last time a cruise ship would be 902 days from Canada until April 6.”
“And now that it’s 905 days, it helps us keep it in perspective.”
Kent said officials expect about 780,000 cruise passengers to arrive through the port this year, slightly more than the 709,000 seen in 2019.
The Caribbean princess began her voyage in March at Fort Lauderdale, Fla., And was due to make her way back after stopping in Vancouver the following week.
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The next cruise ship scheduled to dock in Vancouver is scheduled to arrive at MS Conningdam in Holland America and on Sunday, April 10.
Canada lifted the epidemic ban on cruise ships in Canadian waters on November 1, 2021, after two missed seasons.
Under the new cruise rules, all passengers entering Canada must be fully vaccinated, with a molecular test within 72 hours of boarding and an antigen test within one day of boarding.
The cruise industry is valued at an estimated $ 4 billion in the Canadian economy.
Including files from the Canadian press
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