Popular Alaska cruises along Canada’s scenic Pacific coast have fallen victim to the coronavirus pandemic, creating a new source of friction between Canada and the United States.
Transport Canada announced last week that it is extending the ban on entry to Canadian ports for passenger cruise ships carrying more than 100 people until the end of February 2022.
This decision effectively canceled the cruise season to Alaska and cut off an important source of income for the northernmost state of the United States.
Alaska’s response was quick and predictable.
Two senators representing the state and a member of the House of Representatives said the decision was taken in an arbitrary manner, without consultation or prior notice.
The lawmakers also said in a statement that Canadian authorities acted without considering the interests of Alaska or its economy.
Cruises accounted for 60 percent of all visitors to the state in 2019, according to the Alaska Tourism Industry Association.