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Hawaii cruises cancelled - which other countries have banned ships?

Author: Kendall Hayes

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Hawaii cruises have been banned due to the increased spread of COVID-19, with cruisers unable to sail there until 2022. Which other countries have banned cruise ships?

Hawaii cruises have been popular for years thanks to the state's beautiful beaches, mountainous landscapes and warm and friendly locals.

Cruise enthusiasts have been looking forward to getting back on cruises with Hawaii on their itineraries, but due to COVID-19 this has been difficult.

Unfortunately, cruisers found out this week that they will not be able to return to Hawaii via cruise ship as soon as they would like to.

The public information officer for the Hawaii Department of Transportation (HDOT) explained the ruling: “Currently, the earliest resumption of cruises to Hawaii would be January of 2022.

"While no firm date is currently set, HDOT, in coordination with the various State, Federal, and Local entities, is focused on the safest possible resumption of cruises.”

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For many travellers, this news is a major blow as many cruise lines have had itineraries that included Hawaiian destinations.

Viking has been forced to cancel two sailings to Hawaii this December.

- READ MORE: From Hawaii to Memphis, America’s top cruise destinations -

The Hawaiian destinations have been replaced with trips to Mexico.

But those who booked their cruise because of the Hawaiian destinations had some options; guests could choose to receive onboard credit, the option to change to an alternative cruise or get a full refund.

Cruisers found out this week that they will not be able to return to Hawaii via cruise ship as soon as they would like to. Credit: Shutterstock

A Viking spokeswoman told World of Cruising: "Hawaii has a comprehensive and thorough programme to welcome cruise ships back to the islands, and we have been in constant communication with local authorities.

"Ultimately, though, many of Hawaii’s protocols are still in development—and will not be available for the sailings we had scheduled in December 2021. Viking and Hawaii share the same goals to protect the crew, guests and the local residents of the islands.

"We look forward to working together when Hawaii’s program is fully implemented and cruise ships are welcomed once again, which is expected to be in January 2022."

- READ MORE: Viking reveals brand new expedition cruises to Americas for summer 2023 -

UnCruise Adventures is another cruise line that may be impacted by this decision to pause Hawaiian cruise travel.

An UnCruise spokeswoman explained to World of Cruising: "[The line] does not fall into the large cruise ship rankings and has received permission to operate on all islands ports and parks, with the exception of the Molokai dock.

"The company has been working closely with Hawaiian government officials, local Molokai representatives, and their own operational procedures to secure a positive outcome to dock in Molokai with its guests.

"In the case of no permissions, the company will provide an alternative customized itinerary for their guests. It will resume operations this holiday weekend, November 26, with the 36 passenger Safari Explorer."

CEO Dan Blanchard added: “After almost two years of no travel for many, it would be heartbreaking not to be able to enjoy this immersive exploration on Molokai, learn about its culture, and support the local people who have become a part of our UnCruise Adventures family."

South Asian country Sri Lanka is a must-visit. Credit: Shutterstock

Which other countries have banned cruises?

Hawaii is not the only region that has banned cruises due to COVID-19.

South Asian country Sri Lanka will not allow cruise passengers in the country.

- READ MORE: MSC Cruises reveals two ships will now sail World Cruise 2023 -

The UK Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) website states: "Cruise ship passengers will not be allowed to disembark in the country, including for temporary shore visits.”

This ban is from March 22, 2020, when the government said that passenger ships were no longer permitted in the country because of the virus.

Canada has also extended a ban on cruise ships until early 2022.

Canada is calling with Ambassador Cruise Line. Credit: Shutterstock

The cruise ban, which was extended until February 28, 2022, applies to all cruise vessels that carry more than 100 people.

The ban was set in March 2020 right at the beginning of the pandemic, and was meant to expire February 28, 2021, until the government renewed it.

- READ MORE: Europe & North America with Oceania Cruises -

The Canadian Minister of Transport, Omar Alghabra explained the country’s decision in a statement: "As Canadians continue to do their part to reduce the spread of COVID-19, our government continues to work hard to ensure Canada's transportation system remains safe.”

"Temporary prohibitions to cruise vessels and pleasure craft are essential to continue to protect the most vulnerable among our communities and avoid overwhelming our health care systems. This is the right and responsible thing to do."

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