Cruise company sells ships docked in British Columbia ports

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VANCOUVER – A major cruise line that has frequently docked in Vancouver and Victoria has put four of its luxury liners up for sale, an indication of the financial difficulties the industry suffered during the COVID-19 pandemic while travelers stay at home and countries restrict cruises. . Seattle-based Holland America is selling the ships, leaving a global fleet of 10. Those four ships, each named for a Dutch city, will be handed over to two undisclosed European buyers, the company said on July 15.

The Zandaam, seen in the attached video and photo when it was last docked in Victoria Harbor, will continue to be part of the fleet.

Ottawa has prohibited cruise ships carrying more than 100 passengers from operating in Canadian waters until at least October 31. Similarly, federal health officials in the United States have extended the ban on cruise ships until the end of September.

Holland America’s itineraries indicate April 2022 as the next time one of its ships is due to arrive in Vancouver.

The sale of the ships is good news for the CEO of the Greater Victoria Port Authority, who says that fewer cruise line visits will not affect the city’s economy but could have a substantial impact on the environment. .

“I like to see these ships move because they are older. They are less energy efficient, ”said Ian Robertson. “This allows these new, more fuel-efficient vessels to arrive in Victoria. ”

Cruise lines are moving away from small ships, Robertson added.

“What we’re seeing is a trend toward larger, more fuel-efficient vessels, so it would be fairly typical for these older vessels to be sold.”

The four ships leaving the Holland America fleet carry approximately 1,200 to 1,400 passengers.

Holland America said passengers will be notified if their travel plans will be changed or canceled due to the sale.

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