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Published on : Monday, September 25, 2017
Fresh speed restrictions on cruise vessels in eastern Canada where North Atlantic right whales have been assembling have compelled many cruise lines to reduce the ports stays of cruises and drop some of the calls.
Emergency rules embraced in mid-August limits all cruise vessels over 20 metres long to speeds of about 10 mph or less in a vast swatch that stretches from the northern shore of the St. Lawrence River south to close to the island of Prince Edward Island.
Cruise ships that generally motor around 17 or 18 mph in this area currently face lines of up to $25,000 for exceeding 10 mph in the restricted zone.
Marc Garneau who is the minister of transport, Canada said that the slowdown would be staying in place till the endangered whales migrate out of this region that is likely to be sometime in September or October. But then, a half-dozen cruise lines have already adapted their scheduled to the slower cruising speeds.
Donna Spalding who is the director of administration, CLIA Northwest and Canada mentioned that the problem is a two-edged sword.
This short notice is issue for cruise lines since they have guests expecting a particular product. But then, it would also be a liability for the small communities of the East Coast that rely to a great extent on the fall season.
One of the cruise ports majorly impacted in the Canadian town of Gaspe on the western shore of the Gulf of St. Lawrence.
Cruise lines dropping calls comprise Regent Seven Seas Cruises. Daniel Cote, the mayor of Gaspe said that this town might be losing about $2.5 consequently. Also affected is the Port of Charlottetown based on Prince Edward Island that would be losing an estimated 8,000 cruise travellers this season owing to as many as 10 cancelled calls from different cruise lines.
However, some communities are leveraging these altered rules.