Tugboat strike causes one day delay for cruise ship to leave Vancouver

 Tuesday, August 30, 2022 


The ship was Alaska bound. Passengers got underway on Monday. This is a full-day delay from the schedule. Issues caused by a labour dispute involving a tugboat company have caused the disturbance mostly.

Celebrity Eclipse has missed her 4 p.m Sunday departure time from Port of Vancouver. The ship was attached to a barge whose crew members refused to move it. Just after 12:30, Celebrity Cruises announced it was getting underway and thanked passengers for their patience.

The company informed that they are doing everything in their power to make up for the lost time. They would drop an Icy Strait from their itinerary list. The passengers would also get an equal 1.5 days of onboard credit.

The social media accounts of the important officials in the cruise line have been filled with complaints from people saying that they were stuck on the ship.

The passengers complained that despite the delay they have not been able to leave the dock while the ship was still moored. One 60-year-old passenger said that she was going to celebrate her 60th birthday with her boyfriend but then everything got spoilt because of this.

The Canadian Merchant Service Guild began job action on all 30 Seaspan tugs in the province Thursday. They informed that the contract negotiations reached an impasse.

Seaspan has informed that a different contractor has been hired to bring the barge in after the job action began. But, the unionized members have refused to move the barge in solidarity with the striking group.

Barry Penner who is the legal advisor for the Cruise Lines International Association informed that a second vessel, Regatta has also been delayed by the strike. The regatta is operated by Oceanic Cruise.

He further informed that the labour dispute is just another bumpy ride in the recovery of the cruise industry after the pandemic. Despite these issues, the 2022 season has seen more vessels call on the Port of Vancouver than all of 2019. However, the number of passengers is still lower than in the pre-COVID season.

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