Cruise ships ditch some Quebec stops over new speed limits in Gulf of St. Lawrence
Stops in Gaspé and Saguenay cancelled due to new limits imposed by federal government
A move by the Canadian government to protect North Atlantic right whales in the Gulf of St. Lawrence is having an impact on the cruise ship industry in parts of Quebec, as stops in the Gaspé and Saguenay have been cancelled.
In August, the government implemented a new temporary speed limit for ships measuring longer than 20 metres travelling through the western part of the Gulf.
Vessels travelling in the area from Quebec's North shore to just north of Prince Edward Island, are now required to reduce their speed to 10 knots.
Along with the cancellation of three stops by local cruise and ferry operator CTMA Vacancier, the 382-passenger Silver Whisper also cancelled its scheduled Sept. 5 stop in Gaspé to make up for lost time in the itinerary.
The Celebrity Summit ship's stop at the wharf in La Baie scheduled for October 2 was also cancelled.
The new limits were brought in to protect endangered right whales as the number of dead has risen to 13 this year alone.
- As U.S. and Canada try to solve whale deaths, some ships in gulf break speed limit
- Likelihood of whales dying from ship collisions falls 70 per cent at lower speed
In addition, several cruise lines passing through Saguenay modified their schedules to comply with the new limits.
Vessels that don't comply face penalties of between $6,000 and $25,000.