Capital Cruises to remained docked all summer

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Capital Cruises is suspending all public boat tours and charters for the rest of the summer.

Capital Cruises president and chief executive Kurt Huck said Monday that under Stage 2 of the province’s economic reopening, tour vessels would not be able to carry more than 10 people, including both crew and passengers.

His vessel, the 30-metre-long triple-decker Empress of Ottawa, is licensed to carry five crew and 300 passengers, but more typically carries about 225 passengers plus crew.

“It’s just not feasible. The money we would make wouldn’t even pay for the gas,” he said. “I made the decision to leave her winterized and weather the storm.”

While the province has made exceptions for restaurant and bar service at a percentage of their capacity, a similar exception has not been made for tourism, said Huck.

The Passenger and Commercial Vessel Association, of which Huck is president, lobbied the provincial government to allow for up to 30 per cent of vessel capacity while allowing for social distancing. But the idea was turned down, said Huck.

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