Entering Canadian Waters for Leisure Cruising, Fishing, Etc.

There has been an important modification is the border restrictions for U.S. Boaters operating their boats in Canadian waters. For the past 17 months U.S. recreational boaters have not been allowed to even enter Canadian water. That restriction has been eased as of this time. U.S. boaters may now operate in Canadian water as long as they do not land, anchor, moor or come into contact with another boat. Please see the email below by Christine Connell of the Public Affairs Office at the Consulate General of Canada in Detroit confirming this information as well as the strict requirements for those who may wish to arrive at a Canadian port.

Remember, that regardless of current COVID restrictions, open alcohol is still not permitted on boats that are underway in Canadian waters.

Entering Canadian Waters for Leisure Cruising

If a boat does not land in Canada, doesn’t make contact with another boat, doesn’t moor or anchor while in Canadian waters, other than anchoring in accordance with the right of innocent passage under international law, the travelers will not be required to submit a pre-arrival test or their mandatory information via ArriveCAN.

I wish to additionally share with you information relevant to boaters who do intend to visit Canada via marine mode.

As of August 9th, fully vaccinated citizens and permanent residents of the United States, currently residing in the U.S., will be permitted to enter Canada for discretionary (non-essential) travel. Entry to Canada will continue to be prohibited for U.S. travelers who are not fully vaccinated. This change applies to air, land, and marine borders.

Travelers arriving by marine mode will be required to provide proof of a valid COVID-19 molecular test result taken no more than 72 hours prior to arriving in Canada. They will also have to submit their mandatory information including their proof of vaccination and suitable quarantine plan in ArriveCAN before or when entering Canada.

Owner/operators of private boats entering Canadian waters must report their arrival to the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA). They must go directly to a Telephone Reporting Site and follow the instructions posted on location to contact the CBSA’s Telephone Reporting Centre (TRC) and request clearance to enter Canada. Alternatively, they may report directly in-person at one of the Direct Reporting Sites for Marine Private Vessels, which are CBSA staffed marine ports of entry.

To recap, private boaters must report their arrival to the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) at a designated reporting site when entering Canadian waters unless they do not land on Canadian soil and do not anchor, moor or make contact with another conveyance while in Canadian waters.

Please share this information accordingly and please let me know if I can answer any additional questions.


Best regards and smooth sailing, Christine

Christine Connell
Public Affairs Officer | Agente des affairs publiques
Consulate General of Canada – Detroit | Consulate général du Canada – Detroit