What if the Jones Law was abolished?

This is mainly for the US cruisers but everyone can of course join in. There's the Jones Law here in the US which basically says all cruise ships leaving the US must stop into at least one foreign port before the end of the cruise. This is the reason why many cruises on the West Coast of the US throw in Ensenada into the itinerary. The question is: Would you like a cruise with only US ports? What cruises would you like to see, either on the West, East, or Gulf Coast of the US, if there were no Jones Law?

I think it be fun to have a cruise with all US ports. I'd enjoy a cruise that started in Seattle and hit every cruise stop between there and San Diego, including Monterey and Catalina Island. For Gulf / East Coast I think a cruise from Alabama to New York with several stops along the east coast would be great. Are there others out there that would enjoy a cruise with just US ports?

19 Answers

I would thin it is time to get rid of the jones act. We booked a three day repositioning cruise from San Pedro to Vancouver and a back to back for an Alaska cruise northbound. We were told it did not meet the Jones act as Vancouver is not a foreign port. My question is has anyone told Canada we annexed Vancouver? It can be very confusing.

I like this West coast itinerary. I think it would be a good option on the East coast as well. Start in NY and then hit all the cruise ports to Key West with the next leg from Key West to all the ports until Galveston. Often we don't see enough of the areas in our own neighborhoods, it is probably the same for the ports in the USA. So when are you starting up your sailing company?Wink

Don't think you mean the "Jones Act", but, the PVSA (Passenger Vessel Services Act, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Passenger_Vessel_Services_Act_of_1886 .

PVSA also restricts coastwise transportation of passengers and 46 USC section 12108 restricts the use of foreign vessel to commercially catch or transport fish in U.S. waters. These provisions also require at least three-fourths of the crewmembers to be U.S. citizens. Moreover, the steel of foreign repair work on the hull and superstructure of a U.S.-flagged vessel is limited to ten percent by weight.

The PSVA has had an interesting consequence with regard to the cruise ship industry within the state of Hawaii. Foreign-flagged cruise ships may carry passengers between ports in the Hawaiian Islands as long as no passenger permanently leaves the vessel at ports other than the origination port and the vessel makes at least one call at a foreign port. Norwegian Cruise Line created a subsidiary, NCL America, and introduced three new US-flagged vessels: Pride of Aloha in 2004, Pride of America in 2005, and Pride of Hawaii in 2006. Previously, with its foreign-flagged vessels, NCL needed to include a four-day detour to Tabuaeran (Fanning Atoll) in the Line Islands (Republic of Kiribati) on its Hawaiian itineraries.

Reportedly due to financial losses, in 2007 NCL renamed Pride of Hawaii to Norwegian Jade, and reflagged and relocated the ship to Europe. In 2008, NCL also relocated Pride of Aloha to Florida, reflagging it and renaming it to Norwegian Sky at the same time. Thus the Pride of America is the sole NCL ship currently in Hawaii service.

The Jones Act has to do with cargo, or, cabotage------ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Merchant_Marine_Act_of_1920. It is a United States federal statute that provides for the promotion and maintenance of the American merchant marine. Among other purposes, the law regulates maritime commerce in U.S. waters and between U.S. ports. Section 27 of the Jones Act deals with cabotage and requires that all goods transported by water between U.S. ports be carried on US flag ships, constructed in the United States, owned by U.S. citizens, and crewed by U.S. citizens and U.S. permanent residents Cabotage is the transport of goods or passengers between two points in the same country, alongside coastal waters, by a vessel or an aircraft registered in another country. Originally a shipping term, cabotage now also covers aviation, railways, and road transport. Cabotage is "trade or navigation in coastal waters, or the exclusive right of a country to operate the air traffic within its territory". In the context of "cabotage rights", cabotage refers to the right of a company from one country to trade in another country. In aviation terms, for example, it is the right to operate within the domestic borders of another country. Most countries enact cabotage laws for reasons of economic protectionism or national security.

The Jones Act prevents foreign-flagged ships from carrying cargo between the US mainland and noncontiguous parts of the US, such as Puerto Rico, Hawaii, Alaska, and Guam. Foreign ships inbound with goods cannot stop any of these four locations, offload goods, load mainland-bound goods, and continue to US mainland ports. Instead, they must proceed directly to US mainland ports, where distributors break bulk and then send goods to US places off the mainland by US-flagged ships. Jones Act restrictions can be circumvented by making a stop in a foreign country between two US ports, e.g., AnchorageVancouverSeattle.

I never did keep up with the Joneses ...I do like the idea of multiple ports up and down both coasts however!

I've seen this when searching port reviews and even cruise itineraries on different websites, Vancouver, Canada is grouped in with US port. Why??? Anyone know?

Sorry Kennicott, too much to read for such a little hearted setting! But I catch your drift. Either way sure would be nice to catch a short RT cruise out of Long Beach to say Santa Barbara and Catalina Island or RT from San Diego to San Francisco without having to pop down to Ensenada.

I'm not sure why but I do know that boarding a cruise ship starting in Vancouver, CA is a nightmare if you have "driven" over from the US ...I flew to Bellingham,WA and shuttled to Vancouver to board the Ruby Princess.

I had to clear customs when the shuttle crossed the border and then once at the pier, they sent me all over the place to clear customs "out" of Canada and then clear customs again for the US to board the ship. Very disorganized port for embarking with multiple floors they run you up and down to ...No wonder they offer the cheapie one / two day cruises ... you're half nuts by the time you get on the ship.

I have disembarked in Vancouver on a coastal cruise and did not have any problems whatsoever getting off ...

Maybe they can't decide if they are a Canadian or a US port .....

Maybe I'll name the cruise line "Stay Home Yanks Cruises". 😊

Sen. John McCain is working on repealing the Jones Act “an antiquated law that has for too long hindered free trade, made U.S. industry less competitive and raised prices for American consumers.”

Maritime unions oppose repealing the act - in spite of the fact that it has pretty much killed the U.S. Merchant Marine.

Here are a couple of good pertinent points to consider, I swiped from another thread: "The law is actually not that confusing: If you start or end at any foreign port, it is legal. If you start and end at the same US port, then you must stop in a foreign port (any foreign port will do, such as Victoria or Ensenada). If you start at one US port and end at a different US port, then you must stop at a DISTANT foreign port (and no ports in Canada or Mexico are DISTANT). This is why a Panama Canal cruise from LA to Fort Lauderdale is legal - it stops at a DISTANT Central American port. Actually the basis for the law is to keep internal trade/transport reserved for US companies. Many nations have similar laws to preclude foreign companies from setting up operations that would perhaps unfairly compete with domestic companies. Even though the PVSA (which regulates passenger travel between US ports) came before the Jones Act (regulates cargo) the rubric of the law extends into air travel as well. As an example of that would be Trans Waziristan Airways can't offer service from NY to Chicago. If the truth be known, the cruise lines are not that unhappy with the status quo. The last time there was going to be tinkering with the law, it was going to make it more stringent. The result would have practically killed the cruise industry on the West Coast and Alaska. Fortunately the matter was dropped."


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