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Bill to exempt Alaska from PVSA


dockman
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52 minutes ago, 12cruise2 said:

It's that it isn't fair that a foreign port/country stop is able to stop/control all cruising to Alaska from the U.S. 

 

Oh my heavens, we were and are still in the midst of a pandemic.

This has never happened before and  totally unforeseen by so many.  Lots of ports closed off their ports to cruise ships.

 

You got around it so what’s the problem.  Tired of dumping on Canada for protecting it’’s citizens while you have not even opened your borders when our vaccination rate is much better than yours.  Not that I want to go - it’s the principle of the thing.

 

Sorry, but I am tired of the dumping on Canada ..  Europe was closed. Asia close, Australia closed.  Heck the U.S. was closed for a lot of time. This was not something one couldn’t help with the pandemic.  

 

 

 

 

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1 minute ago, kazu said:

 

Oh my heavens, we were and are still in the midst of a pandemic.

This has never happened before and  totally unforeseen by so many.  Lots of ports closed off their ports to cruise ships.

 

You got around it so what’s the problem.  Tired of dumping on Canada for protecting it’’s citizens while you have not even opened your borders when our vaccination rate is much better than yours.  Not that I want to go - it’s the principle of the thing.

 

Sorry, but I am tired of the dumping on Canada ..  Europe was closed. Asia close, Australia closed.  Heck the U.S. was closed for a lot of time. This was not something one coulen’t help with the pandemic.  

 

 

 

 

I'm sorry--I don't mean that Canada is controlling the stop--poor word choice on my part--the rule shouldn't force a stop to all cruising to AK because Canada is closed (or any other port that would "perform the same function.")  I'm struggling with my words here.  And yes, gratefully, we got around it this year; hopefully they'd be ready early next year if the same rule needed to be paused another year so that cruising could start early as it has in the past.

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3 minutes ago, 12cruise2 said:

I'm sorry--I don't mean that Canada is controlling the stop--poor word choice on my part--the rule shouldn't force a stop to all cruising to AK because Canada is closed (or any other port that would "perform the same function.")  I'm struggling with my words here.  And yes, gratefully, we got around it this year; hopefully they'd be ready early next year if the same rule needed to be paused another year so that cruising could start early as it has in the past.

 

Currently, the ports are open next year for cruises.

With our vaccination rate, I would like to think that would hold. 🤞

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10 hours ago, igraf said:

 

This has been explained before, but here it is again.  In brief, the cruise industry relies heavily on political support and so they are reluctant to stir up the mud.   The cost to the passengers is more apparent.  Unwanted port stops or the "too short to be enjoyed" technical stops, but these port stops still incur costs.  No one-way trips to Hawaii from the US.  Practical restrictions on US coastal cruise routes. 

 

igraf

 

 

And it has been explained countless times that the PVSA is not just about cruise ships and cruise ship passengers.

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11 hours ago, igraf said:

In brief, the cruise industry relies heavily on political support and so they are reluctant to stir up the mud. 

If this were the reason that CLIA does not want to support a repeal or modification of the PVSA, why did they spend 10 years lobbying for the exemption for Puerto Rico?  And, then once they got the exemption, the service was taken up by exactly one cruise line, and that service lasted for about 1 year, due to lack of demand.  And, that exemption, like all exemptions granted under the PVSA, are rescinded as soon as there is a viable US flag carrier on the route.  The reason that CLIA does not look for any modification to the PVSA is that they know there will be quid pro quo, and that will likely be that they will need to meet far more US regulations and laws than they do at the moment.  It would adversely affect their bottom line, rather than add anything to it.  The cruise industry does not have the great political clout that many believe.

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Found an interesting thread on the Celebrity board that had this press release from Sen. Murkowski:

 

https://www.murkowski.senate.gov/press/release/murkowski-announces-bill-to-protect-alaska-tourism-industry_

 

From the language, it appears that the senator realizes that USCG, Homeland, and State would all have issues with a permanent exemption to the PVSA, and that therefore, she is only going to be calling for a waiver of the "US built" clause, as she mentions creating jobs for US mariners, and ending the waiver when a US built ship is available.  This sounds like she wants US flag, foreign built ships, like the Pride of America, and not a blanket exemption for all foreign cruise ships.  I really have no problem with waiving the US built clause, we don't have the shipbuilding infrastructure, the shipbuilders in the US are not interested in commercial shipbuilding (they make too much on Navy contracts), and environmental laws would preclude any expansion of the industry.  But, I think the cruise lines will have issues with this, since the operating cost would be far higher, and they would experience the same labor issues that have plagued the POA for decades.

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4 hours ago, chengkp75 said:

But, I think the cruise lines will have issues with this, since the operating cost would be far higher, and they would experience the same labor issues that have plagued the POA for decades.

 

Not with the way the market will react when they ease out of unnecessary stops at Ensenada, Victoria and Vancouver.  All the cruiselines have to do to test this is update the intinerary for planned sailings and they can watch the customers shuffle to take advantage.   Especially true if the B2B restriction goes bye-bye.  It would be like fishing in a barrel.

 

The cruiselines will be chomping at the bit to eliminate Ensenada from the WC sailings and they will be just as happy to cut down on the Vancouver and Victoria stops by enabling Seattle to carry the load,  they will never eliminate Vancouver or Victoria,   just re-allocate the tourism booty back to the US.

 

Maybe we can cleanup the infra-structure of the Alaskan Marine Highway which appears to have been grossly neglected over the years with re-allocated tourism tax dollars and actually be able to SAIL ON OUR OWN US HIGHWAY WITHOUT HAVING TO MAKE A FORIEGN STOP.

 

 

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13 hours ago, 12cruise2 said:

I'm sorry--I don't mean that Canada is controlling the stop--poor word choice on my part--the rule shouldn't force a stop to all cruising to AK because Canada is closed (or any other port that would "perform the same function.") 

 

All ships travelling in US territorial waters, whether foreign flagged or US flagged, must abide by American law.  To suggest that Canada ( or any other foreign nation ) has jurisdiction over US waters and can "... force a stop to all cruising to AK ..." is simply false and outrageous.  The US and the US alone set the rules for which ships can sail directly from an US city directly to Alaska.

 

1 hour ago, JRG said:

 

Not with the way the market will react when they ease out of unnecessary stops at Ensenada, Victoria and Vancouver.  All the cruiselines have to do to test this is update the intinerary for planned sailings and they can watch the customers shuffle to take advantage.

 

 

Foreign cruise ships ( ex. Holland America ) can easily bypass foreign ports if they abide by PVSA law -- for starters hire US crew and pay them accordingly.  I agree to letting the market decide whether customers prefer lower cruise fares and foreign ports or higher fares and bypassing foreign ports. 

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6 minutes ago, stairMaster said:

All ships travelling in US territorial waters, whether foreign flagged or US flagged, must abide by American law.

This is true only to a certain extent.  Many US laws do not apply to foreign flag ships operating in US waters.

 

6 minutes ago, stairMaster said:

Foreign cruise ships ( ex. Holland America ) can easily bypass foreign ports if they abide by PVSA law -- for starters hire US crew and pay them accordingly. 

It's not quite that easy, as without a waiver of the US built clause, which is what I believe Sen. Murkowski is looking for, all of Holland America's current fleet could not meet PVSA requirements, even with US crew, and following US labor laws.  Canada's Coastal Trading Act is easier for foreign ships to abide by, since it does not require ships to be built in Canada, just Canadian flag.

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2 hours ago, stairMaster said:

I agree to letting the market decide whether customers prefer lower cruise fares and foreign ports or higher fares and bypassing foreign ports. 

 

Wait till you see the higher fares that Canadian and all travelers encounter in the BNB marketplace,  once they are free to travel around the country,  and the rental cars, and the etc..etc..etc.  

 

Point being that everything is costing more,   Vacation dollars and time demand are so pent up that desperate vacationers will pay the price,   and for Americans giving up these ports in an Alaskan,  West Coast or even a Hawaiian cruise will be a no brainer even if it is a higher cost,  right now.

 

I'm willing to bet that UK travelers would enjoy skipping Ensenada on the longer voyages,  once they commence.   So this is not just an American thing,  it benefits everybody.    

 

I'm going to double down on my prediction that the Carbon Footprint Differential will take the decision out of everybody hands anyways.   For now it seems like 'extensions' and "deeming' are the way to go.

 

 

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2 hours ago, JRG said:

 

Point being that everything is costing more,   Vacation dollars and time demand are so pent up that desperate vacationers will pay the price,   and for Americans giving up these ports in an Alaskan,  West Coast or even a Hawaiian cruise will be a no brainer even if it is a higher cost,  right now.

 

 

Keep in mind even with the inevitable across the board fare increase, a cruise with an "inconvenient" foreign port stopover will always be substantially cheaper than a US Flag cruise itinerary without a foreign port.  Given a clear choice, I'm sure most cruisers will be unwilling to pay more for the same destination cruise just to avoid Ensenada or Victoria. 

 

I would also like to clear up the misconception that the closing of Canadian (foreign) ports the past 18 months prevented cruise lines from offering Alaskan cruises.  It is the United States government that determines who is allowed to cruise to Alaska not Canada. I don't think the US would take kindly to any foreign nation impugning on its sovereignty. 

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2 hours ago, JRG said:

I'm willing to bet that UK travelers would enjoy skipping Ensenada on the longer voyages,  once they commence.   So this is not just an American thing,  it benefits everybody. 

 

No need to stop at Ensenada on an Alaska cruise. Not if you have other stops.

I am betting that a lot of UK travellers enjoy Vancouver and would rather cruise from there or at least stop if they can’t stop at Victoria.  And yes, I have a number of U.K.  friends.

Each to their own.  But I think you would lose your bet 😉 

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10 hours ago, pms4104 said:

Sen. Murkowski ought to expend the same vigor in finding ways to develop non-tourism industries in her state.

 

Would you care to specifically explain what you mean by your post?  

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7 minutes ago, rkacruiser said:

 

Would you care to specifically explain what you mean by your post?  

Sure ... so much of the Alaska economy depends on tourism, a 6-month season.  Too many eggs in one basket becomes problematic when there is a tourism interruption, as we have been seeing for a year and a half.  

 

Then again, I may be misguided in my assessment.

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I am growing weary of all of the legalese in this long going debate about all of the legal "stuff" about this issue.

 

Who benefits?  The maritime law firms.  Who does not benefit?  We, the cruise consumer.  

 

To the best of my geographical knowledge, ocean water that flows from one port to another ought to support a ship of whatever national flag, crewed by whatever nationality, carrying passengers of whatever nationality willing to pay whatever needs to be paid for their journey.

 

I am weary of:  "we can't do this because of that".  Then, by darn it, let's figure out what can be done that would allow the Nieuw Amsterdam to sail 7 day Hawaiian cruises from/to Honolulu or an Alaskan cruise from Seattle that does not require a port stop in a Canadian port.  

 

Regarding this maritime issue:  I am fed up with "it can't be done because of whatever needs to be changed."  We would never land a Rover on Mars and have vivid pictures and data returned from its surface.  Some thought.  Well, the "impossible" was done.  If someone really wants to solve the legal issues with these laws/rules/regulations, it can be done, I think.  

 

Will "feathers" be ruffled" in the process?  You had better believe it.  But, what is in the best interest of those who cruise/travel?  

 

 

 

 

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3 hours ago, stairMaster said:

Foreign cruise ships ( ex. Holland America ) can easily bypass foreign ports if they abide by PVSA law -- for starters hire US crew and pay them accordingly.  I agree to letting the market decide whether customers prefer lower cruise fares and foreign ports or higher fares and bypassing foreign ports. 

 

IIRC , crew costs about the same as fuel, 15% or similar. Without much calculation, let's assume that paying US crew according to US standards would raise a $500 fare to, let's say $750. If PVSA was just about hiring US crew, there would be ships going up and down at the West Coast. In reality, almost every cruise ship is registered elsewhere, sailing to "far" ports that their guests don't care for, and can't do West Coast cruises because there's no far port available.

 

PVSA leads to a lot of damage which cannot be easily seen, whereas the "saved jobs" are easy to show. The simple fact that there aren't any cruises on the West Coast shows that something is amiss. The only reasonable explanation is PVSA. 

 

There could have been companies that could have supplied the ships with food. There would be farmers growing food for the suppliers. So many travel agents. So many cab drivers, hotel owners, tourist guides, piano tuners. So many magicians, so many people who know how to arrange flowers or how to keep the guests happy even during bingo.

 

They are not on CNN saying that they'd lose their job without PVSA because due to PVSA the job they would have preferred doesn't exist. It's hard to explain in sound bites, and the piano tuner might not even realize it, but there would be more pianos to tune if PVSA wouldn't be so busy protecting US jobs.

 

People flying to port X to sail to port Y after which passengers fly back is not "transportation from port X to port Y". Such cabotage laws were obviously meant to mean actual "transportation of people" that should be done by US ships only. In 2021 people fly to port X, sail a bit, and fly back from port Y. The product is obviously not "transportation".  

 

PVSA was officially installed to prevent exploding steam ships. Again it's obvious that passengers don't need such protection.

 

I think it's more than reasonable that lawmakers thoroughly think about PVSA and make some adjustments that would allow more itineraries and wouldn't force ships to sail to ports nobody cares for.  I'd say that PVSA should be gotten rid of altogether.

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7 minutes ago, pms4104 said:

Sure ... so much of the Alaska economy depends on tourism, a 6-month season.  Too many eggs in one basket becomes problematic when there is a tourism interruption, as we have been seeing for a year and a half.  

 

Then again, I may be misguided in my assessment.

 

I appreciate your response.  Alaska's other industries went into hibernation as well as tourism?  No work in the oil fields?  (Granted, the drop in oil prices did not help.)  The fishing industry came to a halt?  Why, then am I paying more for seafood in my grocery than I did 18 months ago?  

 

I wish my Senator of the same political party as Senator Murkowski was as effective as she has been in helping an increase of tourist dollars into the 49th State.  

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15 minutes ago, AmazedByCruising said:

IIRC , crew costs about the same as fuel, 15% or similar. Without much calculation, let's assume that paying US crew according to US standards would raise a $500 fare to, let's say $750. If PVSA was just about hiring US crew, there would be ships going up and down at the West Coast.

Be sure to send your cruise expense math to the cruise lines, they obviously don't understand that it would be so inexpensive to hire US crew.  As I've explained many times, even the US Maritime Administration, which is supposed to support and promote US flag shipping, has found that it costs over 3 times as much, total operating cost, to operate a US flag ship over a foreign flag ship.  Of that 3 times cost, the largest is the crew cost, which even for a ship with only 20-25 crew, is nearly 5 times what a foreign crew would make.

 

And, again, before you cast your stones about the PVSA, tell the EU to end their cabotage laws as well.  Don't see any big furor over that.  But, I decline to be dragged into another fruitless argument with you.

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12 hours ago, chengkp75 said:

I really have no problem with waiving the US built clause, we don't have the shipbuilding infrastructure, the shipbuilders in the US are not interested in commercial shipbuilding (they make too much on Navy contracts), and environmental laws would preclude any expansion of the industry. 


Agreed. I have no problem with that either. In fact, I think it makes sense. 
 

That simple repeal is a far cry from her original request. 

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2 minutes ago, chengkp75 said:

And, again, before you cast your stones about the PVSA, tell the EU to end their cabotage laws as well.  Don't see any big furor over that.  But, I decline to be dragged into another fruitless argument with you.

 

If I got to decide, and I think most people in Europe agree, there wouldn't even be an "EU". You probably understand that I cannot "tell the EU" to put an end to their cabotage laws. I'm happy to throw stones at at whatever stupid thing I see.

 

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6 minutes ago, AmazedByCruising said:

 

If I got to decide, and I think most people in Europe agree, there wouldn't even be an "EU". You probably understand that I cannot "tell the EU" to put an end to their cabotage laws. I'm happy to throw stones at at whatever stupid thing I see.

 

You can tell the EU what to do about as much as I can tell our government what to do.  But, even setting the EU aside, if passengers don't need protection from "exploding steamboats", then why does the Netherlands have different safety regulations for Dutch flag ships, and not just follow the IMO like the "flags of convenience" ships do?

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1 hour ago, rkacruiser said:

To the best of my geographical knowledge, ocean water that flows from one port to another ought to support a ship of whatever national flag, crewed by whatever nationality, carrying passengers of whatever nationality willing to pay whatever needs to be paid for their journey.

 

Pardon my ignorance, but if you want to do Inside Passage to Alaska and do that route do you not go through Canadian waters.?  

 

https://ijc.org/en/transboundary-waters

 

So I guess if you don’t want to the Inside Passage to Alaska, no worries 😉 

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1 hour ago, rkacruiser said:

To the best of my geographical knowledge, ocean water that flows from one port to another ought to support a ship of whatever national flag, crewed by whatever nationality, carrying passengers of whatever nationality willing to pay whatever needs to be paid for their journey.

 

13 minutes ago, kazu said:

 

Pardon my ignorance, but if you want to do Inside Passage to Alaska and do that route do you not go through Canadian waters.?  

 

https://ijc.org/en/transboundary-waters

 

So I guess if you don’t want to the Inside Passage to Alaska, no worries 😉 

No, what he is proposing is that no nation, anywhere, has jurisdiction over any part of the ocean.  Great, then tankers can go back to cleaning tanks by dumping crude oil in buckets over the side, and cruise ships can go back to dumping tons of plastic bags full of trash into the ocean every night.  Sure would make my life easier.

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