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-   -   Jones Act (https://www.fodors.com/community/cruises/jones-act-968035/)

bombdigiddy Feb 23rd, 2013 08:25 PM

Jones Act
 
please help I wanted to take a back to back on NCL Jewel on May 8th it leaves from Los angeles and travels to vancouver.......... the next cruise goes from Vancouver to Victoria and ends in Seattle. I was told that because of the JOnes Act I can NOT do these two cruises I can only do the first 7 day cruise that ends in vancouver. Is it true I cannot stay on the ship and do the next 3 day cruise ending in Seattle? Please help

di2315 Feb 23rd, 2013 11:35 PM

Have you tried asking NCL themselves? Di

someotherguy Feb 24th, 2013 10:33 AM

You'd be OK if the second cruise ended in LA: the PSVA requires passengers on foreign-flagged vessels to travel via a foreign port if they start and return to the same US port, but via a DISTANT foreign port if they return to somewhere else in the US. Vancouver is not a distant foreign port.

doug_stallings Feb 25th, 2013 08:11 AM

Someotherguy, what you say doesn't ring true to me. Ports in British Columbia are widely considered "distant" foreign ports for purposes of the Jones Act when Alaska cruises embark in Seattle. Perhaps Vancouver is not considered a "distant" port but Victoria is? This might explain the problem, but this perplexes me since the Norwegian Jewel cruise departing from Vancouver also calls in Victoria before heading to Seattle, and neither cruise is round-trip (i.e., each cruise begins in one country but ends in another, which would normally mean the Jones Act does not apply).

I think the question is whether bombdigiddy was told this by NCL or by someone else. Bit if NCL refuses to sell this ticket, then that's that, whether the Jones Act applies or not. It's a weird law, but the cruise lines know how to interpret it.

someotherguy Feb 25th, 2013 09:28 AM

First of all, the Jones Act is about freight. What matters here is the PVSA.

Distant ports are those outside North and Central America, Bermuda, Bahamas and all of the Caribbean except the ABC islands (Aruba, Bonaire, and Curacao). That's why Panama Canal cruises between Florida and California stop in one of the ABC islands, or in Cartagena (i.e., South America).

No Canadian port is distant. Alaska cruises from Seattle are round trip, so any foreign port will do. One way trips between US and Canadian ports are outside the PVSA except when, as here, you join up two trips on the same ship and end up with a trip from one US port to another (different) one, without visiting a distant port.

Eschew Feb 25th, 2013 01:23 PM

Regarding the Jones Act (Merchant Marine Act of 1920). Does the Jones Act itself apply to passengers? The Act itself, no; the principle, yes.

People should stop referring to Jones Act when they should really refers to the Passenger Vessel Act (PSA) of 1886 (46 U.S.C. 289) where it states that “no foreign vessel shall transport passengers between ports or places in the United States, under penalty of $200 for each passenger so transported or landed.” The currently penalty is still $200 which is not a really big deal but $200 back then was a pile of money.

On the OP's comment regarding the back to back. I do not see any reason why it can't be done. LA to Vancovuyer is a 7 day US to foreign port (re-positioning). The Vancouver-Victoria-Seattle is the second leg of the re-positioning for Alaskan inside passage round trips, from foreign port to US port.

There are exceptions on the PSA reagrding ports around southeastern Alaska (46 U.S.C. § 55121(b)) and surrounding area so that might muddy the water some what.

Best course of action would be for the OP to call NCL direct.

someotherguy Feb 25th, 2013 05:38 PM

If that back to back were permitted, the distant foreign port provision would be gutted: all non-roundtrip itineraries would be sold as segments to and from a near foreign port that passengers could combine into one.

Hence: "It is important to note that a cruise itinerary may be compliant with the PVSA, but a passenger that disembarks at a port other than those designated as part of a compliant itinerary may still cause the vessel/carrier to violate the PVSA depending on where the passenger embarked and disembarked. For example, a passenger that embarks in Seattle, Washington on a round trip itinerary that includes Alaska and disembarks early in Juneau, Alaska will cause the vessel/carrier to violate the PVSA, regardless of the reason for the early departure from the cruise ship." Similarly, by remaining on board in Vancouver a passenger creates a violation out of two compliant itineraries.

Eschew Feb 25th, 2013 06:18 PM

Unless the passengers are willing to pay the $200 fine ...

doug_e_f Jul 30th, 2014 01:41 PM

someotherguy and Eschew-

You both seem very knowledgeable on the matter. I was hoping to get your help. I am embarking on a cruise next week for an important birthday for my mom, and now work at the office has come up. Its a northbound cruise to Alaska - Vancouver to Whittier. I am trying to understand if I can miss the first two days and join up with my family in Ketchikan or Juneau at the first or second port. Would that be in violation? And if it is, can I really simply pay the $200 fine (to who)?

Your help is very much appreciated. Thank you.

doug_stallings Jul 30th, 2014 05:13 PM

You need to ask your cruise line this question, not us. Ask now.

doug_e_f Jul 30th, 2014 07:25 PM

I have. They didn't seem too sure of themselves - I received a yes and then a no. Some of the posters here appear to be better informed. If the answer is that its possible, that's something I can go back to the cruise line with.

Eschew Jul 30th, 2014 09:43 PM

There is an easier answer to your question. Vancouver to Whittier is probably through Princess or Hollands America.

Call the cruise line and ask them this question:

What happen if you are late getting to Vancouver and missed the departure time and the ship sailed without you. Are you allow to join the cruise at the next port, getting there on your own expenses, and what would be the process or penalty, if any. They should be able to give you an answer to that as they deal with passenger missing departure time on a regular basis.

Things can happen that you get a flat tire on the way to the cruise Terminal or traffic jam or whatever.S o are you allow to join the cruise if you miss the boat in Vancouver? I would bet you the answer should be yes.

Note: People keep mixing the two very old trade/job protection marine legislation. The Jones Act (Merchant Marine Act of 1920) deals with goods, and Passenger Vessel Act (PSA) of 1886 (46 U.S.C. 289) deals with passengers.

The link below is not related to cruise, but it explained quite how the Jones Act actually works. The Act's original intend was to protect US jobs and commerce within the US.
http://blogs.platts.com/2013/09/09/jones-act/

doug_e_f Jul 31st, 2014 03:50 PM

Thanks, Eschew. That's a clever idea - one that simplifies the question for the folks at the cruise line. Appreciate it.


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