Alaska Cruise Ship Waiver

Perhaps there is a deal to made here? In exchange for your waiver you have to hire a certain percentage of American Mariners for the next 20 years? You know we are going to be thrown under the bus, we might as well get something from this situation.

1 Like

The camel’s nose has entered the tent … again.


I’d be ok with the waiver for cruise ships over 10,000 GRT as long as they reflag US and hire 100% US officers and 75% US seamen. I’m ok with foreign hotel workers.


Good with the waiver for cruise ships. While they are at it, should add 4 LNG tankers too. We need to stop shipping Russian LNG to the NE. To placate Shipyards (and a good idea) is mandate that all shipyard repairs and 5 years must take place in US yards. All billets go to US citizens too.


It would be a good idea to allow a few (and only a few) foreign built specialized vessels that don’t currently exist in the US to reflag US and enter the Jones Act trade.

For example: offshore wind vessels, cable layers, multicats, crane vessels, heavy lift vessels, etc.

We need jobs in the MM now so I agree with tugsailor. No way a US yard can be competitive with such a small market. Best that they (and the country) have the capability to repair those ships.

I’ve been saying this since I first joined years ago. I advocated for overhauling Jones Act to remove the US shipbuilding requirements but caught nothing but grief. The truth is, outside of government ships, the US yards don’t build any ships in quantity to be competitive. If the were competitive, they wouldn’t need protectionism.

It is time to separate cabotage from the US built requirements.


That goes too far. If we did that most of the boatyards would disappear to south of the border, to Eastern Europe and to China. Soon we’d lose the ability to build tugboats and workboats. Bad idea.

Waivers only for specialized vessels that no yard in the US has successfully built yet.

You can’t pick and choose protectionism if it protects your job but not the other guy. Think of all the companies who have spent the money to build in the US. If tomorrow you changed the rules, they and their employees would get killed. A waiver for vessels that aren’t built in the US (LNG ships and large cruise ships for example) means no owner, investor or employee can argue that they are hurt by that. Tankers, Container ships, and pretty much everything under 10,000 tonnes can be built here.

1 Like

We’re back into this discussion again… OK. I’ll repeat my two cents:

State in the U.S. Code that modular-built ships are, for the purposes of the Jones Act, made in America, if assembled and finished in America.

Watch a thriving trade of modular shipbuilding begin in Mexico/Central America, using American brains and capital. The modules would be shipped north on ships/barges (Ombugge has a photo of this), and assembled here. No different than how autos are “made in the USA”. Fringe benefit: keeping workers south of the border south of the border.


Wasn’t modular building in Philadelphia the source of a lawsuit against the yard? Can’t remember.

I’m really talking about ships rather than boats. And I’m having trouble recalling more than a handful of companies that have built ships in US yards within the last decade.

But if you think we have enough Jones act tonnage now, sunset the US-build requirements ten years from now.

As for protectionism, I think that with the near-death of deep sea shipping under the American flag, Jones Act is clearly not serving either the mariner or the yard birds.

1 Like

The problem is there is a real need now for US Jones Act cruise ships and LNG tankers. Hence Alaskan’s looking for a waiver. No one has built a LNG tanker or a large cruise ship in the US in 40 years. Pretty hard for a shipyard to argue they are hurt by that. For this waiver, these ships must be maintained by US yards. No more sailing to the Far East for SY’s.

Ultimately automation will eliminate the crew cost disparities between Western European/North American crew and others when ships have 5 or 6 crew members.

In fact, no large cruise ship has been built in over 60 years (the SS Argentina in 1958). And the LNG carriers built back in the 1970s were subsidized and only meant for foreign trade. So requiring domestic builds for these two ship types is all downside with zero upside. This benefits no one.

You would hope that the politico’s would see that. I’m still waiting for the Cleveland Indians to win a World Series. Which is going to happen first?

You are correct – “Philadelphia Metal Trades Council v. Allen”.

Yes, and he smells.

Have Canadians allow the foreign ships to berth in Vancouver or Victoria to bunker or even simply, rubber stamp for entry and departure, then carry on to Seattle.

Cruise industry has been doing this for years in Mexico as ships returned from Hawaii on their way to San Diego or LA/LB. Not sure why this is so difficult for everyone to figure out.

A PVSA “waiver” is the beginning of the end of the Jones Act and the anti-Jones Act crowd is wringing their ands in glee that this idea may finally win favor with enough politicians to motivate them to reconsider their support for the Jones Act.

The cruise ships have been sailing from Vancouver to Alaska for years. Canada shut cruise ships down due to Covid. That’s the only reason Alaska politicians want the waiver, so the ships can sail from Seattle and bypass Vancouver.

Alaska has already vaccinated 1/3 of its residents. By cruise season every willing adult will be vaccinated, over 50% of the population. The only unvaccinated Alaskans will be kids under 16 and the anti-Vaxers.

Cruise passengers are apt to be mostly older vaccinated people. I’m sure the cruise lines will require vaccinations or recent Covid tests before allowing passengers onboard.

I see a waiver for cruise ships over 10,000 GRT as a chance to get some new American maritime jobs that we wouldn’t otherwise have, and to bring business to Seattle from Vancouver.

I’d agree with that condition, even the hotel worker part.

Given the performance of the SIU homeless training scam with NCL we don’t ever want a repeat. Keep the foreign professional hotel staff who see service as an honorable profession but pay them American wages and open those jobs to Americans who meet the high standards that job demands.

I think many people on this forum are obfuscating two different issues. The Jones Act is is distantly related to the specific issue of the Alaskan Cruise Season for 2021.

Getting the foreign cruise ships back in service thru the AK itineraries CAN still include a stop in Canadian ports. THEIR concern is not letting passengers ashore due to COVID worries. Got it. It’s understood and that strategy can be accomplished in the 2021 summer season.

Everybody understands why. It’s a short term fix. Easy.

Doing a PVSA/Jones Act waiver and by-passing Canadian ports invites all kinds of problems, more than it solves.

No cruise line is going to open the door to US manning requirements and labor rules, etc. etc etc
in a short term effort to kick start their industry back in gear. This approach demands stuffing 20 pounds of a solution into a 5 pound bag of problems… why?

Let’s not complicate the immediate cruise ship stop in British Columbia ports with a long term problem of “How do we build more US hulls?” For Jones Act trade or other trade lanes.

Those are three distinctly different problems that each have unique solutions.