Jump to content

Which cruise lines sail under the US banner?


Recommended Posts

Just curious but is there any stock-exchange-listed cruise line that has its ships registered in the US and flying the American flag?

 

The reason I'm asking is that if it comes to any government assistance, wouldn't such companies be prioritized to receive aid or a bailout package?

Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, astera said:

Just curious but is there any stock-exchange-listed cruise line that has its ships registered in the US and flying the American flag?

 

The reason I'm asking is that if it comes to any government assistance, wouldn't such companies be prioritized to receive aid or a bailout package?

NCL has the Pride of America under US flag, so it could be eligible for government assistance.  Lindblad/National Geographic has a couple of ships under US flag, American Cruise line has coastal and river cruise vessels under US flag, and Blount Adventure Cruises does as well.  Whether these latter companies are "stock exchange listed" or not, I haven't a clue, but I don't believe the company has to be listed on an exchange to qualify for US government assistance at this time.

2 hours ago, Aplmac said:

For a ship to be American-registered and flagged

that ship has to be made/manufactured/assembled

in an American shipyard

Not correct.  To be PVSA compliant, the ship would have to be built in the US and owned by a US entity.  To be simply US flag, the ship can be built overseas, and many of them today are.

Edited by chengkp75
Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Essiesmom said:

How about Alaska Marine Highway system.  Not strictly a cruise line, but ferries...EM

And that great short-haul, seasonal, service crossing the Connecticut River from Hadlyme to Chester - I believe run by CT Dept. of Transportation.

Edited by navybankerteacher
Link to post
Share on other sites

American Queen and American Cruise Line river cruises are US flagged I believe. American Queen owns Victory Cruise Lines which are small ships that do sailings along the Upper East Coast and in the Great Lakes. These are foreign flagged ships. I don't know about American Cruise Line's ships that do Upper East Coast sailings. 

Link to post
Share on other sites

For a bit of clarification, the key is whether the vessel is operating in foreign trade or purely domestic or other protected trade.  For example, all the river boats and others mentioned above are purely in domestic trade.  No foreign flag ships are allowed by law to serve domestic routes; thus, any ship that serves such routes must be US flag, but also is by definition is protected from competition from foreign flag ships.  This includes domestic offshore trades such as Puerto Rico and Hawaii (important there for cargo services not pax services). 

 

The reason the only US flag major cruise ship (Pride of America) even exists is because there is no practical way to offer weekly inter-island cruises around Hawaii (PofA's business model) and also call at any foreign ports, so there is no practical way to do it except by using a US flag ship. 

 

Why does flag matter, and why are there no US flag full-size cruise ships except PofA?  CLIA and others offer a long list of "reasons," but they downplay or don't even mention the real reason, which is cost.  Due to US laws and regulations regarding ship design/build and particularly operations, it is simply not possible to operate under the US flag and be competitive, mainly due to the US citizen crew requirement. Anyone who tried to compete using a US flag ship would be out of business before the ship got wet. That is the true bottom line, i.e. why there are no US flag cruise (or cargo) ships operating in any route where foreign flag ships can also operate, which is basically everywhere except those protected domestic routes mentioned above and carrying certain protected cargos. Note -- it has essentially nothing to do with safety or tax dodging, as is often alleged. Operating cost is the driver.

 

In essence, due to their high costs no ship can operate under the US flag without either direct or indirect subsidy.  There used to be direct subsidies for cargo shipping, but those were eliminated long ago, and that was the death-knell for US flag international liner cargo services.  But there are still two important forms of indirect subsidy: (1) exclusion of foreign flag ships from domestic routes, thus protecting higher cost US flag ships from lower cost foreign flag shipping (e.g. Puerto Rico, Hawaii, Alaska, river shipping, and coastal US shipping which today is mostly tankers), and (2) dedicated US cargos reserved only to US flag ships such as US food aid shipments and military cargos -- the famous "Capt. Philips" ship was a US flag vessel carrying protected US food donation shipments IIRC. It is mostly this reserved cargo shipping where foreign-built ships operating under the US flag are found, as mentioned earlier by chengkp75; interestingly that ship was beneficially owned by AP Moller, a Danish company, and complied with US ownership requirements through shell companies.

 

It's complicated.

 

 

Edited by jan-n-john
Link to post
Share on other sites
12 hours ago, jan-n-john said:

For a bit of clarification, the key is whether the vessel is operating in foreign trade or purely domestic or other protected trade.  For example, all the river boats and others mentioned above are purely in domestic trade.  No foreign flag ships are allowed by law to serve domestic routes; thus, any ship that serves such routes must be US flag, but also is by definition is protected from competition from foreign flag ships.  This includes domestic offshore trades such as Puerto Rico and Hawaii (important there for cargo services not pax services). 

 

The reason the only US flag major cruise ship (Pride of America) even exists is because there is no practical way to offer weekly inter-island cruises around Hawaii (PofA's business model) and also call at any foreign ports, so there is no practical way to do it except by using a US flag ship. 

 

Why does flag matter, and why are there no US flag full-size cruise ships except PofA?  CLIA and others offer a long list of "reasons," but they downplay or don't even mention the real reason, which is cost.  Due to US laws and regulations regarding ship design/build and particularly operations, it is simply not possible to operate under the US flag and be competitive, mainly due to the US citizen crew requirement. Anyone who tried to compete using a US flag ship would be out of business before the ship got wet. That is the true bottom line, i.e. why there are no US flag cruise (or cargo) ships operating in any route where foreign flag ships can also operate, which is basically everywhere except those protected domestic routes mentioned above and carrying certain protected cargos. Note -- it has essentially nothing to do with safety or tax dodging, as is often alleged. Operating cost is the driver.

 

In essence, due to their high costs no ship can operate under the US flag without either direct or indirect subsidy.  There used to be direct subsidies for cargo shipping, but those were eliminated long ago, and that was the death-knell for US flag international liner cargo services.  But there are still two important forms of indirect subsidy: (1) exclusion of foreign flag ships from domestic routes, thus protecting higher cost US flag ships from lower cost foreign flag shipping (e.g. Puerto Rico, Hawaii, Alaska, river shipping, and coastal US shipping which today is mostly tankers), and (2) dedicated US cargos reserved only to US flag ships such as US food aid shipments and military cargos -- the famous "Capt. Philips" ship was a US flag vessel carrying protected US food donation shipments IIRC. It is mostly this reserved cargo shipping where foreign-built ships operating under the US flag are found, as mentioned earlier by chengkp75; interestingly that ship was beneficially owned by AP Moller, a Danish company, and complied with US ownership requirements through shell companies.

 

It's complicated.

 

 

Could you please repost this under the “Could lifting the ‘Jones act’ help in this mess?’ thread?  

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Forum Jump
    • Categories
      • Forum Assistance
      • SPECIAL EVENT: Q&A with RiverCruising, the River Cruise Experts
      • Q&A: Cruise Insurance with Steve Dasseos of TripInsuranceStore.com
      • New Cruisers
      • Cruise Lines “A – O”
      • Cruise Lines “P – Z”
      • River Cruising
      • ROLL CALLS
      • Digital Photography & Cruise Technology
      • Special Interest Cruising
      • Cruise Discussion Topics
      • UK Cruising
      • Australia & New Zealand Cruisers
      • North American Homeports
      • Ports of Call
      • Cruise Conversations
×
×
  • Create New...