A recent letter suggests that resuming cruise ship service to Alaska is simply a matter of changing the ships’ flags to that of the United States. This is incorrect.
Under the Passenger Vessel Services Act (PVSA), cruise ships must not only be U.S.-flagged but also U.S.-built. However, the world’s cruise ships are entirely foreign-built, with no such vessel constructed in the United States since 1958.
Absent Canada’s reversal of its decision to close its ports to cruise ships, changes to the PVSA will have to be made — or an exemption granted — to resume cruise ship service to Alaska.
— Colin Grabow
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