An American Passenger Ship
By Guy Span
Due out of dry dock here in San Francisco
on June 7th is an American passenger ship, the Pride of
Aloha. Formerly the Norwegian Sky, she becomes nationalized
at a quiet ceremony on the 7th, after which she is scheduled
to Pier 35 the same day to take on her first passengers. Her
crew and service personnel are all Americans, as well. And
since this is now an American ship with an American crew,
she can make the voyage to any consecutive American ports.
Cabotage laws restrict foreign vessels
from docking at two or more US ports. Many countries have
similar laws in an attempt to boost local shipping, but in
the case of liners, the law has merely served to force
Americans to take a voyage to a foreign port before
returning home. This is why foreign flagged ships offer so
much service to Alaska, with a convenient stop in Canada to
make it legal.
The Pride of Aloha can offer a much rarer cruise and is
doing so, with an inexpensive four day jaunt down to LA
(with a few stops along the way) departing June 7. The
return takes five days and departs on the 13th, with every
port of call being in the US. June 20 sees the 12 day
departure to Hawaii in the Matson tradition. And Hawaii will
be her base for the foreseeable future.
Under the same cabotage laws, a company can nationalize a
foreign built ship if it has an American ship under
construction. Norwegian Cruise Lines has its brand new
American-built Pride of America being refitted at a German
shipyard, where an accidental sinking delayed her
completion. So for a few heady days, an American ship will
ply the coast and make multiple stops in the US.
You can contact Guy Span at firstname.lastname@example.org