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Passenger Vessel Services Act

Published 09/24/2019 02:13 PM   |    Updated 07/14/2021 01:25 PM
The Passenger Vessel Services Act (PVSA) prohibits the transportation of passengers between two different U.S. ports on any vessel other than a U.S.-flag vessel that meets all requirements for U.S. coastwise transportation.  U.S. ports include U.S. states and U.S. island territories and possessions, with the exception of American Samoa, the Northern Mariana Islands, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.  Puerto Rico is also exempt from the PVSA until such time as U.S.-flag vessels service that route.
Foreign-flag vessels like Carnival’s vessels may transport passengers between U.S. ports without violating the PVSA if the vessel stops at a distant foreign port and the passenger traveled with the vessel to that distant foreign port.  
Guests who miss the ship in the homeport are not allowed to embark the ship in any port of call.  Any guest who unexpectedly disembarks the ship at a U.S. port of call, i.e., Alaska, Key West, Hawaii and Catalina, due to an emergency, which results in a violation of the PVSA, will be responsible for the resulting fine ($798 USD per person in 2021, but subject to change each year). 
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