THE JONES ACT (U.S. Cabotage Law)
The Jones Act (also known as the Passenger Services Act) prohibits ships of Non-U.S registry from embarking and debarking guests at two different U.S ports. Such travel would constitute point-to-point transportation between two U.S ports, which is prohibited on foreign flagged ships. The exception to this rule is if the itinerary includes a ‘distant foreign port’ - in this case, a ship can embark and debark guests at two different U.S. ports.
The following ports qualify as ‘distant foreign ports’:
• Countries in South America
The following ports do not qualify as ‘distant foreign ports’:
• Central America
• Most Caribbean Islands
Note: Puerto Rico and the U.S Virgin Islands (St. Thomas; St. Croix; St. John) are not in the category of U.S ports under this act. For example: If an itinerary sails from Puerto Rico to Miami, this cruise is not in violation of the Jones Act because Puerto Rico is not considered a U.S port under this act.
Guests cannot pre-plan or purposely embark or debark a ship in a U.S port that will violate the Jones Act.
Any guest who insists on embarking (due to unforeseen circumstances outside the guest’s control, for missing the ship) or debarking (for emergency reasons), which violates the Jones Act, will accept responsibility for any/all resulting penalties determined and deemed applicable by U.S. port authorities.