The popular cruises to nowhere concept will be no more. At least for departures out of the US that is. A cruise to nowhere is when a ship leaves a port, spends one or two days at sea, then goes back to that same port.
Starting in 2016, US Customs and Border Protection will mandate that all foreign flagged ships that sail round trip from a port will need to call a foreign port before she arrives back in the U.S.
This was typically always the case. The Jones Act, a US maritime law that this author argues is outdated, has prohibited foreign flag ships from sailing from one US port to another, or round trip from US ports, without visiting a foreign port of call. The Jones Act, along with The Passenger Vessel Services Act of 1886 which actually laid the foundation for the Jones Act, always made an exception for these special cruises. It seems that this exception will be stricken from the law in 2016.
As it stands, Carnival Vista’s inaugurals out of New York and Norwegian Gem’s and Breakaway’s routine Cruises to Nowhere will all be affected. I’m not sure how NCL will fix their’s but my bet is Carnival will add a stop to Atlantic Canada (probably Halifax) to Vista’s.