Cruise NewsCruises to Nowhere Will No Longer Be Allowed Starting in 2016

Cruises to Nowhere Will No Longer Be Allowed Starting in 2016

Due to changes by U.S. Customs, cruise lines will no longer be allowed to sail cruises to nowhere out of U.S. ports beginning in 2016. This includes all short cruises based out of the United States without a stop in a foreign port.

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Cruises to nowhere are short cruises that start and end in the same port.  They are usually 1 or 2 nights and do not have any port stops.  They were popular with cruisers who wanted a party cruise and for first time cruisers who wanted to get a taste to see what cruising was all about.

Cruise lines have canceled all cruises to nowhere that were scheduled after December 31, 2015. This includes the three night cruise on the Carnival Vista and several two night cruises on the Norwegian Breakaway that were scheduled out of New York in 2016.  The cancelations are necessary due changes in the way ships are cleared in and out of the United States.

If a passenger was booked on one of these cruises that was canceled, the cruise line will notify them of the changes. Carnival Cruise Lines is offering $50 in onboard credit to passengers who rebook on another cruise. What will the cruise lines do with these empty dates that they now have open?  That remains to be seen, but it is likely that the cruises before or after the canceled cruises will be extended.

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Ben Souza
Ben Souza
Ben is a world traveler who has visited 40+ countries, taken over 70 cruises. He is one of USA TODAY's experts for their 10Best Readers' Choice Awards. His writings have appeared and been cited in various media outlets such as Yahoo News, MSN, NPR, CNN, Fox, and ABC News. Ben currently resides in Cincinnati, Ohio. Follow Ben on Instagram. Visit Ben Souza on Linkedin. You may email Ben at [email protected].
Cruise NewsCruises to Nowhere Will No Longer Be Allowed Starting in 2016


  1. Allen, it’s called the Jones Act. Check it out. A hundred year old law that likely makes no sense these days but is still on the books and enforced.

  2. I never understood the rule that a cruise leaving from a US port had to make at least one stop at a foreign port before returning to the home port if the ship was not US registered. It seems like it’s only driving tourism dollars out of the US. We are booked on a California Coast cruise next year, but we have to make a stop in Mexico.

  3. Some are thinking it might have to do with this ruling:

    U.S. Custom’s consistent opinions holding that crewmembers are not in compliance with their D-1 visa status when they operate “cruises to nowhere,” the Court has no difficulty concluding that CBP’s November 2013 determination was not arbitrary, capricious, or contrary to law. …

  4. I haven’t quite figured it out yet, but I’m sure this has something to do with more money for the government. Probably booze tax monies.

  5. No cruises to nowhere! Another idiotic rule made by some bureaucrat in DC! The established cruise lines are responsible enough, that if they document that they did not port anywhere, and returned to the same port, than that is exactly what they will be doing. The chances of some terrorists climbing on board while they cruise just outside our boundaries in International waters is asinine. This is not a violation of the Jones Act, nor the Passenger Vessel Services Act of 1886, since they are not porting elsewhere. This is the result of Customs not wanting to post an agent at the port when it returns, probably due to budget cuts, yet I can sail my boat into international waters and return without Customs being there. More of someone at the top exerting power because they can.

  6. Your government at work who cares. Soon all will be leaving from foreign port and we will fly there. Rules that make no sense.

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