§ 1183. Off-season cruises by passenger vessels
(a) “Passenger vessel” defined
In this section, “passenger vessel” means a vessel which
(b) Authorization for payment of subsidy
If the Secretary of Transportation finds that the operation of any passenger vessel with respect to which a contract for the payment of an operating-differential subsidy has been entered into under section 1173 of this Appendix effective before January 2, 1960, is not required for all of each year, in order to furnish adequate service on the service, route, or line covered by such contract, he may amend such contract to agree to pay an operating-differential subsidy for operation of the vessel
(2) on cruises for all or part of each year if such specific cruise is approved by the Secretary of Transportation under subsection (e) of this section: Provided, however, That no such vessel may cruise for more than seven months of each year to ports which are regularly served by another United States-flag passenger vessel pursuant to an operating-differential subsidy contract.
(c) Authorization for payment of subsidy to passenger vessels providing domestic service
The Secretary of Transportation may authorize passenger vessels under operating-differential subsidy contracts to provide domestic service between specified ports while the vessels are on voyages in an essential service in the foreign commerce of the United States without reduction of operating-differential subsidy and the partial payback of construction-differential subsidy for operating in the domestic trades, if he finds that such domestic service will not result in a substantial deviation from the service, route, or line for which operating-differential subsidy is paid and will not adversely affect service on such service, route, or line.
(d) Conditions for cruises or domestic service while on voyages in an essential service in foreign commerce
When a vessel is being operated on cruises or has been authorized under this section to provide domestic passenger services while on voyages in an essential service in foreign commerce of the United States—
(1) except as provided in subdivision (4) of this subsection, it shall carry no mail unless required by law, or cargo except passengers’ luggage, except between those ports between which it may carry mail and cargo on its regular service assigned by contract;
(2) it may not carry one-way passengers between those ports served by another United States carrier on its regular service assigned by contract, without the consent of such carrier, except between those ports between which it may carry one-way passengers on its own regular service assigned by contract;
(3) it shall stop at other domestic ports only for the same time and the same purpose as is permitted with respect to a foreign-flag vessel which is carrying passengers who embarked at a domestic port, except that a cruise may end at a different port or coast from that where it began and may embark or disembark passengers at other domestic ports, either when not involving transportation in the domestic offshore trade in competition with a United States-flag passenger vessel offering berth service therein, or, if involving such transportation, with the consent of such carrier: Provided, however, That nothing herein shall be construed to repeal or modify section 1223 (a) of this Appendix.
(4) Any other provisions of this chapter or of the Shipping Act, 1916 [46 App. U.S.C. 801 et seq.], to the contrary notwithstanding, with the approval of the Secretary of Transportation, it may carry cargo and mail between ports to the extent such carriage is not in direct competition with a carrier offering United States-flag berth service between those ports, or, if such carriage is in direct competition with one or more carriers offering United States-flag berth service between such ports, with the consent of the next scheduled United States-flag carrier, which consent shall not be unreasonably withheld in the judgment of the Maritime Administrator.
Section 1175 (c) of this Appendix shall not apply to cruises authorized under this section. Notwithstanding the applicable provisions of sections 1175 (a) and 1156 of this Appendix requiring the reduction of operating differential subsidy and the partial payback of construction differential subsidy for operating in the domestic trades, such reduction of operating subsidy and partial payback of construction subsidy under sections 1175 (a) and 1156, respectively, of this Appendix, shall not apply to cruises or domestic services authorized under this section.
(e) Application for approval of cruise; notice to other American flag operators
Upon the application of any operator for approval of a specific cruise, the Secretary of Transportation, after notice to all other American flag operators who may be affected and after affording all such operators an opportunity to submit written data, views or arguments, with or without opportunity to present the same orally in any manner, and after consideration of all relevant matter presented, shall approve the proposed cruise, if he determines that the proposed cruise will not substantially adversely affect an existing operator’s service performed with passenger vessels of United States registry. Such approval shall not be given more than two years in advance of the beginning of the cruise.