Ships Nostalgia banner

1 - 19 of 19 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,389 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
From Cruise Ship Report -

Ballot Measure Could Chill Growth of Alaska Cruise Ship Business

If you are among the millions thinking of visiting Alaska one of these years aboard a cruise ship, a so-called environmental initiative that will be voted on August 22nd could well put a severe chill on the interest of cruise lines in sailing to this popular summer destination.

Ballot Measure 2 would impose a $50 head tax on each Alaska cruise ship passenger (over and above current port fees), impose a 33 percent tax on the gross income of cruise ship casinos while operating off the Alaska coast, and force cruise lines to publish their financial arrangements with businesses in each Alaskan port.

The initiative ostensibly is designed to protect Alaska's environment, increasing fines for illegally dumping waste and creating a new bureaucracy of state-employed "ocean rangers" who would be put aboard every cruise ship to monitor "state and federal requirements pertaining to marine discharge and pollution requirements."

While the stiff head tax would mean higher fares for Alaska cruises, possibly putting a damper on passenger demand, and the environmental provisions are thought by many to be duplicative and unnecessary, neither of these would likely lead cruise lines to retreat from the Alaska cruise market.

But the casino tax, and the requirement that cruise lines make public details of their business arrangements with land tour operators and local merchants, potentially raise much more troublesome issues for the major cruise companies.

Casino gambling is illegal in Alaska, and cruise ship casinos must remain closed when the ships are in Alaskan ports. But federal law currently allows operation of casinos aboard the big cruise ships when a ship is more than three miles outside an Alaska port.

Beyond the question of how Alaska can tax an activity off its coast that is illegal in Alaska is the precedent passage of this measure -- and acceptance of it by cruise lines -- would set.

If Alaska enacts such a levy on cruise ship casinos and the cruise lines agree to it, which port-of-call will be next to try to get its hand in the cruise ship casino pot?

Similar precedential concerns apply to what can only be viewed as a highly mischievious effort by referendum organizers to expose the details of all financial arrangements between cruise lines and local Alaska businesses.

All of those tours that passengers book through cruise lines pay money to the cruise lines. The Alaska initiative would require that brochures used onboard cruise ships disclose the wholesale prices of these tours (the price the cruise line pays the tour operator before its markup) in 14 point type and in contrasting color.

What cruise line (not to mention what local tour operator) is going to want to see details of these business arrangements made public? And what purpose does it serve beyond providing useful pricing information to tour operators' often-unlicensed and underinsured competitors?

Another mischievous provision of Ballot Measure 2 would award persons who complain about any of the environmental activities of a cruise ship -- or file a civil suit against a cruise line -- up to 50 percent of any fine or civil judgment. Talk about encouraging frivolous lawsuits.

The measure also seems patently unfair to Alaska's two largest cruise ports, Juneau and Ketchikan. Communities visited by cruise ships will be entitled to $5 of the $50 head tax IF and only if they agree to give up any current tax they assess.

Since Ketchikan collects $7 per passenger to retire bonds the city issued for port improvements, and Juneau collects $10 per passenger for harbor improvements, neither would appear likely to give up these fees -- so none of the money presumably would go to the cruise industry's two most important ports.

The number of cruise ships sailing Alaskan itineraries has grown steadily in recent years, and they are expected to bring nearly one million visitors to Alaska this year making them the largest source of Alaska's tourists.

Among the lines with ships sailing in Alaska this summer are Carnival Cruise Lines, Celebrity Cruises, Holland America Line, Norwegian Cruise Line, Princess Cruises, Royal Caribbean International, Regent Seven Seas Cruises and SilverSea Cruises.

Ballot Measure 2 , which was qualified for the ballot by professional signature collectors hired by a California-based environmental group, is opposed by hundreds of Alaska's town and city governments, chambers of commerce, civic organizations, visitors bureaus, tour operators, tourists associations, and small businesses.

Needless to say, it also is opposed by the major cruise lines, who are financing a campaign to defeat the measure through the North West CruiseShip Association based in Vancouver, British Columbia.


Rushie
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11,548 Posts
Thanks for that report Rushie. I don't think it will ever pass. In the 1960s I was stationed in Alaska for almost 4 years and back then Juneau and Ketchikan were just row on row of bars supporting the miners and the Salmon Canneries.The mines are closed,so are some of the canneries and the only game in town are the cruise ships. I have just returned from a cruise from Alaska and I can tell you the bars and ***** houses are gone,all they have now are tourist traps,shop after shop,mostly Jewelery shops owned by Indians,and Pakistani. Without the cruise ships all the ports in Alaska will dry up and blow away.
John
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,389 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Thanks John,

Can you recommend a good curry house in Alaska then..?

The most bizarre place I've found one so far is in Tobermory on the Scottish island of Mull..!

Can anyone else come up with others in "most obscure places"..!!

Do love my curries....so I need to know these things...!....just in case....

Cheers,

Rushie
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11,548 Posts
I love a good curry Rushie but I did not see any in Alaska. Although the shops are owned by Indians ,Pakistanis and Saudis,they are all operated by the locals or jewelers from Vancouver and Seattle. The best Sweet Sour pork I ever had was in Whitehorse when I was driving up the AlCAN Highway.
John
John
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,567 Posts
On second thoughts anyone "daft enough" to take an Alaskan cruise, and pay seven dollars for a beer (the ashore price (in Canada) is twenty a dozen)and a six dollar bottle of wine ,pay twenty eight,needs a little T.L.C so in my opinion with all the "money grabbers" on the side they will self destruct! (Night)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
328 Posts
My wife and I will be there in about 6 weeks, and are looking for a good feed of Alaskan Crab and fresh Salmon.
By the way does anybody know about a restaurant in Vancouver that is operated by and serves "First Peoples" cuisine?
Thanks
David D. (*))
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,235 Posts
david said:
My wife and I will be there in about 6 weeks, and are looking for a good feed of Alaskan Crab and fresh Salmon.
By the way does anybody know about a restaurant in Vancouver that is operated by and serves "First Peoples" cuisine?
Thanks
David D. (*))
First Nations cullinary skills stop at MacDonalds and a six pack of beer bought sales tax free with this months welfare cheque.

Don't go for their version of smoked salmon, concocted of low grade Pacific salmon and maple wood smoke. No contest to delicate Scottish, Nova Scotian or Norwegian Atlantic smoked salmon.

But if you can get some Inuit smoked Arctic Char, that's another story.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,235 Posts
John Rogers said:
Thanks for that report Rushie. I don't think it will ever pass. In the 1960s I was stationed in Alaska for almost 4 years and back then Juneau and Ketchikan were just row on row of bars supporting the miners and the Salmon Canneries.The mines are closed,so are some of the canneries and the only game in town are the cruise ships. I have just returned from a cruise from Alaska and I can tell you the bars and ***** houses are gone,all they have now are tourist traps,shop after shop,mostly Jewelery shops owned by Indians,and Pakistani. Without the cruise ships all the ports in Alaska will dry up and blow away.
John
And.. the cruise ships will continue cruising to Alaska, there's nowhere else to go in the summer season. Over seventy five percent of the world cruise ship market is drawn from the U.S.A. and Americans are not rushing to the Med. Alaska can thank the "Achille Lauro" incident for the boom in tourism.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11,548 Posts
Hamish I took the Alaskan cruise in May on a Holland American Ship and I never paid $7.00 dollars for a beer,top was $5.00 and $4.50 for a mini bottle of Rum,Gin,Vodka in the cabin fridge. Mixed drinks in the Crows-Nest bar was also $4.50.
In Juneau the top beer there was called Alaskan Larger,brewed in Alaska,shipped to Seattle and then sent back by a beer distributer for sale in the bars. The majority of people on the cruise were from OZ and NZ,one gal accompanying the OZ group said she had 800 in her group,and there was quite a few from the UK,Yorkshire area.
John (Night)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
328 Posts
Thanks for the info shipmates, very interesting about HAL's prices.
John, which ship were you on? "Volendam" is ours.
You are 100% about the ozzies on board. I heard that the 'Alaska Run' is the most popular cruise destination for us other than 'local' runs.

Keltic....luurrve your comment about Maccas and the No1's. Not exactly PC but I get your drift!!
Where do you think we could sample the Char?
We are spending a few extra days in Victiria, Nanaimo, Vancouver and over at Bamfield where I spent my first 8 years back when!!
Would appreciate some advice.
Many thanks,
David D. (Pint)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11,548 Posts
David D, We were on the Zuiderdam and sailed out of Vancouver. They have a program were you can sign up for $15.00 each passenger,they take your bags from your cabin and process them through to your final destination, then they put you on a secure bus and take you through a secure entrance at the airport and you don't have to go through all that crap at the gate,even your boarding pass is included in the program. Well worth the money. Make sure you have a lot of time in Victoria,a great place,also the Flower gardens.Any more questions please ask.
John.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
175 Posts
Thank you for the input Rushie. We will be taking a SE Alaska cruise next month from 13 thru 20 August 2006. Just in time no matter which way the situation swings. Alan Hill Bridgeport, Pa. USA
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,389 Posts
Discussion Starter #14
Cheers Alan,

If I get anymore gen...I'll post it under the same thread.

If not....hope you and the good lady have a super time...don't forget to post some photos in the gallery though.!

Rushie
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,235 Posts
david said:
Thanks for the info shipmates, very interesting about HAL's prices.
John, which ship were you on? "Volendam" is ours.
You are 100% about the ozzies on board. I heard that the 'Alaska Run' is the most popular cruise destination for us other than 'local' runs.

Keltic....luurrve your comment about Maccas and the No1's. Not exactly PC but I get your drift!!
Where do you think we could sample the Char?
We are spending a few extra days in Victiria, Nanaimo, Vancouver and over at Bamfield where I spent my first 8 years back when!!
Would appreciate some advice.
Many thanks,
David D. (Pint)
David:
Google "smoked arctic char in Vancouver". Found several restaurants listed.

The best boozer in Victoria is the

Sticky Wicket Pub
Strathcona Hotel,
919 Douglas St, Victoria, BC V8W 2C2 · 250-383-7137
Inhabited by both local and ex-pat professional drinkers. If you go there ask for my brother, "Chris U" aka "Ensign Chris", I think he lives there!

Bob
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
328 Posts
Thanks for the suggestions guys.
That google is really something else, I dont think of entering in something like that, but I guess it's just logical.
I will certainly call in at that pub in Victoria, Bob, if time permits. Coming from the land downunder I used to be a 2 handed professional beer drinker in my younger days, and I believe Victoria and Vancouver are the 'boutique Brew Pub' capitals of the world.
Thanks again,
David D (Applause)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,389 Posts
Discussion Starter #18
Update

From Cruise ship report -

Alaskans Vote on Tax Package Aimed at Alaska Cruise Ship Business

Alaska residents went to the polls on August 22nd to vote on a so-called environmental initiative that could well chill the growth in recent years of cruise ship tourism to this popular summer destination.

Ballot Measure 2 would impose a $50 head tax on each Alaska cruise ship passenger (over and above current port fees), impose a 33 percent tax on the gross income of cruise ship casinos while operating off the Alaska coast, subject cruise lines to the state corporate income tax, and force cruise lines to publish their financial arrangements with businesses in each Alaskan port.

Since the polls in Alaska do not close until 8 p.m. local (midnight EDT), results of the vote -- which is expected to be close -- are not likely to be clear to interested viewers in the southern 48 states until sometime Wednesday.

The initiative ostensibly is designed to protect Alaska's environment, increasing fines for illegally dumping waste and creating a new bureaucracy of state-employed "ocean rangers" who would be put aboard every cruise ship to monitor "state and federal requirements pertaining to marine discharge and pollution requirements."

While the stiff head tax would mean higher fares for Alaska cruises, possibly putting a damper on passenger demand, and the environmental provisions are thought by many to be duplicative and unnecessary, neither of these would lead cruise lines to retreat from the Alaska cruise market.

But the casino tax, and the requirement that cruise lines make public details of their business arrangements with land tour operators and local merchants, potentially raise much more troublesome issues for the major cruise companies.

Casino gambling is illegal in Alaska, and cruise ship casinos must remain closed when the ships are in Alaskan ports. But federal law currently allows operation of casinos aboard the big cruise ships when a ship is more than three miles outside an Alaska port.

Beyond the question of how Alaska can tax an activity off its coast that is illegal in Alaska is the precedent passage of this measure -- and acceptance of it by cruise lines -- would set.

If Alaska enacts such a levy on cruise ship casinos and the cruise lines agree to it, which port-of-call will be next to try to get its hand in the cruise ship casino pot?

Similar precedential concerns apply to what can only be viewed as a highly mischievious effort by referendum organizers to expose the details of all financial arrangements between cruise lines and local Alaska businesses.

All of those tours that passengers book through cruise lines pay money to the cruise lines. The Alaska initiative would require that brochures used onboard cruise ships disclose the wholesale prices of these tours (the price the cruise line pays the tour operator before its markup) in 14 point type and in contrasting color.

What cruise line (not to mention what local tour operator) is going to want to see details of these business arrangements made public? And what purpose does it serve beyond providing useful pricing information to tour operators' often-unlicensed and underinsured competitors?

Another mischievous provision of Ballot Measure 2 would award persons who complain about any of the environmental activities of a cruise ship -- or file a civil suit against a cruise line -- up to 50 percent of any fine or civil judgment. Talk about encouraging frivolous lawsuits.

The measure also seems patently unfair to Alaska's two largest cruise ports, Juneau and Ketchikan. Communities visited by cruise ships will be entitled to $5 of the $50 head tax IF and only if they agree to give up any current tax they assess.

Since Ketchikan collects $7 per passenger to retire bonds the city issued for port improvements, and Juneau collects $10 per passenger for harbor improvements, neither would appear likely to give up these fees -- so none of the money presumably would go to the cruise industry's two most important ports.

The number of cruise ships sailing Alaskan itineraries has grown steadily in recent years, and they are expected to bring nearly one million visitors to Alaska this year making them the largest source of Alaska's tourists.

Among the lines with ships sailing in Alaska this summer are Carnival Cruise Lines, Celebrity Cruises, Holland America Line, Norwegian Cruise Line, Princess Cruises, Royal Caribbean International, Regent Seven Seas Cruises and SilverSea Cruises.

Ballot Measure 2 , which was qualified for the ballot by professional signature collectors hired by a California-based environmental group, is opposed by hundreds of Alaska's town and city governments, chambers of commerce, civic organizations, visitors bureaus, tour operators, tourists associations, and small businesses.

Needless to say, it also is opposed by the major cruise lines, who financed a campaign to defeat the measure through the North West CruiseShip Association based in Vancouver, British Columbia.


Rushie
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11,548 Posts
The Politicians of Alaska are big crooks, they have been trying for a couple of years to pass a bill in congress to foot the bill to build a bridge in Juneau costing millions of dollars, its called the bridge to nowhere. There is no way out of Juneau,only by air or by sea,they want the tax payers of the lower 48 to pay for it. People are saying Alaska pay for it yourself with the oil money they are getting.
John
 
1 - 19 of 19 Posts
Top