Cruise Line Operators Give Testimony to FMC on Financial Responsibility Protections for Passengers
March 3, 2010
Contact: Karen V. Gregory, Secretary (202-523-5725)
The Federal Maritime Commission heard testimony today from passenger vessel operators and cruise industry associations concerning the benefits and challenges of the Commission's financial responsibility requirements. Today's hearing provided the Commission the opportunity to hear directly from the cruise industry and ask questions regarding the adequacy of protections for passengers' deposits and fares in the event of nonperformance of a cruise from a U.S. port. On December 3, 2009 the Commission issued a Notice of Inquiry (NOI) to solicit comments on this matter and to determine whether or not the Commission should amend its financial responsibility regulations. Written comments from industry participants in response to the Commission's NOI were submitted prior to the hearing.
Appearing before the Commission this morning were:
David Williams, Counsel, American Cruise Lines Inc.
David Bernstein, Senior Vice President & Chief Financial Officer, Carnival Corporation & PLC
Ann G. Miller, on behalf of Crystal Cruises, Inc.
Terry L. Dale, President and CEO, Cruise Lines International Association
Ed Welch, Legislative Director, Passenger Vessel Association
The Commissioners each expressed gratitude for the witnesses' participation in today's hearing, as well as the comments and valuable information already received in response to the Commission's NOI. Participants were asked to continue the dialogue and to submit further responses to questions raised by the Commissioners at the hearing. Chairman Richard A. Lidinsky, Jr. noted that this information will greatly assist the Commission as it carefully considers the current passenger vessel operator regulatory requirements and any possible next steps. The Commissioners' follow-up questions and prepared statements submitted by the participants are available on the Commission's Passenger Vessel Financial Responsibility Notice of Inquiry webpage.