[amsat-bb] Re: Ham Radios on Cruises

nh6vb Scheller nh6vb at msn.com
Tue Mar 1 12:41:33 PST 2011

Bob et all,
It might be a good idea to consult with the most current FCC regulations.
The sticker here is that almost all cruise lines are foreign flagged, and thus
a foreign country. In the past, FCC regulations stated that US hams could
operate on US flagged ships on the high seas, with the captain's permission.
However, there are several treaties, the US is a signatory to, making it much
easier for hams to operate outside their home countries.
To make a long story short, any vessel on the high seas is the country whose
flag it flies, thus comes under the regulation of that particular country.
Case in point, a US private yacht whose master (a US citizen obtained a foreign 
ham license i.e. Mexico, needs a visitors US ham license and call, in order to operate 
on the high seas (international waters). He also needs permission from himself, 
being the captain of a US flagged vessel, to do so.
The way I see it, if you operate from a Norwegian flagged cruise liner, you would
need a Norwegian ham call and the captain's permission to operate on the high seas.
Now, as soon as you enter French Polynesian waters, you need to deal with the French.
The French will gladly give you a guest license, based on your American FCC license.
But then you cannot operate from the Norwegian flagged ship. You can sit in a cafe in
Tahiti and talk on your hand held to your heart's contend, but don't try it from the cruise
ship. The exception here would be if you hold both, a US and a Norwegian ham license,
Then the French will issue you a guest license based on your Norwegian license.
Complicated, you bet. Best is to apply for a guest license before you go on the cruise.
One more caution. In some countries it is illegal to possess radio equipment that is capable
to transmit or receive on frequencies outside their alloted ham frequencies. Australia is
very strict in enforcing that restriction. Don't get caught with a ham radio modified for
MARS use. That is a no no and can earn you a hefty fine. 
Peter, NH6VB
> Date: Tue, 1 Mar 2011 10:25:52 -0800
> From: kl7cn.w6 at gmail.com
> To: bruninga at usna.edu
> CC: clintbrad4d at earthlink.net; amsat-bb at amsat.org
> Subject: [amsat-bb] Re: Ham Radios on Cruises
> On Tue, Mar 1, 2011 at 9:57 AM, Bob Bruninga <bruninga at usna.edu> wrote:
> > NO, this is exactly the info we need. The entry would be:
> >
> > Holand America - Prohibited. But exceptions have been made *
> >
> > *And then site the exceptions, who, when.
> >
> > That is a LOT more info than NO listing at all.
> >
> > Bob, WB4APR
> Bob, I get the feeling that would be the entry for all the cruise lines.
> Perhaps a document representing the current experience and advice would be
> most helpful. I'll see what I can do.
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