While the High Speed Rail Authority figures out how to round up enough money to lay track and get travelers zipping down to SoCal, Chronicle columnist and noted Jimmy Buffett fan C.W. Nevius wants to know why we're not already sailing between San Francisco and other West Coast ports of call. The city is putting in all this infrastructure to cater to cruise ships before the America's Cup, and we love our tourists (or the $8.6 billion per year the city makes off of them, anyway) so what's keeping San Francisco from becoming a popular bermuda shirt destination?
With that brand new cruise terminal going in at Pier 27, the city will be able to load larger vessels with classier service than the dumpy shed they currently use at Pier 35. The problem, however, is an antique maritime law — the Passenger Vessel Services Act, passed way back in 1886 — that prevents any foreign-built pleasure vessel from moving passengers from one American port to another without first stopping. The act was supposed to protect American shipbuilders, but we apparently stopped building cruise ships back in the fifties. Which means none of today's cruiseliners can go from San Francisco to Seattle without first making a pitstop in Canada.
Anyhow, Nevius and the SF Travel Association's dream is to one day have (literally) boatloads of Dodgers fans sailing up from LA to catch a series against the Giants. Which would be great for us! Assuming they all caught one of those norovirus outbreaks and ended up watching the whole thing while quarantined in McCovey Cove, that is.