Recommended shipbuilding construction guidelines for cruise vessels destined to call on U.S. ports
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This Document Has Been Replaced By: Vessel Sanitation Program 2018 construction guidelines

Recommended shipbuilding construction guidelines for cruise vessels destined to call on U.S. ports

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      The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) established the Vessel Sanitation Program (VSP) in 1975 as a cooperative endeavor with the cruise vessel industry. VSP’s goal is to assist the industry in fulfilling its responsibility for developing and implementing comprehensive sanitation programs to protect the health of passengers and crew members aboard cruise vessels.

      Every cruise vessel that has a foreign itinerary, carries 13 or more passengers, and calls on a United States port is subject to biannual operational inspections and when necessary, to reinspection by the VSP. The vessel owner pays a fee, based on gross registered tonnage (GRT) of the vessel, for all operational inspections. The VSP Operations Manual, which is available on the VSP web site at, covers details of these inspections.

      Additionally, on a voluntary basis, cruise vessel owners or shipyards that build or renovate cruise vessels may request plan reviews, on-site shipyard construction inspections and/or final construction inspections of new or remodeled vessels before their first or next operational inspection, as the case may be. The vessel owner or shipyard pays a fee, based on GRT of the vessel, for on-site and final construction inspections. VSP does not charge a fee for plan reviews or consultations. Section 3.0, Procedures for Making Requests for Plan Reviews and Construction-Related Inspections covers details pertaining to plan reviews, consultations, or construction inspections.

      The primary purpose of Recommended Shipbuilding Construction Guidelines for Cruise Vessels Destined To Call on U.S. Ports (hereinafter referred to as the guidelines) is to provide a framework of consistency for the sanitary design and construction of cruise vessels in order to protect the health of passengers and crew aboard ship. CDC is committed to promoting high construction standards to protect the public’s health and believes compliance with these recommended construction guidelines will help ensure a healthful environment on cruise vessels.


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