The Norwegian Viking Ship Draken Harald Hårfagre recently ran into trouble where they were informed they require a pilot to traverse the great lakes to Participate in Tall Ships events. Pilots bill at $400, and they estimate the cost to be over 400,000$ to complete the planned trip. As a result they were debating getting out of the lakes entirely.
there was some confusion as to why this became an issue now – After they traveled the seaway and toured lake Ontario; as well the Great lakes Pilotage Association said vessels under 35m are exempt.
The Great Lakes Pilotage Authority (GLPA) is a Canadian Federal Crown Corporation responsible for administering the Pilotage Act in the Great Lakes region, In Canada (the Great Lakes Region), foreign flag ships such as the visiting Norwegian ship, are subject to pilotage only when they exceed 35 meters in length. In this case, the vessel’s length is less than 35 meters, and therefore is not subject to pilotage in Canadian waters.
The USCG is responsible for Pilotage in the Lakes through its Great Lakes Pilotage Division (CG-WWM-2) Unit. US law applies to American waters, and while American and Canadian pilots can work in either countries waters, Canadian Pilotage exemptions do not apply to US Waters.
So in Short – the Draken Harald Hårfagre is fine in Canada, but screwed in the US.