Something else I really didn't understand from the article and the comments. One of the reasons the tour operator's association stated as their reason for not wanting the cruiselines, was they didn't want to meet the stringent requirements from the cruiseline. The cruiseline requires proof of liability insurance, proof of equipment like buses and boats in good condition and tour guides that actually know what they are talking about. All things I think are a good thing. However, the tour operators didn't want to have to meet these requirements to be considered for inclusion on the cruiseline's shore excursions. One of the commenters stated that if the tour operators were required to meet these rules, the tour operator would become "mere employees of the cruiselines working for small tips".
First, if they don't want to be part of the cruiseline's shore excursions, then just don't. When we were in Alaska 3 years ago, we took a shore excursion on a boat to see Bald Eagles and Totem poles. The tour operator owned the boat, which I must say was in very good condition. He told us that the tour operators compete to be included in the cruiselines shore excursions. He said that the local tour operators have a type of trade show every winter to show the cruiselines their tours and that the local tour operators really want to be included and meet all the requirements because they make so much money from the cruiselines shore excursions. He didn't look exploited to me!