It has been a long time to wait for the COVID outbreak after finally, the tourism business got a chance to re-open the program. American Cruise Lines, a U.S.-based company with a fleet of the river and coastal cruise ships, aims to be the first to return to sailing, resuming operations June 20.
The line’s 180-passenger ship, American Song, will begin sailing June 20 on the Columbia and Snake rivers in the Pacific Northwest. It then will follow on the Mississippi River with the 190-passenger ship American Harmony, leaving June 28 from Memphis.
Finally, the company hopes to sail in Alaska in late June and July on its 175-passenger coastal cruiser, American Constellation.
All passengers have been informed of the changes in advance, the line said. The line also has a Cruise With Comfort plan in place, allowing passengers to cancel within 24 hours for any reason before the trip.
“Our guests want to cruise,” said Charles B. Robertson, President & CEO of American Cruise Lines. “There is a resurgence of demand to begin exploring this country, and as the largest American cruise line, we look forward to responsibly resuming travel.”
All three of the line’s ships will voluntarily sail at 75 percent capacity. But even if they were full, they would still fall outside the current sailing moratorium set by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The current orders from the CDC prohibit cruise ships from sailing before July 24, or whenever approval is given to the lines’ plans to rework the cruising experience to address COVID-19 concerns.
But those regulations specifically apply to ships that have more than 250 combined passengers and crew. American Cruise Lines, as well as a few other small ship and river companies in the U.S., have vessels that fall under that number.
Chris Gray Faust
Managing Editor – CruiseCritic