Cruising Returned to America This Weekend
For the first time in over a year, a cruise ship departed from an American port with passengers onboard. American Cruise Lines resumed service over the weekend and American Queen Steamboat Company is setting sail today and that is great news for cruisers!
American Cruise Line set sail from Amelia Island in Northern Florida on a weekend cruise to Charleston, South Carolina on board their ship Independence. The ship can accomodate 100 passengers, but was capped at 75% capacity to help make social distancing easier. Everyone was required to present a negative COVID-19 PCR test taken within four days of the cruise. Masks are mandatory in public spaces and shore excursion groups will be smaller.
American Queen Steamboat Company resumes operation today with a private charter sailing on board their ship American Duchess. The ship will sail on the Mississippi River between Memphis and New Orleans. On March 21, the cruise line will christen their newest ship American Countess before it enters service on March 28.
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American Queen Steamboat Company was in the news recently as they announced a mandatory vaccine policy on board their ships effective July 1. Following the news, John Waggoner, Chairman & CEO of American Queen Steamboat Company joined Porthole Cruise Magazine Editor-in-Chief Bill Panoff to discuss the decision.
“We’re a family operation. All the crew members are my friends, a lot of the guests are my friends, and so we really wanted to make sure that safety is number one. We wanted to make sure our guests and our crew members are comfortable so we said we’re going to make the bold move of having everyone be 100% vaccinated. It’s been very, very positive, we received a lot of good comments. It’s interesting that bookings after July 1st are increasing, I can’t tell you if that’s because of the vaccine or just because people want to cruise, but it’s been very well received,” Waggoner said.
Watch the full interview with John Waggoner below: