Behind the storm raging for months in the United States between the CDC and the major cruise lines, there is American Cruise Line. It is one of the few cruise lines that can sail within US waters during the pandemic.
So far, the Guilford, Connecticut-based cruise line has six out of its 13 vessels sailing both the east coast, west coast, and the Mississippi River, while the line plans to be operating in Alaska shortly as well.
Smaller Ships- Fewer Rules
American Cruise Line is profiting from a rule from the CDC which states that the Conditional Sailing Order only applies to passenger operations on cruise ships with the capacity to carry at least 250 passengers. As the cruise line is 100% American-owned, manned, and operated, the Passenger Vessel Services act does not apply to the cruise line.
The cruise line operates a fleet of 100% U.S.-flagged cruise ships and riverboats in the country, each accommodating fewer than 200 passengers. The line was the first of the smaller US based cruise lines to resume sailing this March from Florida and is profiting from the fact that the major cruise lines cannot start sailing from US ports.
Charles B. Robertson, President & CEO of American Cruise Lines, said the following:
“We are proud to have been the first line back on the water in the US As the only cruise line visiting 30 states, we have taken great care to resume cruises safely in each region by working closely with state and local partners. The popularity of small ship domestic cruising was stronger than ever before the pandemic and 2021 demand is already at new record levels.”
American is scheduled to have their full 13-ship fleet sailing in all US regions later this spring—from Alaska to Florida and cruises on the Mississippi and the rivers in the Pacific Northwest.
Although the cruise line is American-owned and operated, it does not mean it does not have to comply with many safety measures onboard. The cruise line has been working closely with several local and state officials and the CDC in ensuring the ships are safe while sailing.
The cruises on board the ships include a regimen of new safety protocols but otherwise provide the same personalized guest experience they are renowned for.
All the line’s small ships offer more than the usual 350 sq./ft. per passenger, as American is voluntarily operating with additional occupancy restrictions to further enhance the space while simultaneously ensuring the spread of any viruses onboard is mitigated.
Other than that, the company has implemented COVID-19 mitigation practices, which include pre-boarding testing and medical staff on board all cruises.
About American Cruise Lines
For those unfamiliar with American Cruise Lines, the line is one of the few companies currently allowed to sail within US waters with its small ship concept. The line offers cruises from Alaska to Florida, in New England, the Pacific Northwest, and more on four modern riverboats, three smaller coastal cruise ships, two larger oceangoing ships, and four authentic paddlewheelers, all accommodating just 100-190 passengers.