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Cruise lines resume sailing in US waters for first time since COVID-19 hit


A small US cruise line returned to the waters over the weekend, marking the first industry voyage in American waters since the coronavirus pandemic first hit early last year.

American Cruise Lines’ coastal cruiser Independence departed Amelia Island, Florida, for a seven-day trip to Charleston, South Carolina, USA Today reported.

The cruise line is able to resume operations because it has ships small enough to bypass current sailing directives from the Centers for Disease and Control, according to the report.

The Independence, which usually holds 100 passengers, capped its capacity at 75 percent, the report said.

Passengers and crew members must also test negative for the coronavirus within four days of arriving on the ship.

Another small US ship line, American Queen Steamboat Company, is also set to resume sailing on Monday, the report said.

AQSC, similarly, has small enough vessels to bypass the federal regulations.

The company’s ship, American Duchess, will sail on the Mississippi River between New Orleans and Memphis, the report said.

Passengers on the line must test for COVID-19 the night before boarding.

Beginning July 1, AQSC will also require all passengers and crew to be vaccinated for coronavirus.


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