ACL-American Cruise Lines, which planned to restart passenger shipping services in the USA on June 20th, announced that a last-minute change in Oregon state’s reopening plan had "scuttled the voyage."
The USA's largest river cruise company scheduled the June 20 voyage on American Song (184-passenger boat). The itinerary (Snake and Columbia rivers, Pacific Northwest USA) was cancelled in the evening of June 18.
In a statement, ACL said that Oregon’s Phased Reopening Plan had been modified to exclude all overnight cruises, even on small-capacity riverboats. The Coronavirus (COVID-19) presented unprecedented challenges for community and state leaders across the country and ACL was very empathetic to the situation in Oregon.
The company added they were surprised and disappointed by the last-minute changes but understood the difficulty leaders faced in that state. ACL would continue to do its best to support all local partners throughout the region and looked forward "to resuming small-ship cruising in the Pacific Northwest in the very near future.”
ACL maintains it is exempt from the no-sail order issued by the CDC because it applied to ships with 250 or more crew and passengers on board. The no-sail order is in effect through July 24 or until the virus outbreak is no longer considered an emergency.
To further comply, ACL planned to operate American Song at 75% passenger capacity to allow for distancing.
ACL's Pacific Northwest Cruise itinerary begins in Portland OR and also includes a couple of other Oregon towns as well as a number of places in Washington.
The company has plans to begin operating on July 12 on the Mississippi with the American Harmony (190-passenger) also at 75% capacity.