US river lines push back plans to resume cruises

   July 2, 2020 ,   Cruise Industry

USA's river cruise companies continue to push back plans to resume sailings.

On Tuesday, June 30, AQSC-American Queen Steamboat Company said its first cruise would now be on August 2 rather than July 20, 2020. ACL-American Cruise Lines (USA's largest) announced it would delay some planned departures for July.

AQSC's CEO and founder John Waggoner said in a statement that the decision to extend their suspension was "disappointing but necessary" in order to prioritize the well-being of their guests, crew, and partners. He added they continued to monitor the climate surrounding the COVID and felt that extending the relaunch date was the most responsible way to uphold their commitment to the safety of each individual who steps onboard one of their paddle wheelers and to the communities they visit.

AQSC's ship American Empress (deployed on Columbia and Snake rivers) restarts cruising on August 2, while the fleetmate American Duchess resumes voyages on Mississippi River on August 17. The company's other two ships - American Countess and American Queen - cruise on Ohio, Tennessee and Mississippi rivers beginning August 8, as previously announced.

ACL was forced to cancel the planned restart in the Pacific Northwest on June 28 because of a spike in Coronavirus (COVID-19) cases in Oregon. On Tuesday, ACL announced it would push back some of the planned July sailings. However, ACL did not release further details.