American Queen Steamboat Company (AQSC) and her sister carrier Victory Cruise Lines (VCL) have offered up their currently-idle ships for use by the U.S. military for personnel that may need to be quarantined amid the COVID-19 health crisis, Travel Weekly revealed.
These Hornblower-owned companies join the ranks of travel operators, including hotels and cruise lines, who have made offers to the government to use their facilities to quarter patients and personnel while the coronavirus pandemic sweeps the nation.
Last week, in a similar move, cruise industry giant Carnival Corp. offered its ships to aid the government by serving as temporary hospital facilities while the coronavirus crisis persists. The White House has yet to declare news of whether or not it will be taking the company up on its offer.
AQSC and VCL suggested in a statement that they are, “currently exploring ways to work with the U.S. federal government for their usage of our vessels.” The proposed usage would be to house military personnel who require quarantining upon arrival from outside the U.S. or prior to departing for foreign shores.
“AQSC and VCL would be pleased to assist the federal government during this crisis, and our six vessels are readily available and on standby,” the company said.’
Cities in which the cruise lines’ vessels could potentially be stationed for such purposes include New Orleans, Norfolk, Miami, San Diego, Seattle and St. Louis.
AQSC also announced today that it would be extending the temporary suspension of operations across its entire fleet through May 16, 2020, in response to the evolving conditions caused by the COVID-19 outbreak, which include the ongoing, widespread application of governmental restrictions across ports, cities and public institutions.
AQSC’s customer service team is reaching out directly to all guests and their travel agents impacted by the cancellation of those 20 sailings scheduled to take place between April 11 and May 16, 2020, regarding their available rebooking and refund options.
A special incentivized future cruise credit of 125% of the original cruise fare is being offered for use on future sailings in 2020 or 2021, or guests can alternatively seek a full refund of the original fare.
For more information, visit americanqueensteamboatcompany.com or victorycruiselines.com.
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