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American Countess cleared to sail, christening cruise set for Sunday

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American Countess is currently certified for 249 souls (passengers and crew). Initially the vessel will be carrying up to 166 passengers
American Queen Steamboat Co. got the green light for its new American Countess to enter service on Sunday.

The vessel's naming in New Orleans is going ahead, along with its christening cruise from there to Memphis.

Only yesterday the company thought things were off after the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said the paddlewheeler could not proceed even though the US Coast Guard had certified the vessel for capacity of up to 249 people, one under the limit for CDC's jurisdiction during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Swift review and reconsideration

'We applaud the CDC’s swift review and reconsideration of our authorized passenger capacity for American Countess’ christening sailing. We are thrilled to share that we are cleared to set sail as scheduled with friends and family, travel and local officials Sunday, March 21, out of the Port of New Orleans,' a company spokesperson said Thursday.

American Duchess sailing since March 15

American Countess will join American Duchess, already operating on the Mississippi River since March 15.

The first Countess revenue cruise is set for March 27, from Memphis to New Orleans. Initially, the paddlewheeler will be operating at reduced capacity, 166 passengers.

'We want to thank the CDC for working alongside us to resolve this issue so quickly and efficiently,' the spokesperson said. 'We look forward to beginning our inaugural season on board the beautiful American Countess and welcoming back our guests to join us on the water once again.'

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