As the nation responds to the COVID-19 pandemic, we are constantly evaluating our options for providing the best hands-on education that meets and exceeds federal and international training standards and days-at-sea experience. With that in mind, it is now clear that we will not be able to conduct this summer’s training cruise aboard the TS State of Maine as scheduled. However, our intent is to conduct a training cruise this summer, even if shortened.
We continue to follow the most up-to-date guidance from Federal and State public health authorities, and, as of now, we are unable to set a new date for cruise nor a revised itinerary. For planning purposes, cruise will not depart in the month of May. We are hopeful that we can commence cruise in June; however, it is premature to predict a date. To allow for all participants to adjust schedules and travel to Castine, we will provide at least 30 days’ notice prior to the ship departing. In addition to following medical guidance, we are in regular contact with the U.S. Coast Guard and Maritime Administration (MARAD) regarding the best guidance for training cruises as well as which ports are available and safe as we build a new itinerary.
Also, please note that President Brennan is working with the U.S. Coast Guard, MARAD, and the presidents of the other state maritime academies to address what may become a missed or abbreviated summer in terms of days-at-sea. There are multiple scenarios being considered in an effort to ensure each student receives the best possible training and experience while minimizing any delay to their eventual licensing and graduation.
For more information about MMA’s COVID-19 response and planning, please visit our resources page.