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William A. Irvin reopening for tours

DULUTH, MN -- The William A. Irvin will be back open on Friday.

DECC officials made the announcement Wednesday.

The 600-foot floating museum will be open for tours Friday, Saturday, and Sundays from 10 a.m-5 p.m through the end of September
This will be the first time tours have been allowed since 2017.

Longtime Irvin Manager, Steve Rankila, said, "People have been looking for activities that are fun for the whole family. We have worked hard to not only get the Irvin “ship shape”, but to ensure we have addressed the additional health-related precautions our visitors expect when they step aboard.” Rankila said the Irvin has switched from large group tours to a self-directed tour based on individuals and their “closely connected” immediate party. Museum staff is strategically positioned at key locations to interpret those spaces and then direct guests to their next station aboard the historic vessel.

Safety is a key component to allowing onboard tours to resume. DECC Venue Director, Jeff Stark, said, “We understood our operation needed to change to address the current pandemic. Masks and gloves will be required for all visitors. Guests will be provided with gloves prior to climbing on board. Patrons may bring their own masks or purchase one with their ticket.” Stark also said that cleaning and disinfecting high touch surfaces will be routine throughout the day. The gift shop is exclusively available to patrons at the end of their tour, and will be closed to the general public. “The safety of our guests and staff is paramount”, said Stark.

The ship was out of commission for two years to clean the slip and do restoration work on the retired laker.

Reporter Anthony Matt

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