Merchants in Bermuda will be allowed to open their stores on Sunday, March 17, when the Azamara Quest docks in Hamilton, marking the official start of the island's cruise season.

The government allowed a one-time waiver to the 1947 Public Holidays Act that prohibits store openings on Sundays, but the waiver does not apply to the sale of Bermuda-made liquor, such as Black Seal rum.

The Bermuda Chamber of Commerce lobbied for the exemption, which allows retailers to be be open from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. on March 17.

The Azamara Quest, which carries 688 passengers, will dock at 10 a.m. in Hamilton and sails out at 5 p.m.

Follow Gay Nagle Myers on Twitter @gnmtravelweekly.

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