Tuesday, December 17, 2013

American Cruise Lines Building Four New Riverboats

European rivers are arguably the world’s most cruised inland waterways, but there is domestic competition on the horizon as American Cruise Lines expands its presence on U.S. rivers. The line, which is the largest U.S.-flagged cruise company and operates the newest fleet of riverboats and small cruise ships on more than 35 itineraries around the country, revealed that it is building four new riverboats for American river cruising. Construction has already begun on the first two ships, with the first to begin cruising in in the spring of 2015. It will be followed by the others entering service between 2015 and 2017. The first two new riverboats will carry between 150 and 200 guests and will cruise the Mississippi River system and the Columbia and Snake Rivers. The four new ships will bring all the latest amenities and comforts to each area cruised, including the largest staterooms, private balconies, and spacious dining and lounge venues.

In 2012, American Cruise Lines reinvigorated Mississippi River cruising by bringing an unprecedented level of refinement and service to the river through its introduction of Queen of the Mississippi, the first new ship on the river in nearly twenty years. The additional new ships will have many of the same features and have the largest staterooms ever with sliding glass doors for panoramic views, room service, and other amenities unique to American Cruise Lines.

At least one of the four new ships will operate cruises along the Columbia and Snake Rivers from the Pacific Coast to the Idaho border, more than 500 miles inland. It will be specially built for cruising in the Pacific Northwest with historic accents and modern conveniences. Every stateroom is designed to have panoramic views, private balconies, and room service. The art collection is being carefully selected to highlight the Lewis and Clark expedition and the Native American tribes who helped them. Guests will learn about the Lewis and Clark expedition while enjoying the comforts of the finest ship to ever sail this region. The itinerary will be similar to American Cruise Lines’ existing itinerary on the Columbia and Snake Rivers aboard Queen of the West, which underwent extensive renovation in 2010.

“There is a longstanding history of riverboating in America,” said Timothy Beebe, Vice President of American Cruise Lines. “Since the 1800s, each new riverboat has sought to outdo the last by offering more amenities, comforts, and service than its predecessors. The Columbia and Snake Rivers have not seen a new riverboat in over ten years, so the upgrade is overdue, and the new ship on the Mississippi River will complement the Queen of the Mississippi beautifully.”

The new-building program comes on the heels of a recent American Cruise Lines revelation that the company has experienced annual growth of more than 25% in each of the past three years. The company is the leader in U.S. river cruising and has an ambitious growth plan to provide its product and service to more people each year. Long established and deeply experienced in cruise travel, American Cruise Lines has most recently received world-wide recognition as the first to revive paddlewheel river cruising in America. The line is known for working closely with guests and travel agents before, during, and after a cruise to create a highly personalized cruise experience.

Image Courtesy of American Cruise Lines

No comments: