American Cruise Lines recently announced that it has experienced unprecedented passenger growth in the past year, carrying 25 percent more guests than the previous calendar year. It’s the U.S.-based line’s third consecutive year of growth, and it attributes the company’s success to the growth in the U.S-based river cruise market.
Increased consumer demand for river cruising worldwide has had a positive impact on the legendary Mississippi, where river cruising had all but disappeared just a few short years ago. Now, the legendary American waterway – along with other U.S.-based rivers – is experiencing a resurgence to the point where American Cruise Lines has announced it is completing construction of a new riverboat for its fleet.
Like the company’s Queen of the Mississippi, this new vessel will be a traditionally styled paddlewheeler capable of accommodating 150 passengers. American Cruise Lines said in a statement that additional details on this newbuild will be forthcoming in the new year, and that it would have another announcement regarding additional newbuilds in the next few weeks.
“The demand for riverboat vacations is higher than it has ever been, and as the leader in the U.S. river and coastal cruise category, American Cruise Lines remains poised for continued expansion and success with its new building program,” said Charles A. Robertson, President of American Cruise Lines. “Today’s travelers are seeking more personalized and intimate travel experiences, along with top-notch accommodations and service, which is only possible with new small ships like ours.”
In addition to sailing the Mississippi, American Cruise Lines offers more than 35 itineraries on rivers and waterways that traverse 28 states throughout the United States. The line recently inaugurated sailings aboard the refitted Queen of the West through the Pacific Northwest’s Columbia and Snake rivers that traverse Oregon and parts of Washington State.
The line has long been a purveyor of small-ship cruising, with itineraries that sail to relatively unexplored parts of Alaska, Canada & New England, and even the waterways of Florida. But American Cruise Lines also offers a wide variety of theme cruises that include holiday sailings, culinary voyages, and cruises based around important historical events and people that are relevant to the itinerary, like Mark Twain and Lewis and Clark.
“Passengers have always come first aboard American Cruise Lines. We continue to listen closely to their feedback and suggestions, which drives the innovations we build into our new vessels and creates intriguing itineraries to ensure they have the best experience possible on our vessels,” said Robertson.
With the continued growth of river cruising abroad, the future looks bright for North American-based cruisers as well.
More information on American Cruise Line’s forthcoming vessels will be available here on River Cruise Advisor as details are released.