The next battleground for the river cruise industry is slowly but surely emerging, and it looks like it’s closer to home for many river cruisers. American Cruise Lines confirmed yesterday that it will be constructing four brand-new river cruise vessels, the first of which will enter service along the Mississippi River in 2015.
The as-yet-unnamed vessel will be similarly sized to the line’s current Queen of the Mississippi, which can accommodate 150 guests. Under construction at the Chesapeake Shipbuilding yards in Salisbury, Maryland, the new Mississippi-based riverboat will enter service in March of 2015.
The line also announced that a new river cruise vessel for the Pacific Northwest’s Columbia River is under construction at the same shipyard. Once complete, it will be slightly larger than the line’s existing vessels, with a capacity for 175 guests. Like its Mississippi counterpart, this new Columbia river vessel will also feature a fully functioning paddlewheel.
“Demand on the Mississippi is high, and the Columbia River has not seen a new riverboat in many years,” says Timothy Beebe, vice president of American Cruise Lines. “The new riverboats will offer the finest experience available in these regions, while maintaining the historic feel and authenticity of historic American river cruising.”
Both river cruise vessels will feature period accents and styling situated alongside all the modern amenities and technology that cruisers have come to expect. The line says that both vessels will feature the largest staterooms currently available on either river, with nearly all accommodations offering private balconies.
The cultural and historic significance of both regions will be emphasized onboard, with guests taking in the view of the passing scenery from spacious lounges and a glass-enclosed dining room.
More information on both vessels will appear here once it has been made available.
More information on American Cruise Lines can be found by viewing our company profile here on River Cruise Advisor.