ACL to redesign, refit fleet of classic paddewheelers

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(GUILFORD, Conn.) — American Cruise Lines (ACL) has announced that its fleet of four classic paddlewheelers will be undergoing a major redesign, refit and rebranding. The new interior design will bring paddlewheel cruising to the same standard already exhibited on American’s newest modern riverboats while retaining traditional elements true to steamboat history.

The announcement follows the August unveiling of American Melody and its new interior design. “American Melody’s extraordinary reception, particularly by our loyalty program members, has inspired us to bring the same new aesthetic to our entire paddlewheel fleet,” said Charles B. Robertson, president and CEO of American Cruise Lines.

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American Cruise Lines photo

As the paddlewheelers rise to ACL’s newest design standard, their names will be changed to include the American moniker that denotes other ships in the company’s fleet. The paddlewheelers America, Queen of the Mississippi and Queen of the West will be renamed American Splendor, American Heritage and American West, while American Pride will retain its original name.

The paddlewheel refurbishment will not change the company’s new construction timeline. American Cruise Lines has expanded aggressively in the domestic cruise market, doubling the size of its U.S. fleet to 15 small ships, including the introduction of six new modern riverboats — the first and only modern riverboats available in the country.

The new paddlewheel redesign project will be completed by Studio DADO of Miami, Fla. Studio DADO was recently commissioned to do the interior design for American Melody. Receiving design industry accolades since its debut in August, American Melody’s interior reflects Studio DADO’s talent in delivering modern elegance while evoking the history and culture of the places explored. Studio DADO will now bring this strategy to American’s paddlewheel fleet.

American’s two Mississippi River paddlewheelers, American Splendor and American Heritage, will celebrate the musical genres of the river, from jazz and blues to country and rock ‘n roll, as well as historical literary figures like Mark Twain. ACL’s two Columbia and Snake paddlewheelers, American Pride and American West, will highlight Western and Native American themes, including the famous Lewis & Clark expedition. From the staterooms and suites to the lounges and dining rooms, each ship will be made over with new color palates, luxurious textiles and linens, new furniture and carpets, and regionally inspired artwork and flourishes.

– American Cruise Lines

By Professional Mariner Staff