Chesapeake to build two more modern riverboats for ACL

Acl Modernriverboats Skywalk

(GUILFORD, Conn.) — American Cruise Lines (ACL) announced Tuesday that it has signed contracts with Chesapeake Shipbuilding of Salisbury, Md., to build two more modern riverboats in 2022.

The newbuilds will be the fifth and sixth in the ACL series introduced in 2018. Both new modern riverboats are yet to be named and will follow the 2021 debuts of American Jazz and American Melody on the Mississippi River.

Acl Modernriverboats Skywalk
ACL’s 2021-2022 modern riverboats feature a deck skywalk. American Cruise Lines photo

The size of the ACL fleet has more than doubled since 2017. Including the two newbuilds announced Tuesday, the fleet has grown to 15 vessels: five small cruise ships, four classic paddlewheelers and six modern riverboats. In addition to the line’s newest modern riverboats, American also plans to continue building new small cruise ships for its U.S. coastal itineraries. ACL’s river and coastal cruises operate in the same destination-focused style, cruising close to home and always in sight of land, with 100 percent domestic U.S. itineraries.

“American’s two newbuilds are welcome news for the industry here at home. They closely follow the two riverboats we are introducing this year and demonstrate our ongoing commitment to growth and leading the U.S. small ship market,” said Charles B. Robertson, president and CEO of ACL. “While the pace of our newbuilds is increasing, we are committed to maintaining the small capacity of our ships, which continue to accommodate just 100 to 190 passengers. This distinction across our fleet truly enables us to deliver the personalized and sophisticated experience our guests have come to expect.”

American’s fifth and sixth modern riverboats will be sister ships to 175-passenger American Melody, beginning operations on the Mississippi this August. American Melody will showcase the line’s newest interior design concept created by Studio DADO of Miami, Fla.

American Melody and the new 2022 builds will also highlight new architectural elements, including a new fifth deck skywalk that features a walking track cantilevered above the fourth deck, and an elliptical cutout above the riverboat’s outdoor cafe and  lounge.

– American Cruise Lines

By Professional Mariner Staff