American Cruise Lines has announced plans for four new riverboats. The four new ships will enter service between 2015 and 2017.
Construction has already begun on the first two ships, with the first to begin cruising in in the spring of 2015. 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 new ships will offer amenities including large staterooms, private balconies, and spacious dining and lounge venues.
The announcement comes at a time of expansion for American Cruise Lines. Recently, the company announced plans to open an additional sales center in Salt Lake City in mid-January 2014.
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. During the cruise, guests will learn about the Lewis and Clark expedition. 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.”