The new cruise ships just keep coming. American Cruise Lines has just announced plans for a fleet of five new modern riverboats, the first of which is set to begin sailing U.S. rivers in 2018.
The first ship, which will have a capacity of 200 guests, will have a European-inspired design with large staterooms with private balconies and hotel-size bathrooms, the cruise line said.
Construction has already begun on the new modern riverboat at Chesapeake Shipbuilding in Salisbury, MD. In addition to the new class of modern riverboats, American is building two additional cruise ships at Chesapeake Shipbuilding. American Constellation has a capacity of 170 passengers and is scheduled to begin cruising in May of 2017 and its sibling ship will begin cruising in 2018.
The move comes as the rivers and oceans of the United States — and the world — are about to get a bit more crowded. The new French America Line is set to begin this year’s U.S. river cruises onboard its flagship, the Louisiane, March 4 on the Mississippi, Ohio, Tennessee, Cumberland, and Red rivers. Itineraries will range from five to 14 days and run for the season through January 6, 2018.
Viking River Cruises is also planning to set sail on U.S. rivers out of New Orleans, with the original plans calling for a 2017 debut.
“We are actively working with our partners to launch on the Mississippi River, but at this point in time we do not have any details to share regarding product specifics or a launch timeline,” Viking River Cruises said in an updated statement provided to Travel Agent.
In ocean news, the recently-launched Viking Sky will sail itineraries in the Americas and the Caribbean following a transatlantic crossing at the end of the summer. Silversea’s new flagship, the Silver Muse, will offer itineraries in North and South America, as well as Europe, Canada and the Caribbean, this year following its launch in Monaco on April 19.
Also this year MSC Cruises’ new next-gen ship, the MSC Seaside, will homeport in Miami, offering year-round cruises to the Caribbean. A number of other notable new recently launched ships include Royal Caribbean’s Harmony of the Seas, which is home-ported in Port Everglades, FL; Carnival Cruise Line’s new Carnival Vista, which is sailing from Miami; and Holland America Line’s Koningsdam, which this winter is also sailing out of Port Everglades.