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American Cruise Lines to build contemporary style, larger riverboats

American Cruise Lines to build contemporary style, larger riverboats
American Cruise Lines plans to construct a new fleet of modern riverboats, which it said will add a 'new dimension to river cruising in the United States, and a wide selection of new river itineraries throughout the country.' The more contemporary concept will differ from that of the line’s existing paddlewheelers, which have Victorian style elements.

The company would not say how many vessels are planned or when delivery might start, but told Seatrade Insider the new riverboats will be larger than those it currently operates.

The news adds to what appears as a revival and changing style in the US river sector.

Two years ago Viking River Cruises chairman Torstein Hagen told Seatrade Insider his company was planning to build a contemporary ('no paddlewheel') river vessel to for the Mississippi, in what would be that fast-growing company's first foray into the US waterways.

Last year Hagen said the plans were proceeding but the initially targeted 2015 delivery would not be possible. Further details have not been disclosed.

American Cruise Lines on Friday said its designs will have 'modern exteriors and spacious, elegant interiors,' with open deck plans to maximize natural light and unobstructed viewing. It envisions glass-enclosed lounges with panoramic views; spacious, well-appointed staterooms with large, furnished balconies, and a variety of outdoor public spaces.

Additional details on the line’s expansion, including new designs and artists’ renderings of the contemporary riverboats, and new itineraries in additional regions of the US will be announced in the coming months, the company said.

The new-design riverboats are in addition to the Victorian-style vessels American Cruise Lines is currently building, which include American Eagle, a paddlewheeler for the Mississippi River nearing completion at Chesapeake Shipbuilding in Salisbury, Maryland, plus a second paddlewheeler for the Columbia River and two additional vessels.