They have an innovative hybrid catamaran design to facilitate near-shore operating versatility.
'Project Blue started as a design challenge to create a boat small enough for New England harbors and stable enough for the Alaska Inside Passage, with a draft shallow enough for the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway. These boats can run almost anywhere, and because there will be 12 of them, they will be deployed all over the United States,' American President & CEO Charles B. Robertson said.
First deliveries 2023
Like all of American’s new vessels, the entire Project Blue fleet will be built at Chesapeake Shipbuilding in Salisbury, Maryland. The first two are already under construction and due for delivery in 2023.
Each will accommodate 109 passengers and 50 crew. They will be 241 feet long, 56 feet wide and feature a hybrid catamaran design that enables both shallow draft access and stable sailing along lakes, rivers, bays and coastline.
American said their 'go-anywhere agility combines the adventure of an expedition with the luxury of the finest river cruises.'
'Together with Chesapeake Shipbuilding, we built the first modern riverboats in the country. Now we are proud to introduce another new ship design for domestic exploration,' Robertson continued. 'American has specialized in small ship cruising for over 30 years, and continuing to innovate and expand the possibilities for cruising close to home is central to our mission.'
The new fleet will feature elegant modern décor by Studio DADO of Miami. Each ship will offer 56 spacious staterooms — including a range of large standards, suites and singles — nearly all with private balconies. Observation and sitting areas will be available at the bow, both inside and outside, and each vessel will offer an expansive forward lounge with 270-degree views.
The vessels will also provide two dining venues and room service, a rarity for ships of this size.
The stern will sport a new 'adventure deck' equipped with kayaks, tender and other activity-related options relevant to the itinerary.
East Coast debut
The first two vessels will debut on East Coast itineraries and will be named American Eagle and American Glory — namesakes of the company’s first two ships.