American Cruise Lines

History, Review, Itineraries, Ships, Deck Plans, News

American Cruise Lines fleet

Review of American Cruise Lines

American Cruise Lines (ACL) is an USA-based cruise travel company founded in 1991 and headquartered in Guilford, Connecticut. One of the industry's small cruise lines, ACL operates traditional stern-paddlewheel riverboats and also several small-sized ocean going ships. ACL offers almost exclusively USA cruises - along the East Coast, Alaska and on the biggest US rivers Mississippi, Columbia and Snake.

American Cruise Lines logo

One of the most prominent features of all American Cruise Lines ships is that they are all US-flagged. They were all built/refurbished in the USA by the Chesapeake Shipbuilding company (Salisbury, Maryland). Being a true USA cruise ship company (all its vessels are registered in the  US) means that this line hires only American hotel staff and crews, and pays American taxes on all cruise deals. ACL company's deals are not so cheap, and consisting of:

  • larger than average staterooms (with the first (only) balcony cabins in the US coastal cruise business)
  • spacious public rooms (bars & lounges)
  • gourmet cuisine
  • highly personalized service
  • hassle-free experiences, complimentary drinks before dinner, intimate, relaxing and friendly atmosphere
  • amazingly charming itineraries sailing the inland waterways and stopping at ports every day (these are smaller ports inaccessible to larger vessels)
  • an evening enrichment program by professional on-board lecturers
  • the cruise ship "Queen of the Mississippi" debuted in 2012 as the largest of all ACL ships. Her sister ship was recently launched (March 2015) under the name American Eagle.
  • fellow guests - ACL attracts an older clientele from all regions of the USA and Canada (with a high number of repeat passengers), kids are rare, although the New England and Maine sailings in the Summer may draw younger guests.
  • The line's ships builder is Chesapeake Shipbuilding.

Follows the American Pride cruise ship (Queen of the Mississippi) infographic showing what is what and where on this unique riverboat.

American Pride cruise ship (Queen of the Mississippi) infographic

In the end of February 2017, American Cruise Lines company announced plans for a fleet of five 5 new riverboats, the first of which is set to start sailing along USA rivers in 2018. The first vessel, which will be able to accommodate 200 passengers, will boast a European-inspired design with vast staterooms with hotel-size bathrooms and private balconies, the cruise line revealed.

American Cruise Lines ship design (Constellation, Constitution)

Construction has begun on the new modern river boat at Chesapeake Shipbuilding, Salisbury, MD. In addition to the new class of contemporary river ships, American Cruise Lines is building 2 additional cruise ships at Chesapeake Shipbuilding. The American Constellation ship features a capacity of 170 guests and is scheduled to begin cruising this May. Her sibling ship will start cruising next year.

American Cruise Lines ship design (Constellation, Constitution)

USA rtiver cruise excursions for free

Any American Cruise Line's guest booking USA river cruises on Mississippi or Columbia rivers will get an absolutely free shore excursions. This amazing offer is an year-round deal. These free shore tours are offered in each port of call. The tours list includes:

  • "Battle of Vicksburg" (in Vicksburg, Mississippi)
  • "Oak Valley Plantation" (in Oak Alley, Louisiana)
  • "Mark Twain Boyhood Home-Museum" (in Hannibal, Missouri)
  • "Mount St Helens" (in Rainier, Washington)
  • "Winery" (in Richland, Washington).

Next YouTube video is the company's official release about the signature "Mississippi River Paddlewheeler".cruising experience.

Itinerary of American Cruise Lines

American Cruise Lines itinerary program include the USA's Eastern and Western seaboards. The line also offers Alaskan cruises during summer. The company's main river cruise destinations are the US rivers Mississippi-Ohio (northbound and southbound itineraries) and Columbia-Snake (eastbound and westbound itineraries).

Follows the list of all American Cruise Lines ships, in barckets (Year Built/Passenger Capacity/Cabins_total)

American Cruise Lines ships are affordable alternative to the top luxury all-inclusive riverboats operating in the USA. These deals are a great option for passengers who like to sail in more sheltered waters, and also for first-timers. The ACL as a product is an excellent choice for those who really appreciate the small ship luxury cruise travel for its charmingly beautiful destinations, unique itineraries, impeccable service and like-home comfortable environment.

"Grand New England" cruise itinerary

In 2017, the company started a new cruise itinerary (named "Grand New England") on its newest vessel American Constellation. The 10-night / 11-day itinerary (starting in May 2017) covers to the New England ship travel destinations, among which are charming islands and coastal towns located within the Northeast.

The new itineray visits the following ports of call:

  • Day  1 (Boston MA)
  • Day  2 (Provincetown MA)
  • Day  3 (Newport RI)
  • Day  4 (Martha's Vineyard MA)
  • Day  5 (Kennebunkport ME)
  • Day  6 (Camden ME)
  • Day  7 (Bar Harbor ME)
  • Day  8 (Rockland ME)
  • Before the Rockland arrival, the cruise ship passes through the 10-km / 6-ml Merchants Row passage.
  • The itinerary is operated by the new ACL ships American Constellation and American Constitution.

"Grand Historic South" cruise itinerary

Starting in fall 2017, the 10-night / 11-day "Grand Historic South" cruise itinerary is a roundtrip from Charleston SC to destinations along southeast USA's Intracoastal Waterway.

The new itineray visits the following ports of call:

  • Day  1 (Charleston SC / South Carolina)
  • Day  2 (Wilmington NC / North Carolina)
  • Day  3 (Beaufort NC / North Carolina) - horse-drawn carriage ride tour
  • Days  4 & 5 (Savannah GA / Georgia)
  • Day  6 (Sapelo Island GA / Georgia) - Oyster Roast
  • Day  7 (Jekyll Island GA / Georgia) - "Millionaires Village"
  • Day  8 (Fernandina Beach FL / Florida) - Amelia Island
  • Day 9 (cruising)
  • Day 10 (Beaufort SC / South Carolina)
  • Day 11 (Charleston SC / South Carolina)
  • The itinerary is operated by the new ACL ships American Constellation and American Constitution.

The itinerary route features architecturally significant traditional homes, grand plantations, wildlife, amazing coastal landscapes. Also included are locally inspired cuisine specialties prepared by the ship's master chef.

American Cruise Lines ship tracker

Our American Cruise Lines ship tracker is a function integrated into all review pages. At page-bottom in each page you'll find a map with the ship's current location (AIS position). All the real-time tracking data is provided by VesselFinder. It's all about convenience - you will find where is your riverboat (ship) cruising today and now along its current itinerary!

Note: You can see the CruiseMapper's list of all river cruise ships and riverboats in the "itinerary" section of our River Cruises hub. All river passenger shipping line companies and their fleets are listed there.

American Cruise Lines related cruise news