American Cruise Lines

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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.
  • 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

New ships

In the end of October 2015, the company announced the start of the construction on a new coastal cruiser by Chesapeake Shipbuilding (Salisbury, Maryland USA), with scheduled delivery in spring 2017. The vessel was later named American Constellation. From this series was built a second ship, which was later named American Constitution (launched in 2018).

American Cruise Lines ship design (Constellation, Constitution)

These ships have passenger capacity 170 and as size are slightly larger compared to the company's current coastal cruisers. The new ships are fully stabilized (active wing stabilizers by Rolls-Royce Marine) and have the US river cruising industry's largest and most luxurious staterooms. All cabins are with marbled-tiled bathrooms and floor-ceiling glass doors opening to private balconies.

In November 2016 the company announced the start of the construction on a 3rd (larger) vessel with capacity 195 passengers. In the end of February 2017, American Cruise Lines announced plans for a fleet of 5 new cruise ships. The first newbuild from the new series was scheduled for launch in 2018. Each riverboat has capacity 200 passengers, European design, larger staterooms with hotel-sized bathrooms and private balconies.

American Cruise Lines ship design (Constellation, Constitution)

USA river 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)

"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 Revolution" cruise itinerary

Starting in spring 2018, the new 12-day "American Revolution Cruise" itinerary visits some of the most historically significant port cities along Chesapeake Bay.

  • The itinerary also includes new ports - Washington DC, Chestertown MD, Mount Vernon VA. In Washington DC, passengers can enjoy private tours of any of Smithsonian Museums or a guided tour of the National Mall. In Chestertown MD, they can visit Schooner Sultana (replica of Royal Navy Frigate Sultana / in the British Navy between 1768-1772). At Mount Vernon VA, the cruise company's expert guides offer an exclusive tour through George Washington’s Estate.
  • Passengers also travel to the last battlefield of Revolutionary War in Yorktown and Jamestown's first English settlement.
  • In addition to the ashore enrichment program, the shipboard expert is Dr Harold Cones (biology professor, emeritus / retired from professional life at Christopher Newport University).
  • The "American Revolution Cruise" itinerary is leaving roundtrip from Baltimore MD. Voyages start in spring 2018 on the new ship American Constitution. Available departure dates in 2018 include Apr 28, May 8, Oct 29, and Nov 8.

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.

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