The options for small-ship cruising in the USA are about to expand thanks to ACL-American Cruise Lines.
The company, which offers riverboat and small-ship coastal voyages in the USA, intends to grow its fleet to 25+ vessels.
A new class (Project Blue fleet) of 12 newbuilds with max passenger capacity 109 (plus 50 crew) will be started in 2022. The first two units (American Eagle and American Glory) are scheduled to debut in 2023 (July and October, respectively) and sail domestic (East Coast USA) itineraries.
ACL currently has 15 ships, of which 10 "modern riverboats" and 5 coastal ships, with capacities between 100-190 passengers. The boats sail 35+ USA-only itineraries visiting ports in 31 US states. All ACL's ships are USA-built (by Chesapeake Shipbuilding in Salisbury, Maryland USA) and all-American crewed.
The newbuilds boast an environmentally-friendly catamaran design for coastal routes as well as in the shallow waters of bays, lakes, and rivers. Regional expansions include sailing the full East and West USA coasts, Alaska, the Great Lakes, and more.
Each Project Blue vessel has length 241 ft (74 m) and beam/width 56 ft (17 m). Of all the 56 staterooms (suites and singles), ~85% are balconied. Guests will be able to enjoy the swim platforms, tenders, and kayaks for small group land excursions.