American Jazz Review and Specifications
Specifications of American Jazz
|Year built||2020 new ship|
|Builder||Chesapeake Shipbuilding (Salisbury, Maryland USA)|
|Building cost||USD 45 million|
|Owner||American Cruise Lines Inc|
|Operator||American Cruise Lines|
|Speed||12 kn / 22 kph / 14 mph|
|Length (LOA)||82 m / 269 ft|
|Beam (width)||18 m / 59 ft|
|Gross Tonnage||2800 gt|
|Decks with cabins||4|
|Sister-ships||American Harmony, American Song|
Review of American Jazz
Scheduled for launch in 2020, MS American Jazz cruise ship is the fifth newbuild vessel in the American Cruise Lines fleet. The vessel represents company's "Modern Riverboat Series", with sisterships American Song (2018), American Harmony (2019) plus 2 more boats (still unnamed). These are all 5 similarly designed (modified class) ships, slightly bigger in capacity (195 passengers) in comparison to the 175-passenger sisterships and fleetmates American Constellation (2017) and American Constitution (2018).
History - construction and ownership
The shipowner American Cruise Lines (ACL) is USA's largest river cruise company (headquarters in Guilford Connecticut) operational since 1991. The company specializes in cruise shipping on USA's largest navigable inland waterways (rivers and lakes) as well as in cruises along the US East Coast, US West Coast and Florida. All ACL vessels feature some of industry's largest passenger cabins with private balconies, spacious lounges and outdoor deck spaces, gourmet cuisine, top-quality enrichment program with many complimentary land tours and excursions, highly-personalized service by all-American staff and crew. All ACL cruise ships are US-flagged and built by the company-owned Chesapeake Shipbuilding Yard in Salisbury (Maryland USA).
Unlike anything seen before along American waterways, the innovative vessel brings a new dimension to river cruising in the USA. American Jazz integrates contemporary design with no sacrificing the comfort that American Cruise Lines is popular for. Quieter, wider, and faster than any other river ship, it is the most environmentally friendly in the industry.
Traditionally for large-sized US riverboats, American Jazz has a fore-located boarding ramp (bow-location on Deck 1) that allows passengers to go ashore at any place along the ship's cruise itinerary route. The ramp has an innovative design being constructed as retractable gangway (passenger bridge). The technology is often implemented on some of the largest ferries and features an opening bow door.
While other small cruise lines repurpose old casino ships, American Cruise Lines decided to build brand new boats to maintain the company's reputation for premium quality and services. Each of the newbuilds features most innovative design, spacious indoor and outdoor areas. Each vessel is a traditional US built (at Chesapeake Shipbuilding in Salisbury Maryland), as well as US-flagged and crewed.
Cruise itinerary program
American Jazz itinerary program (what is known so far) will be similar to that of the sistership American Harmony. The Mississippi River cruise itineraries leave roundtrip and one-way from homeports New Orleans Louisiana and Memphis Tennessee.
- 7-day "Lower Mississippi River" (Memphis to New Orleans) itinerary's call ports are Memphis (day 1 / embarkation), river cruising (day 2), Vicksburg MS (day 3), Natchez MS (day 4), St Francisville LA (day 5), Baton Rouge LA (day 6), Oak Alley Plantation LA (day 7), New Orleans LA (day 8, disembarkation).
- 7-day "Mississippi River" (roundtrip New Orleans) itinerary's ports are New Orleans LA (day 1 / embarkation), Oak Alley Plantation LA (day 2), Natchez MS (day 3), Vicksburg MS (day 4), St Francisville LA (day 5), Baton Rouge LA (day 6), Houmas House Plantation LA (day 7), New Orleans LA (day 8, disembarkation).
The Jazz ship could be seasonally deployed on the US West Coast to operate Snake and Columbia river cruises.
American Cruise Lines deals are inclusive of a pre-cruise hotel package, all shore excursions (organized daily), cocktail hour (each evening), cruise accommodation, gourmet meals, Afternoon Tea service, room service (Breakfast only), onboard enrichment and entertainment programs, Wi-Fi (shipwide coverage).
The riverboat American Jazz features industry's biggest staterooms, with full-size bathrooms, private balconies and modern amenities. All the 102 cabins are with private step-out balconies.
Smallest staterooms (including the single-occupancy studio cabins) as sizes start at 250 ft2 (23 m2). Other staterooms are sized between 305-330 ft2 (28-31 m2). Veranda Suites are 405 ft2 (38 m2), Owners Suites are 445 ft2 (41 m2). Ship's largest staterooms are two Grand Suites with aft location on Deck 3. Each Suite is sized 900 ft2 (84 m2) and features 2 walls of floor-ceiling windows, a wrap-around balcony (accessed via sliding doors), separate bedroom/seating areas, marble bathroom (with double-sink vanity).
Shipboard facilities and amenities
MS American Jazz features innovative interior design concepts - from the 4-story glass-walled Vestibule (Atrium) to spacious indoor and outdoor lounges, large open-deck spaces, floor-ceiling windows throughout the vessel. The 4-decks high Vestibule has floor-ceiling windows (portside and starboard) and SkyLight (transparent glass-roof cover) that allows natural light into ship's interior.
Two Sun Decks (Lower on Deck 4-aft, and Upper on Deck 5) are fitted with sunbathing and shaded seating areas, putting green, deck-game area (shuffleboard). The ship has 5 lounges (2 with large outdoor terraces), Grand Dining Room (complimentary, glass-enclosed restaurant), Chart Room (Library Lounge), fore-located Main Lounge (with central stage for live show- and musical productions and glass-roof cover), aft-located Sky Lounge (with glass-roof cover and direct access to Lower Sundeck), indoor Exercise Room (Gym). The Upper Sun Deck (top-deck) is furnished with comfortable deckchairs and has 3 shaded seating areas plus two SkyLights (glass-roof covers). Two lifts (passenger elevators in the SkyLight-covered Atrium) connect all decks.
American Jazz wiki
The improved ship design allows "bow landings" via a retractable and rotating gangway (passenger bridge) that extends from Main Deck (deck 1) to the dock or directly onto the river bank. This feature is available on all traditional-design US paddlewheel riverboats and provides expanded options for river cruise itineraries unmatched by most newbuild river cruise ships.
The ship has a modern propulsion system consisting of 2x azimuth thrusters ("Z-drives") manufactured by Veth (Holland). These 360-degree rotating propellers (1x forward, 1x aft) provide the boat with greater manoeuvrability and berthing flexibility.
The ship is powered by 2x Caterpillar marine engines running on low-sulfur diesel. These modern engines require less fuel and produce fewer emissions (COx, NOx, SOx) and soot particles in comparison to other boats on the US river cruising market.
On February 27, 2018, the shipowner American Cruise Lines (ACL) announced the start of construction works on the second riverboat in this series (American Harmony) of all 5 same-design ships. For the 5 vessels series was again contracted the US shipbuilder Chesapeake Shipbuilding (Salisbury MD, ACL-owned shipyard).
On October 11, 2018, vessel's lower bow (hull section) was moved/wheeled out from Fabrication Building No.4 to shipyard's Assembly Launchways.
Vessel's launch (float-out) was on November 20, 2018, and 4 weeks ahead of schedule. After the float-out, the boat was berthed in shipyard’s East Outfitting Basin to receive its upper deck blocks and final outfitting.