American Song Review and Specifications
Specifications of American Song
|Year built||2018 new ship|
|Builder||Chesapeake Shipbuilding (Salisbury, Maryland USA)|
|Building cost||USD 40 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|
|Decks with cabins||4|
Review of American Song
Launched in 2018, MS American Song cruise ship is the third newbuild vessel in the American Cruise Lines fleet. This boat represents the company's "Modern Riverboat Series", with sisterships American Harmony (2019) and 3 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 & ownership
American Cruise Lines (ACL) is a small cruise line with headquarters in Guilford, Connecticut, operational since 1991. American Constitution is the latest river cruise ship from ACL. She is uniquely designed in order to navigate the inland waterways of US East Coast and brings travelers to exciting locations that cannot be accessed by larger ships. In the intimate atmosphere offered onboard, passengers find the largest cabins in industry, spacious lounges, observation decks, private balconies that offer splendid views of passing landscapes.
Unlike anything seen before along American waterways, the innovative vessel brings a new dimension to river cruising in the United States. American Song 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 Song has a fore-located boarding ramp (bow-location on Deck 1) that allows passengers to go ashore at any place along the the ship's cruise itinerary route. The ramp has innovative design being constructed as retractable 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 company's reputation for premium quality and services. Each of the newbuilds features most innovative design, spacious indoor and outdoor areas. Each vessel is traditionally US built (at Chesapeake Shipbuilding in Salisbury Maryland), as well as US-flagged and crewed.
Cruise itinerary program
American Song itinerary program started on October 6, 2018, with 8-day inaugural cruise on Mississippi River leaving roundtrip from New Orleans. Other itineraries are 8-day / 7-night Lower Mississippi River cruise from Memphis TN to New Orleans, and the reverse itinerary from New Orleans to Memphis.
- 8-day "Lower Mississippi River" from Memphis to New Orleans itinerary's ports of call 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).
- 8-day "Mississippi River" roundtrip from New Orleans itinerary's ports of call 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).
- In 2019, the ship will be deployed on the US West Coast to operate Columbia and Snake river cruises.
American Cruise Lines deals are inclusive of 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).
American Song ship features the industry's biggest staterooms, with full-size bathrooms, private balconies and modern amenities. All the 102 cabins have private balconies.
Smallest staterooms (including the studios / single-occupancy cabins) sizes start at 250 ft2 (23 m2). Other staterooms range between 305-330 ft2 (28-31 m2). Veranda Suites are 405 ft2 (38 m2). Owner's Suites are 445 ft2 (41 m2). The boat's largest staterooms are the two Grand Suites located aft on deck 3. Each measures 900 ft2 (84 m2) and features 2 walls of floor-ceiling windows, sliding doors (opening to a wrap-around balcony), separate bedroom / lounge area, marble bathroom (double-sink vanity),
Shipboard dining and entertainment options
American Song showcases gorgeous interior design concepts - from the 4-story glass walled Atrium to spacious lounges and outdoor deck areas. Thoughtfully designed to bring the whole outside world in, the vessel features sweeping views from floor-ceiling windows throughout. There are two Sun Decks (lower on deck 4 aft) and Upper (the whole deck 5) with sunbathing and shaded seating areas, putting green, deck games area (shuffleboard), 5 lounges (2 with outdoor terraces), Grand Dining Room restaurant, Chart Room (Library). Located in the SkyLight-covered Atrium, two elevators connect all decks.
American Song 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 azymuth thrusters ("Z-drives") manufactured by Veth (Holland). These 360-degree rotating propellers (1x forward, 1x aft) provide the boat with greater maneuverability 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 less emissions (COx, NOx, SOx) and soot particles in comparison to other boats on the US river cruising market.
- The ship's Vestibule (Atrium) is 4-decks high, with floor-ceiling windows (portside and starboard) and a SkyLight (transparent glass-roof cover) that allows natural light into the interior.
- The vessel was launched on November 17, 2017, which was 7 weeks ahead of schedule. The ceremony was held at the Chesapeake Shipbuilding yard in Salisbury MA. During the launch, the hull was floated-out from drydock into Wicomico River. Then it was positioned in the shipyard's East Outfitting Basin to receive the superstructure (upper decks) and outfitting.
- On February 27, 2018, the shipowner American Cruise Lines 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).
- MS American Song's "Inaugural cruise" (maiden voyage) was initially scheduled for September 29, but later re-scheduled for October 6, 2018. The 8-day / 7-night "Mississippi River" itinerary was a roundtrip from New Orleans, with prices starting from USD 4800 (category AAR balcony cabin) and up to USD 7100 (Owner Suite).
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