American Cruise Lines (ACL) confirms it will be placing the first of 4 upcoming newbuilds on the Mississippi River, where it currently operates its newest riverboat, 'Queen of the Mississippi'. The second newbuild will operate in the Pacific Northwest on the Columbia and Snake Rivers, where the line is operating the 120-passenger 'Queen of the West'. The company adds that construction of both new riverboats is well underway at Chesapeake Shipbuilding in Salisbury, MD.
The new Mississippi riverboat will have a similar capacity to Queen of the Mississippi at150 passengers, and will enter service in March of 2015. The new Columbia riverboat will follow later that same year. It will be slightly larger than American Cruise Lines’ other riverboats, with a planned capacity of 175 passengers. Similar in design, both will feature fully functioning paddlewheels.
“Demand on the Mississippi is high, and the Columbia River has not seen a new riverboat in many years,” said Timothy Beebe, Vice President of American Cruise Lines. “The new riverboats will offer the finest experience available in these regions, while maintaining the historic feel and authenticity of historic American river cruising.”
American Cruise Lines say that the two new ships, as of yet unnamed, will enable it to offer expanded itineraries on the Mississippi River System and the Columbia and Snake Rivers, adding new cruise options for those looking to experience these unique regions. The line currently runs numerous eight-day cruises on both rivers, offering various themes from wine and jazz music, to Mark Twain and the Lewis and Clark expedition.