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American Cruise Lines (ACL), which recently announced the building of a new 150-passenger river vessel, has now raised the number of new ships to four. All are slated to enter service between 2015 and 2017. This announcement of additional ships followed a report that ACL has grown 25 perecent every year for the past three years.
The first two new riverboats — one bound for the Mississippi River and other for the Columbia and Snake Rivers — will carry between 150 and 200 guests. ACL declined to say whether the second set of ships will also cruise rivers or if the ships will add to the lines fleet that sail the coastline. The company’s artist’s rendering shows four identical river vessels lined up.
ACL did confirm that all of the newbuilds will be constructed at Chesapeake Shipbuilding in Salisbury, Md., which is under the same ownership as the cruise line. How the Columbia and Snake vessel will be transported to the Pacific Northwest remains to be seen.
Details released indicate that all staterooms are being designed with panoramic views, private balconies and room service. The onboard art collection is currently being put together and will highlight the Lewis and Clark expedition and the Native American tribes who helped them. The itinerary will be similar to ACL’s existing itinerary on the Columbia and Snake Rivers aboard Queen of the West, which underwent extensive renovation in 2010.