Guilford, Conn., headquartered American Cruise Lines says that its fleet of four classic paddlewheelers is to get a major redesign, refit, and rebranding. A key element will be a new interior design intended to bring paddlewheel cruising to the same sophisticated standard as the company’s newest modern riverboats, while retaining traditional elements true to steamboat history.
The paddlewheelers will also get new names to bring them into line with the other vessels in the fleet.
The America, Queen of the Mississippi and Queen of the West will be renamed American Splendor, American Heritage, and American West, while American Pride will retain its original name.
The August unveiling of the line’s modern riverboat American Melody with an all new interior design was a major success.
“American Melody’s extraordinary reception, particularly by our loyalty program members, has inspired us to bring the same new aesthetic to our entire paddlewheel fleet,” said Charles Robertson, president and CEO of American Cruise Lines. “Both in designation and design, all four paddlewheelers will meet the sophisticated standard we set for U.S. river cruising.”
The paddlewheeler refurbishment will not change the company’s ambitious new-construction timeline. American Cruise Lines has expanded aggressively in the domestic cruise market, doubling the size of its U.S. fleet to 15 small ships, including the notable introduction of six new modern riverboats—the first and only modern riverboats serving the U.S. market.
The new paddlewheeler redesign project will be completed by Studio DADO of Miami, Fla., which carried out the interior design for American Melody, receiving design industry accolades for delivering modern elegance, while evoking the history and culture of the places explored by the vessel. Studio DADO will now bring this strategy to American’s paddlewheel fleet, reimagining their interiors while maintaining the nostalgic touches iconic to classic American paddlewheelers.