Guilford, Conn., headquartered American Cruise Lines has unveiled plans for Project Blue—a fleet 12 identical 109-passenger sister ships of catamaran design.
Operating exclusively in the U.S., they will more than double current capacity for domestic coastal cruises.
“Project Blue started as a design challenge to create a boat small enough for New England harbors and stable enough for the Alaska Inside Passage, with a draft shallow enough for the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway,” says Charles Robertson, president and CEO of American Cruise Lines. “These boats can run almost anywhere, and because there will be 12 of them, they will be deployed all over the United States.”
Like all of American Cruise Line’s new ships, the entire Project Blue fleet will be built by Chesapeake Shipbuilding in Salisbury, Md. The first two ships are already under construction and are due for delivery in 2023.
Each boat in the Project Blue fleet will accommodate 109 passengers and 50 crew.
They will be 241 feet long, 56 feet wide, and feature a catamaran design that enables both shallow draft access and stable sailing along lakes, rivers, bays, and America’s coastline.
“Together with Chesapeake Shipbuilding, we built the first modern riverboats in the country. Now we are proud to introduce another new ship design for domestic exploration. American has specialized in small ship cruising for over 30 years, and continuing to innovate and expand the possibilities for cruising close to home is central to our mission,” Robertson elaborated.
American Cruise Lines says that the new fleet will feature elegant modern décor by Studio DADO of Miami, Fla.
Each ship will offer 56 spacious staterooms—including a range of large standards, suites, and singles—nearly all with private balconies. Observation and sitting areas will be available at the bow, both inside and outside, and each ship will showcase an expansive forward lounge with 270 degree views. At the stern, the ships will have a new adventure deck equipped with kayaks, tender, and other activity related options relevant to the itinerary. American’s new go-anywhere ships will also feature two dining venues, as well as room service, a rarity for small ships of this size.
The first two ships will debut along East Coast itineraries and will be named American Eagle and American Glory—namesakes of the company’s first two small U.S.-built ships.