American Cruise Lines to Build Catamaran-Style Ships

American Cruise Lines recently revealed details of Project Blue—their brand new fleet of “go-anywhere” catamaran ships specifically built for cruising in the U.S.

Their innovative plans call for 12 identical sister ships, all with the signature catamaran hull. When completed, American Cruise Lines will more than double current capacity for domestic coastal cruises in the U.S.

Rendering of American Eagle Catamaran
Artist Rendering American Eagle Catamaran. Image: American Cruise Lines

Featuring a unique hybrid catamaran design, these distinct ships will focus on small town America and close-to-home cruise adventures.

Charles B. Robertson, President & CEO of American Cruise Lines, said: “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. 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’s new ships, the entire Project Blue fleet will be built by Chesapeake Shipbuilding in Salisbury, MD.

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The first two Project Blue ships are already under construction and are due for delivery in 2023. Each Project Blue ship will accommodate 109 passengers and 50 crew.

They will be 241 feet long, 56 feet wide, and feature the unique hybrid catamaran design. This will allow both shallow draft access and stable sailing along lakes, rivers, bays, and America’s coastline.

These new extremely agile ships blend the adventure of an expedition with the luxury of the finest river cruises.

American Eagle Veranda Stateroom
American Eagle stateroom with veranda. Artist rendering: American Cruise Lines
American Eagle dining area.
American Eagle dining. Artist Rendering: American Cruise Lines

“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 Eagle Lounge. Artist rendering: American Cruise Lines
American Eagle Lounge. Artist rendering: American Cruise Lines

Observation and sitting areas will be available at the bow, both inside and outside. Each forward lounge on every ship will offer 270 degree views.

At the stern, you’ll find an adventure deck equipped with kayaks, tender, and other activity related options relevant to the itinerary.

american eagle stern
American Eagle stern view. Rendering: American Cruise Lines

The new fleet will feature elegant modern décor by Studio DADO of Miami, FL. Among the 56 spacious staterooms there will be a range of large standards, suites, and singles—nearly all with private balconies.

American Cruise Lines new catamaran ships will have two dining venues, plus room service; a feature not found on most small ships of this size.

The first two ships, American Eagle and American Glory, will debut with East Coast itineraries. Departures are scheduled to begin in the summer of 2023 and will cruise along the Chesapeake Bay, New England, and Historic South itineraries.

American Cruise Lines ships are 100% U.S.-built, crewed, and registered for over 30 years. American currently operates 15 ships, all accommodating just 100-190 passengers, that cruise more than 35 domestic itineraries in 31 states.

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