American Cruise Lines announced recently that it has signed contracts with Chesapeake Shipbuilding, Salisbury, Md., to build two more modern riverboats in 2022.

The newbuilds will be the fifth and sixth in ACL's new series, first introduced in 2018. Both new modern riverboats are yet to be named and will follow the 2021 debuts of American Jazz and American Melody on the Mississippi River. 

ACL has more than doubled in size since 2017. Including the two newbuilds just announced, its fleet has grown to 15 ships: five small cruise ships, four classic paddlewheelers, and six modern riverboats. In addition to the company’s newest modern riverboats, ACL also plans to continue building new small cruise ships for its U.S. coastal itineraries. ACL's river and coastal cruises operate in the same destination-focused style, cruising close to home and always in sight of land, along 100% domestic U.S. itineraries.

“American’s two newbuilds are welcome news for the industry here at home. They closely follow the two riverboats we are introducing this year and demonstrate our ongoing commitment to growth and leading the U.S. small ship market,” Charles B. Robertson, ACL’s president and CEO, said in a statement announcing the newbuilds. “While the pace of our newbuilds is increasing, we are committed to maintaining the small capacity of our ships, which continue to accommodate just 100-190 passengers. This distinction across our fleet truly enables us to deliver the personalized and sophisticated experience our guests have come to expect.”

The new modern riverboats will be sisterships to the 175-passenger American Melody, beginning operations on the Mississippi this August. American Melody will showcase the ACL’s newest interior design concept created by Studio DADO, Miami.

American Melody and the new 2022 builds will also highlight new architectural elements, including a new fifth deck Skywalk which features a walking track cantilevered above the fourth deck, and a elliptical cutout above the riverboat’s outdoor café and lounge — Ellipse Café. ACL’s modern riverboats also offer 100% private balcony staterooms, enormous suites, and five spacious decks with sky-lit atriums, grand dining rooms, comfortable interior and exterior lounges, and ACL’s largest-ever fitness studios.