American Cruise Lines, Guilford, Conn., has three new cruise ships under construction for its fleet. The new boats are being built at Chesapeake Shipbuilding in Salisbury, Md.

American Constellation, the first of the three to be delivered, has a capacity of 170 passengers and is scheduled to begin cruising in May 2017. Construction is currently nine weeks ahead of schedule, company officials said. The passenger vessel is being outfitted with details including marbled tile bathrooms and large sliding glass doors in each stateroom. Recently the signature red, white, and blue stack was lifted into place on the top deck.

American Constellation under construction. American Cruise Lines photo.

American Constellation under construction. American Cruise Lines photo.

“American Cruise Lines ships are the newest and most environmentally friendly in America,” Timothy Beebe, ACL vice president, said in a statement announcing construction of the new boats. “By continually designing and building brand new ships, we are able to exceed the expectations of seasoned European river travelers right here in the U.S.”

Designed to navigate the coastal waters of the U.S., the American Constellation will feature active wing stabilizers, the latest green propulsion technology, and many modern amenities. It will also feature the largest staterooms in the industry with private balconies and floor-to-ceiling sliding glass doors, ACL officials said. Much of the new passenger vessel’s inaugural summer season will be spent on a new 10-night roundtrip itinerary from Boston to destinations including Bar Harbor, Maine; Newport, R.I.; Martha’s Vineyard (Mass.), and Nantucket (Mass.).

A sistership to American Constellation is also underway and is scheduled to be completed in 2018. Steel is now being fabricated for a third passenger vessel which will be the lead in a series of new 195-passenger riverboats destined for U.S. rivers. The sistership and the 195-passenger boat have not yet been named. (ACL has not given out any more information about the new boats at this time.)

Ken Hocke has been the senior editor of WorkBoat since 1999. He was the associate editor of WorkBoat from 1997 to 1999. Prior to that, he was the editor of the Daily Shipping Guide, a transportation daily in New Orleans. He has written for other publications including The Times-Picayune. He graduated from Louisiana State University with an arts and sciences degree, with a concentration in English, in 1978.