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New Look and New Names for American’s Paddlewheel Fleet

American Cruise Lines has announced that its fleet of four classic paddlewheelers will be undergoing a major redesign, refit, and rebranding.

According to a press release, the new interior design will “bring paddlewheel cruising to the same sophisticated standard already exhibited on American’s newest modern riverboats, while retaining traditional elements true to steamboat history.”

The announcement follows the August 2021 unveiling of the American Melody and its new interior design.

“The 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 President & CEO of American Cruise Lines, Charles B. Robertson.

As the paddlewheelers rise to American’s newest design standard, their names will be changed to include the American moniker that denotes other ships in the company’s fleet, the cruise line said.

The paddlewheelers America, Queen of the Mississippi and Queen of the West will be renamed the American Splendor, American Heritage, and American West, while the American Pride will retain its original name.

“Both in designation and design, all four paddlewheelers will meet the sophisticated standard we set for U.S. River cruising,” said Robertson.

American Cruise Lines said that the paddlewheel refurbishment will not change the company’s new construction timeline. The cruise line has recently expanded in the domestic cruise market, doubling the size of its U.S. fleet to 15 small ships, including the introduction of six new modern riverboats.

The new paddlewheel redesign project will be completed by Studio DADO of Miami, Florida. Studio DADO was recently commissioned to do the interior design for the American Melody. Now, Studio DADO will bring this same strategy to American’s paddlewheel fleet, reimagining their interiors while “maintaining the nostalgic touches that are iconic to classic American paddlewheelers,” the cruise line wrote.

From the staterooms and suites to the lounges and dining rooms, each ship will be made-over with completely new color palates, luxurious textiles and linens, new furniture and carpets, and artwork and flourishes inspired by the regions the ships sail in.

According to the press release, the project is slated for completion in early March next year, in time for the beginning of the 2022 cruise season.

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