American Cruise Lines has announced Project Blue, a brand new fleet of go-anywhere ships for the U.S. market, according to a press release.
The said it will build 12 identical sister ships that will more than double the nation’s current capacity for domestic coastal cruises. The first two vessels are under construction and set for a 2023 debut.
Featuring a hybrid catamaran design, these ships will have unprecedented near-shore operating versatility, according to the company.
The new U.S. built fleet will operate exclusively in the United States, with a focus on small towns and close-to-home 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.
The first two Project Blue 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, according to the company, with interiors designed by Studio DADO.
They will be 241 feet long, 56 feet wide, and feature the hybrid 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 said.
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.