Cruise Line Spotlight: American Cruise Lines

american cruise lineAmerican Cruise Lines is a small ship cruise company with its headquarters in Guilford Connecticut.  They were founded in 1991 and have been expanding their fleet ever since.  Their fleet currently consists of six ships and offers over 20 cruise itineraries for the east and west coasts of the United States, and Alaska.

Their ships carry no more than 150 passengers, offering more personalized service than on large cruise ships.  Because of their small size, the ships can sail into places the large cruise ships can’t, like rivers and small harbors, stopping at smaller quaint towns that the big cruise ships can’t offer.  And, by the way, all ships are non-smoking, something you won’t find on the larger ships.

The cruises are more expensive than on the large ships, but the unique itineraries and personalized service offer an experience that makes up for the higher cost.

Many of their staterooms are larger than the average room on a large cruise ship with rooms up to 600 square feet, all including an ocean view and many with a private balcony.  The rooms have larger “hotel-sized” bathrooms and complimentary wireless Internet.

For entertainment in the evenings, they bring in local expert lecturers, authors, entertainers and historians to tell you about the area.  These talks are quite popular with the passengers.

Their meals don’t offer the variety of a large ship but are sure to please, with top-notch chefs providing great cuisine, and often creating dishes geared toward the local cuisine.  You won’t find any huge buffets here, but rather, tasty food in a dining room setting.  There is also a complimentary cocktail hour every evening before dinner, and complimentary wine and beer is included with lunch and dinner.  Coffee and soft drinks are available any time.

Now for the itineraries:

They offer four New England cruises:

– An 8-day Maine Coast and Harbors cruise round trip from Portland Maine

– An 8-day New England Islands cruise round trip from Providence Rhode Island

– An 8-day Hudson River Fall Foliage cruise round trip from New York City.  These cruise itineraries are offered from Sept. 27 – Nov. 2 to see the leaves changing color

– An 11-day Grand New England cruise from Providence Rhode Island sailing to Portland Maine, or the same itinerary in reverse order from Portland Maine.

An East Coast Mid-Atlantic cruise:

– An 8-day Chesapeake Bay cruise round trip from Baltimore Maryland, and on May 31, 2014, they’re offering a themed cruise for this sailing called Crabfest where their chefs will be preparing crab cakes and crab chowder onboard.

Five Southeast cruises:

– An 8-day Great Rivers of Florida cruise round trip from Jacksonville Florida sailing down the St. Johns River to Lake George and then down the Tolomato River to St. Augustine

– An 8-day Potomac and Tidewaters cruise from Philadelphia to Washington DC or, if you prefer, the reverse order from DC

– An 8-day Mid Atlantic Inland Passage cruise from Baltimore to Charleston, or reversed order

– An 8-day Historic South & Golden Isles cruise from Charleston to Jacksonville, or reversed order

– They also offer a 15-day East Coast Inland Passage cruise from Baltimore to Jacksonville or reversed order, that is basically a combination of the Mid Atlantic Inland Passage and Historic South & Golden Isles cruises

Seven Mississippi River cruise itineraries on the Queen of the Mississippi paddleboat, sailing from New Orleans, Memphis, St Louis, or Nashville
and Four Pacific Northwest cruises including:

– An 8-day Columbia and Snake River cruise sailing from Portland Oregon to Clarkston Washington, or reversed order

– An 8-day Puget Sound and San Juan Islands sailing round trip from Seattle

– An 8-day Southeast Alaska cruise sailing round trip from Juneau

– A 12-day Alaska Inside Passage cruises from Seattle to Juneau

Also offered are themed cruises throughout their sailing season such as American Civil War cruises, New England Lobster cruises, Lewis & Clark, Food & Wine, Mississippi River Music, a Mark Twain tribute, Savories of the South, and of course the Crabfest mentioned above.

We have not sailed with them yet so we can’t tell you how good the cruises are but the reviews I’ve seen are quite positive.  We plan on cruising with them in the future.

For more information:

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