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American Cruise Lines has unveiled Project Blue—a brand-new fleet of go-anywhere ships for the U.S. market. The company announced plans for 12 identical sister ships that will more than double the nation’s current capacity for domestic coastal cruises. The new U.S. built fleet will operate exclusively in the United States, with a focus on small towns and close-to-home adventures.

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,” said Charles B. Robertson, president & CEO of American Cruise Lines, in a press release statement.

The first two Project Blue ships are already under construction and are due for delivery in 2023. 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. 

Each ship in the Project Blue fleet will accommodate 109 passengers and 50 crew. They will be 241 ft. long, 56 ft. wide, and feature the hybrid catamaran design that enables both shallow draft access and stable sailing along lakes, rivers, bays and America’s coastline. Each will offer 56 staterooms—including a range of large standards, suites and singles—nearly all with private balconies. Observation and sitting areas will be available at the bow, both inside and outside, and each ship will showcase an expansive forward lounge with 270-degree views. At the stern, the ships will have a new adventure deck equipped with kayaks, tender and other activity-related options relevant to the itinerary. They will also feature two dining venues, as well as room service.

“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 elaborated.

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