American Cruise Lines Debuts Puget Sound Cruise

April 24th, 2013 Franz Posted in American Cruise Lines Comments Off on American Cruise Lines Debuts Puget Sound Cruise

Although the American Spirit is not a paddlewheeler, she’s cruising in historic steamboat waters as the debuts with her Pugent Sound and San Juan Island cruise on April 27, departing from Seattle, WA.

American Cruise Lines introduces Puget Sound and San Juan Islands itinerary to the American Spirit’s 2013 schedule with a debut journey sailing on April 27. This new voyage provides a glimpse into the pristine environment and captivating scenery only found in the Pacific Northwest. This is the company’s newest addition to a growing portfolio of cruises in the Pacific Northwest which includes Alaska and Columbia & Snake River itineraries where also the paddlewheeler Queen of the West is operating for a ouple of years now already.

The eight-day roundtrip voyage of the American Spirit from Seattle explores the hundreds of islands, many of which are uninhabited, nestled between Canada’s Vancouver Island and the U.S. mainland. While aboard, guests enjoy elegant accommodations, personalized service, fine dining, nightly entertainment and daily lectures and seminars from local experts on the region’s rich history. The Puget Sound itinerary will run from April 2013 through October 2013 and then again from March 2014 through November 2014. Rates start at $3,750 per person.

“We are excited to offer the Puget Sound cruise to our guests and to provide a unique experience in that location,” said Timothy Beebe, Vice President of American Cruise Lines. “We recognize that cruisers have many options these days and we are proud they choose to sail with us and identify our brand as a leader in the cruise industry.” The Puget Sound and San Juan Islands cruise will feature a variety of excursions:

  • – Victoria, Canada: This adventurous day begins with a ferry ride to Victoria, Canada from Port Angeles, WA. On a guided tour guests can visit Butchart Gardens – one of Victoria’s most famous and popular attractions. After the gardens, guests can participate in a narrated tour of the city before taking the ferry back to Port Angeles.
  • – Anacortes, WA: Located between Seattle and Vancouver, on beautiful Fidalgo Island, Anacortes is known as the gateway to the San Juan. A thriving seaside town with a past that mirrors the fascinating boom and busy history and entrepreneurial spirit of the area, a walking tour is a great way to get a true feel for the town. Guests can admire the extensive, colorful murals depicting the history of the city while taking in the town center and the W.T. Preston stern wheeler.
  • – Friday Harbor: Guests can visit The Whale Museum and learn about the natural history of marine mammals in the museum’s Gallery of the Whales, with a special focus on orcas that live in the surrounding area. Olympic National Park and Hurricane Ridge: Known as a land of beauty and variety, guests can explore the home of some of the largest remnants of ancient forests left in this country while at Olympic National Park. While at Olympic National Park, guests can marvel at the spectacular view at Hurricane Ridge.
  • – Port Townsend, WA: Guests can experience the 19th century Victorian buildings, historic charm and striking natural setting in Port Townsend by taking part in a guided walking tour through the town.

The American Spirit carries 100 guests in 200 square foot staterooms, which feature large opening picture windows and hotel-style bathrooms, various unique panoramic lounges and amenities including an exercise area and putting green.

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“Old Fashioned Summertime” Theme Cruise on the Queen of the Mississippi

April 3rd, 2013 Franz Posted in American Cruise Lines Comments Off on “Old Fashioned Summertime” Theme Cruise on the Queen of the Mississippi

American Cruise Lines announced today the addition of a brand new theme cruise which captures the heart and soul of the classic American summer. The Old Fashioned Summertime cruise, offered this summer aboard the Queen of the Mississippi on July 13 and August 10, will transport guests to a simpler time rooted in laughter, fresh air and relaxing fun. Guests will sip on freshly brewed iced tea or freshly squeezed lemonade, and enjoy ice cream socials and kite flying off the top deck. Other highlights and special events include:

  • – Afternoon picnic – A classic summer pastime, while in port guests will enjoy a picnic in the sun, complete with checkered picnic cloths and woven baskets fully-loaded with delicious food.
  • – Cookout on deck– Nothing says American summer like a classic cookout. Guests will enjoy corn on the cob, hamburgers, hot dogs, potato salad and soda pop.
  • – Complimentary copy of The Big Summer Cookbook: 300 fresh, flavorful recipes for those lazy, hazy days – This wonderful recipe book will help guests keep the classic American summer alive, even after their cruise.
  • – Outdoor movie screening – Guests can look forward to viewing classic films in the evening on the top deck, while enjoying the pleasant summer breeze.

The eight-day journey from St. Paul to St. Louis will showcase the scenic upper portion of the Mississippi River. Known for crisp and pleasant summer weather, its sprawling nature preserves, fascinating lock system and Mark Twain influence, the Upper Mississippi River lends itself to an impressive and refreshing journey through the American Heartland.

“There’s no better time of year than summer to enjoy this portion of the Mississippi River,” said Timothy Beebe, vice president, American Cruise Lines. “Between the scenery, weather and classic summer theme, our guests are in for quite a treat. A truly unmatched summer experience awaits them.”

Additionally, by popular demand, American Cruise Lines has added another Mark Twain theme cruise and two more Eagle Society cruises to Queen of the Mississippi’s 2013 schedule.

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American Cruise Lines Introduces 4-Night Cruises on the Mississippi River

March 29th, 2013 Franz Posted in American Cruise Lines Comments Off on American Cruise Lines Introduces 4-Night Cruises on the Mississippi River

American Cruise Lines announced the addition of four-night ‘Plantation Cruises’ to the Queen of the Mississippi’s 2013 schedule. Three days shorter than the standard itinerary length the line offers on the Mississippi River, the new cruises will focus on the various plantations found along the river.

The roundtrip voyage from New Orleans is perfect for a quick getaway or extended weekend trip, offering a historic exploration of the plantations along the Mississippi River, including Nottoway Plantation, Houmas House, Oak Alley and Laura Plantation. Featured dates include November 30, December 4 and 8, with rates starting at $2,395 per person.

The new shorter plantation cruises will feature a variety of special events and onboard activities:

  • Mint juleps served on the Oak Alley lawn
  • Performance by Judy Davis, singer, entertainer and storyteller of life on a plantation
  • Praline-cooking demonstration by Michael DeVidts
  • Performance by the New Orleans Jazz All Stars
  • Onboard cooking demonstration by a Louisiana Culinary Institute chef

“With great and rising interest in cruising the Mississippi River with American Cruise Lines, we thought it was important to offer additional options for those interested,” said Timothy Beebe, vice president, American Cruise Lines. “This new offering will appeal to those interested in a shorter cruise or to those looking to complement a land vacation in the American Heartland.”

The Queen of the Mississippi carries 150 guests in spacious 300 square foot staterooms, which feature large private balconies with sliding glass doors and all of the amenities today’s travelers expect, while maintaining the elegance of classic late 1800s Mississippi riverboats. American Cruise Lines operates the paddlewheeler over the entire Mississippi River System, including the Ohio and Cumberland Rivers.

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New Virtual Tour of American Cruise Lines’ Queen of the Mississippi

February 20th, 2013 Franz Posted in American Cruise Lines Comments Off on New Virtual Tour of American Cruise Lines’ Queen of the Mississippi

American Cruise Lines has added a new feature to its website which offers visitors a real-life glimpse into the company’s newest vessel, the Queen of the Mississippi. The new virtual tour gives visitors a 360-degree look at various staterooms and public spaces aboard Queen of the Mississippi, including the Paddlewheel Lounge and the dining room.

Plans for virtual tours of the line’s other ships are in development. In addition to the virtual tour, American Cruise Lines has added various multimedia elements, including maps, images and videos to compliment the descriptions of many of the various U.S.-based itineraries which are offered.

“With interest in Queen of the Mississippi and cruising the Mississippi River at an all- time high, we felt it was important to give all those interested the closest thing to being aboard the riverboat itself,” said Timothy Beebe, Vice President, American Cruise Lines. “The response so far has been great and we look forward to offering virtual tours of all our ships.”

Queen of the Mississippi begins its second season this March. With a capacity of 150 guests and numerous never-before-available amenities on the Mississippi River, it boasts 300-plus square foot staterooms, sliding glass doors to spacious private balconies, and numerous unique lounges, all as can be seen in the virtual tour.

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American Cruise Lines reports record sales

January 29th, 2013 Franz Posted in American Cruise Lines Comments Off on American Cruise Lines reports record sales

American Cruise Lines announced today record sales at the start of what it is predicting will be its strongest Wave Season to date. Each of the past four weeks has broken previous company sales records during Wave Season, with last week being the most successful sales week in the company’s entire history.

“We predicted sales growth this year with a full second season on the Mississippi and the addition of our new Puget Sound itinerary,” said Timothy Beebe, Vice President of American Cruise Lines. “It’s been even more significant than we had hoped. We’ll be adding additional cruises on our most popular itineraries to meet the demand.”

Beebe attributes the sales growth to a number of important factors, the largest of which may be American Cruise Lines’ growing number of relationships with travel agents, both in the U.S. and abroad. “We are working with more new travel agents and our existing travel partners are booking more cruises than ever,” said Beebe.

The growth is highlighted by the success of American Cruise Lines’ recent expansion to the Mississippi River with its new-built paddelwheeler, Queen of the Mississippi, which will enter a full second season in March.

In addition to a growing agent community, repeat customer rates have reached an all-time high according to ACL, with more guests taking advantage of the renewed loyalty program, The Eagle Society.

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American Cruise Lines renews “The Eagle Society” loyalty program

January 18th, 2013 Franz Posted in American Cruise Lines Comments Off on American Cruise Lines renews “The Eagle Society” loyalty program

American Cruise Lines is renewing its loyalty program “The Eagle Society”, featuring new benefits for repeat passengers. Amongst the benefits for loyal customers are free cruises and land excursions as well as the opportunity to invite family and friends aboard for a tour of the boat or ship or to join them for meals.

In detail, this are the benefits for members of ACL’s “The Eagle Society” loyalty program:

  • Complimentary cruise – Upon completion of 10 cruises with American Cruise Lines, Eagle Society members are rewarded with a complimentary cruise.
  • Complimentary shore excursions – After an Eagle Society member has cruised three times, shore excursion fees are waived on all cruises booked thereafter.
  • Special Eagle Society gifts – Member gifts range from customized officers jackets to champagne.
  • Membership identification – Customized luggage tags indicate Eagle Society belongings and special nametags indicate the number of cruises taken by each member.
  • Invitations to exclusive Eagle Society cruises – Each year, several dates are chosen for exclusive Eagle Society member cruises. These sailings are hosted by company executives and include special tours, receptions and entertainment.
  • Hometown VIP access – When a ship is in a port near a member’s hometown, American Cruise Lines extends a VIP invitation to come aboard for lunch or dinner.
  • Non-guest visitation and dining– When in port, members may invite friends or family aboard for a tour of the ship or to join them for meals.
  • Eagle Society-only savings and promotions – Members are privy to various special offers.

“As far as we can tell, American Cruise Lines has the highest repeat customer rate in the industry,” said Timothy Beebe, Vice President, American Cruise Lines. “We want to reward our repeat guests for their loyalty with benefits that create the most memorable and enjoyable cruise experience possible, and one which gets better with each cruise they take.” – “Many of our guests have already begun to take advantage of the new benefits, following the well-received 2012 initiatives,” added Beebe. “This year will be extremely rewarding for our Eagle Society members and we look forward to welcoming them aboard.”

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ACL announces new 2013 theme cruises

January 10th, 2013 Franz Posted in American Cruise Lines Comments Off on ACL announces new 2013 theme cruises

American Cruise Lines announced today the addition of three brand new theme cruises for 2013, including a Gold Rush theme cruise in Alaska, a Civil War Eastern Theater theme cruise to complement the Western Theatre cruise offered on the Mississippi River, and a new Enrichment theme cruise to relax the mind, body and soul of our guests aboard the New England Islands itinerary.

Gold Rush – Alaska Inside Passage: On this extraordinary cruise, guests will experience rugged mountains and stunning glaciers as they explore Gold Rush history. They’ll even board the historic White Pass Yukon Railroad, a narrow-gauge railroad built in 1898 during the Gold Rush to transport miners. On the train, they’ll enjoy the alpine scenery and amazing views. A stop in Skagway, a newly added port of call, allows guests to discover Klondike Gold Rush National Park. Throughout the cruise, guests will spot an array of land and marine wildlife native to the wondrous Inside Passage. Featured Date: July 20, 2013

Civil War Eastern Theater – Historic South & Golden Isles: Following the popularity of Civil War theme cruises on the Mississippi River, American Cruise Lines has introduced the theme to the East Coast. On this new cruise, guests will discover the Eastern Theater of the American Civil War, visiting pivotal cities of the South such as Charleston, where some of the first shots of the Civil War were fired in 1861. In Savannah, guests will enjoy an eye-opening tour of its Colonial, Revolutionary and Civil War history; as well as its many fascinating historic buildings and monuments. They’ll visit historic battle grounds such as the site of the Battle of Fort Sumter in South Carolina. Featured lecturers will entertain guests and offer added insight while onboard. Featured Date: April 6, 2013

Enrichment: Mind, Body & Soul – New England Islands: The moment our guests step aboard this new theme cruise, they will relax and unwind in their spacious and elegantly appointed staterooms. An assortment of unique onboard and onshore activities are offered, which will energize and revitalize our guests: Morning yoga classes, walking groups, painting sessions and a presentation on health-conscious cooking and cuisine. A menu of recommended spa treatments in port will be provided at the beginning of the cruise for advance booking. Featured Date: July 6, 2012

“Theme cruises are extremely popular as they add an extra element of connectivity between our guests and the areas we travel,” said Timothy Beebe, Vice President of American Cruise Lines. “It’s rewarding to provide a cruise experience centered on the shared individual interests of our guests. They enjoy the cruise even more.”

Additional theme cruises offered in 2013 include:

Lobster Festival Cruise: An American Cruise Lines specialty theme offered on both the Maine Coast & Harbors and New England Islands itineraries, guests enjoy a traditional lobsterbake in Rockland, ME and the opportunity to board a lobster boat for a hands-on demonstration of the catching process. Featured Date: July 20, 2013

Culinary & Wine Themed Cruise: Culinary masters aboard the Queen of the West on the Columbia & Snake Rivers create a delectable all-American menu, and a wine connoisseur joins guests aboard for lessons on wine making, tasting and food pairing. In port, various different wineries are visited in both Oregon and Washington. Featured Date: May 4, 2013

Savories of the South Cruise: Local historians, culinary experts and featured chefs will educate passengers on the rich history of some of the South’s most vibrant cities, such as New Orleans, and their famous cuisines. While in port, guests will be privy to exclusive cooking demonstrations and tastings. Featured Date: March 2, 2013

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American Cruise Lines is “World’s Leading Small Ships Cruise Line”

December 17th, 2012 Franz Posted in American Cruise Lines Comments Off on American Cruise Lines is “World’s Leading Small Ships Cruise Line”

American Cruise Lines, operator of the newest riverboats and small cruise ships in the United States, is pleased to announce it has been voted the 2012 World’s Leading Small Ships Cruise Line by travel excellence organization, World Travel Awards. Referred to as “the Oscar’s of the travel industry” by the Wall Street Journal, World Travel Awards has developed into the most prestigious and comprehensive awards program in travel and tourism. Thousands of travel organizations globally are nominated and voted for pushing the boundaries of excellence and implementing ground-breaking ideas.

The outcome of a full year of voting by travel professionals and consumers alike, this greatly recognized and respected award sheds light on American Cruise Lines’ successful and truly unique offering. Specializing in cruises on the inland waterways and rivers of the United States, American Cruise Lines is best known for its unique and intriguing destinations throughout the US, highly attentive and personalized service, five-star dining and stunning fleet of new riverboats and small ships.

2012 has been a breakthrough year for American Cruise Lines having launched a brand new authentic paddlewheeler on the Mississippi River, the first to be built specially for the River in nearly 20 year. American Cruise Lines also experienced a successful inaugural season in Alaska and recently announced its newest itinerary to be introduced in 2013 – Puget Sound and San Juan Islands. The highly coveted title of the World’s Leading Small Ships Cruise Line 2012 is a true indicator and proof point of the company’s success and satisfaction of both its guests and valued travel partners.

“We are thrilled with this impressive award,” said Timothy Beebe, Vice President, American Cruise Lines. “We take great pride in each guest experience, and to be recognized with this award is an honor. It is a wonderful feeling to know that our guests and travel partners believe we are the best small ship cruise line.”

Proving popular, American Cruise Lines’ unique approach to small ship cruising offers intimate, pampered cruises aboard the newest and most elegant riverboats and small ships in the United States. With just 50 to 150 guests, a very intimate and relaxing atmosphere is found onboard, allowing each guest to receive attentive and individualized service from a highly trained and professional crew. Unique destination-focused itineraries emphasize the cruising regions, while guests enjoy top accommodations, personalized service, breathtaking views and exclusive access to sites and activities in port.

Beebe concludes, “We feel confident that we will continue to win this title in the upcoming years and look forward to continuing our commitment to our guests and raising the bar in small ship cruising.”

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American Cruise Lines Announces 2013 Alaska Guest Speakers

December 11th, 2012 Franz Posted in American Cruise Lines Comments Off on American Cruise Lines Announces 2013 Alaska Guest Speakers

Distinguished naturalists, historians, authors to be featured on Inside Passage cruises – American Cruise Lines, operator of the newest riverboats and small cruise ships in the United States, has announced today the guest speakers to be featured aboard its 2013 Alaska Inside Passage cruises. Renowned enlighteners, authors, historians and naturalists have been invited to join guests onboard to offer expertise and unique insight on a range of topics, passing scenery and ports of call. Next season’s featured guest speakers include:

  • Todd Weber –This highly celebrated river-running historian shares with guests his appreciation for the stamina, ingenuity and character that existed in those who braved the Last Frontier. In addition to sharing the beauty and wonder of Alaska’s wildlife and scenery, Weber brings its history to life with period clothing and colorful presentations.
  • Ian Sampson – A professional natural resources interpreter and historian, Sampson lends his skills to help guests gain an understanding of the history, culture, geology, geography, flora, and fauna of each area visited. Trained by world renowned professor and author, Sam Hamm, Sampson has accrued over 15 years of experience conducting interpretive programs in Alaska, the Northwest, and other regions of the world.
  • Tom Stanley – A well respected biologist with over 35 years of professional experience, Stanley has traveled on small cruise ships since 1995, sharing his knowledge of natural resources and the environment.

“Having our guest speakers aboard is really helpful to passengers; it gives context to what they’re seeing,” said Timothy Beebe, Vice President, American Cruise Lines “We are excited for our guests to spend time with these fascinating personalities.”

Additionally, to complement the guest speakers, when visiting Glacier Bay, a park service ranger and native cultural interpreter will join passengers aboard to provide added narration and insight. They will help guests spot wildlife, including humpback whales and orcas, share traditional songs and stories of the local Huna Tlingit people, and educate on their history and modern way of life

“Enriching and educating our guests on each destination is an important element of every American Cruise Lines cruise and one which has earned us great praise from our guests,” added Beebe.

Following this year’s successful inaugural season in Alaska, American Cruise Lines is again offering seven- and 11-night Alaskan itineraries aboard the 100-passenger American Spirit, including round trip cruises departing from Juneau, and one-way cruises between Juneau and Seattle. Proving popular, American Cruise Lines’ unique approach to small ship cruising in Alaska offers an intimate, pampered adventure of the Inside Passage. Aboard the newest and most elegant ship, guests enjoy top accommodations, personalized service, breathtaking views and up-close access to wildlife and glaciers.

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Str. Washington’s calliope for the Queen of the Mississippi

November 28th, 2012 Franz Posted in American Cruise Lines Comments Off on Str. Washington’s calliope for the Queen of the Mississippi

American Cruise Lines has announce the acquisition of the 132-year-old Nichol steam calliope to be placed aboard its new 150-guest paddlewheeler, Queen of the Mississippi. The historic instrument, which originated from the Str. Washington, will be restored to full operation, and will then be installed aboard the Queen of the Mississippi.

As ACL says, the calliope will not only serve as a delightful reminder of the golden era of steamboating and the grandeur of the historic steamboats of the late 1880s, but also as a fully-functioning steam-powered instrument, which will play familiar melodies and sounds as Queen of the Mississippi makes her way up and down the Mississippi River. According to ACL the calliope will be a steam generator/boiler to supply the calliope.

Once owned by St. Louis-based Streekfus Line, the Washington was built in Wheeling, W. Virginia, in 1880. Originally named Sidney, the historic steamboat was renamed the Washington, the name it operated under until it was dismantled in 1938. The purchase of its calliope includes all its original brass whistles and valves, keyboard, recordings and books. Unique to this steam calliope only, is one elevated whistle which sits above the rest, an uncommon feature not known to be on any other existing calliope. The Str. Washington’s callipe has been part of a private collection in Florida for many years.

“The instrument perfectly suits our new paddlewheeler,” said Timothy Beebe, Vice President, American Cruise Lines. “Blending both old and new, Queen of the Mississippi provides a truly authentic and nostalgic cruise experience, while offering the best and most comfortable accommodations ever available on the Mississippi River. Guests will be truly delighted with the addition of this impressive piece of history.”

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