American Cruise Lines announced today, a strong increase in demand across its domestic portfolio of river and coastal cruises. The company cites increased awareness of U.S. cruise options along with guests’ desire to support all-American businesses, as the primary reasons for the increase. Advance bookings for the 2021 season are robust, with next year’s passenger counts currently more than 25% ahead of the same time last year. American has also just released its 2022 and 2023 schedules and announced an aggressive building program that remains on schedule.
The strong occupancy rates are furthered by American’s recent product growth and exciting ship innovations, which appeal to broader markets. The Line now offers more than 35 itineraries in the U.S.A. and was recently lauded for introducing the first modern riverboats in the country. In late 2019, American also reintroduced its Cruise Close to Home™ marketing campaign, which resonates stronger than ever, as travel begins its first steps toward recovery.
The great numbers for 2021, speak volumes about the future of travel and specifically the future of small ship cruising in the U.S.A. In just the past 3 years, American has doubled its fleet, to a total of 12 small 100-200 passenger ships operating across the country—all are 100% U.S. flagged. And the Line continues to build new ships each year.
“American has truly lead the way in opening up the possibilities for adventure in the U.S. We have been building new small ship styles to suit every taste and we continue to expand our huge collection of
curated itineraries, the options are endless with American. And the best part is you don’t have to travel abroad, or fly, to enjoy it all,” said Susan Shultz-Gelino, V.P. of Trade Relations for American.
The positive news for 2021 sales and the growing interest in cruising U.S. waterways was further reflected in the recent April 2020 CruiseCompete CruiseTrends report. In the latest report, American Cruise Lines was the #1 most requested river cruise line, and had the #1 most requested river ship, Queen of the Mississippi. Notably, the U.S.A. was also the #1 most requested country overall.
“People want to travel, and they are beginning to plan experiences for later this year and in the year ahead. American’s modern fleet, unique itineraries, and low passenger counts, allow us to offer amazing domestic options, as folks begin to cruise again. The desire to travel and the American spirit for exploration is alive and well,” said David Luxeder, Director of Marketing for American.