Modern Mississippi riverboat to be named American Song

The first of American Cruise Lines’ modern riverboats will be named American Song.

The vessel will launch on the Mississippi River in fall 2018 and will head to the Pacific Northwest’s Columbia and Snake rivers for 2019.

The American Song will be wider, faster, and quieter than any of ACL’s other river cruise ships. Like ACL’s other vessels, the American Song is being built at Chesapeake Shipbuilding in Salisbury, Md., and thus will be U.S. flagged and crewed.

The vessel will have a four-story glass atrium and large lounge areas. It is being designed to have sweeping views throughout the ship. The staterooms will be the largest in the industry, according to ACL, and will have private balconies and large bathrooms.

With the launch of American Song next year, ACL will operate a fleet of 10 vessels, including coastal cruisers and paddlewheelers.

The company sails along the coasts and inland waterways of Alaska, the Pacific Northwest, the Mississippi River region, the Southeast and New England.

Norwegian signs 15-year lease in Seattle

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Norwegian Cruise Line will be sailing in the Pacific Northwest for the foreseeable future.

The Port of Seattle said it has signed a 15-year berthing agreement with Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings that includes passenger volume guarantees that will assure $73 million of revenue to the port.

Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings is parent not only to Norwegian Cruise Line, but to Oceania Cruises and Regent Seven Seas Cruises. All three regularly sail to Alaska in the summer months.

Port of Seattle CEO Ted Fick said a 15-year lease for a cruise terminal is unprecedented on the West Coast. “Norwegian Cruise Line is showing real vision by investing in the economic growth of this region,” Fick said.

The agreement calls for Norwegian to make an estimated $30 million of improvements to the Bell Street Cruise Terminal that will expand the portion of the Pier 66 facilities used for processing cruise passengers.

During the summer season, Norwegian will manage cruise operations at the terminal, which is closer to downtown Seattle than the Smith Cove terminal used by Holland America Line, Princess Cruises and others. It will also have priority docking privileges.