American Classic Voyages Co. (NASDAQ: AMCV) is the largest owner and operator of U.S.-flag, U.S.-crewed cruise vessels. The parent company is located in Chicago, with operating headquarters for its four U.S.-flag cruise lines located in New Orleans. AMCV owns and operates: The Delta Queen Steamboat Co., Delta Queen Coastal Voyages, American Hawaii Cruises and United States Lines.
Since 1993, the company has tripled its passenger capacity and revenue. AMCV is entering the new millennium poised for growth with plans to introduce six vessels from 2000 through 2004.
Below is a description of each cruise line:
The oldest U.S.-flag cruise line, tracing its roots back to 1890, offers 3- to 14-night cruises throughout the Heartland of America and the Old South aboard three authentic steam paddle-wheelers: the National Historic Landmark Delta Queen, the magnificent Mississippi Queen and the grand American Queen, the world's largest steamboat. These "floating palaces" - as Mark Twain would say - link passengers to America's rich heritage and colorful 19th century history as they cruise to quaint communities along the nation's rivers.
The company's newest riverboat, the 161-passenger Columbia Queen, will begin offering 8-night vacations in the Pacific Northwest on May 26, 2000. The vacations include an overnight hotel stay in Portland, Ore., a 7-night cruise on the picturesque Columbia, Snake and Willamette rivers, and shore excursions to 18 attractions along the 1,000-mile journey.
American Classic Voyages Co. is building a fleet of 226-passenger ships that will showcase the beauty and history of the coastal shorelines. Delta Queen Coastal Voyages is scheduled to begin operations in 2001, initially along the Eastern Seaboard, Great Lakes, Caribbean and Central America, and later also in Alaska and on the West Coast. The vessels will stop in port cities where passengers will enjoy shore excursions to historical and regional attractions. Most of the 114 staterooms on each vessel will be outside staterooms, offering panoramic views. The ships' design will be reminiscent of the historic coastal ships of the late 1800s with nautical, turn-of-the-century-style furnishings. Each will feature state-of-the-art technology and four-star amenities.
Passengers can visit 4 islands and 5 ports in Hawaii and only unpack once while cruising aboard American Hawaii Cruises' classic steamship, S.S. Independence. Its 7-night itinerary currently departs from Honolulu, Oahu, and sails passengers to Nawiliwili, Kauai; Kahului, Maui; Hilo, Hawaii, and Kona, Hawaii. Beginning Nov. 11, 2000, the Independence will move its home port and depart every Saturday from Maui on a similar weeklong itinerary.
American Hawaii's shore excursions program, named "Best of the Best" by Travel Holiday magazine, offers 60 easy ways to explore island attractions. Many cruises on the Independence feature a special theme such as Whales in the Wild, Big Band, Pearl Harbor Remembrance or Aloha Festivals. A comprehensive children's program, golf, onboard wedding and honeymoon packages round out the choices for cruisers.
Under its Project America initiative, AMCV is building two 1,900-passenger, 72,000 GRT cruise ships for service in Hawaii - the largest cruise ships ever built in the United States. The vessels will be constructed at Ingalls Shipbuilding, Inc., a division of Litton Ship Systems, in Pascagoula, Miss., and will be the first major ocean-going passenger ships to be built in the United States in more than 40 years. The ships will begin cruising in 2003 and 2004 as the United States Lines brand.
On Dec. 9, 2000, United States Lines will also introduce the 1,212-passenger ms Patriot (formerly Holland America Line's Nieuw Amsterdam) in Hawaii. The ms Patriot - the largest ship to date dedicated to cruising exclusively in Hawaii - will travel year-round to 4 Hawaiian islands on 7-night cruises that will depart every Saturday from Honolulu. Passengers will enjoy extensive entertainment programs, numerous onboard recreational opportunities and a wide variety of shore excursions and adventures in the state of Aloha. Airfare, pre-and post-cruise hotel packages and special amenities packages are available.