American Cruise Lines is a historical tour cruise line based out of Connecticut. Its 7 ships comfortably seat up to 150 passengers. Cruise are offered year round and last 7-14 days. The company’s ships travel to Alaska and the Pacific Northwest, up and down the Mississippi River, and across the Northeast and Southeast United States. American cruise lines also offers special theme cruises such as their Lewis and Clark Cruise, Civil War Cruise, and Mark Twain Tribute Cruise.

 

Rank Chart
Price
Total Ships
Our Score
#1
$149
3,652
7.5
#2
$91
6,296
7.4
#3
$279
4,248
7.0
#22
american_cruise_lines
$3,445
185
4.8

The Good

American Cruise Lines, Inc.’s ships are equipped with safety, navigation and communications systems, including defibrillators and oxygen. Many systems on the ships have back-up redundancy for safety and convenience. All American Cruise Lines, Inc.’s ships are U.S.-flagged, certified and regularly inspected by the U.S. Coast Guard, U.S. Public Health Service and the Federal Communications Commission.

American Cruise Lines features spacious staterooms at more than 220 square feet each. These staterooms provide private balconies and large picture windows with a spectacular view of the sea and landscape.Each room includes the following amenities:

  • Twin or King-sized bed
  • Twice-daily stateroom service
  • Remote-controlled satellite TV w/DVD player
  • Internet access
  • Individual climate control system
  • Writing desk & stationery
  • Hair dryer
  • Spacious closet and four-drawer dresser and dual night tables

In addition to the spacious staterooms, there are amenities relatively standard on all American cruise line ships. While there may be one or two exceptions, for the most part American cruise lines feature the following amenities to their guests:

  • Twice-daily stateroom service
  • Twin or King-sized be
  • Remote-controlled satellite TV w/DVD player
  • Internet access
  • Individual climate control system
  • Writing desk & stationery
  • Hair dryer
  • Spacious closet and four-drawer dresser and dual night tables

Dinner options include local fare from the port destinations during the length of the cruise and the restaurants cater to any special dietary needs of its guests. Enjoy freshly baked breads and muffins to start your day and steamed lobsters, beef, and lamb during the evening hours. Lunch options feature sandwiches, soups, and salads and delicious pies for dessert. Chilled red and white wines are served each day during lunch and dinner. Dress codes are resort casual and seating is unassigned.

The American Cruise Line ships also contain oversized lounges for guests to relax, socialize, and play games. These lounges have a well-stocked library and Internet stations. Wifi use is free for guests to enjoy. Guests are also welcome to bring visitors onboard.

The Bad

American Cruise Lines is designed for older adults without children. There are no activities or programs for children. Entertainment options for adults are limited to nightly lectures from local experts, offshore excursions, and chatting with other fellow passengers during the evening cocktail hour. While the line does serve alcohol during lunch and dinner, it does not sell alcoholic beverages to guests or visitors. Tips generally average $160 per person for a seven night excursion and are charged at the end of the trip.

The cruise line ships only set sail twice a day, once in the morning and once in the afternoon. The rest of the time, the ships are tied up at docks for offshore excursions. While the offshore excursions are relatively inexpensive, they are limited in options and consist mainly of tours walks with local historians and bus tours to museums. These excursions range in price from $20-$75.Transportation to and from the airports and to the ship is available at an additional charge. Cancellation is also a common issue for guests. The protection package America cruise lines offer breaks down as follows:

  • Cruise Cancellation Protection is recommended and available, and allows for a refund of the cruise fare cost, up to the sailing date. For information on the Cruise Cancellation Protection Plan, contact American Cruise Lines, Inc. Passengers may cancel cruise reservations by sending a written request for cancellation to American Cruise Lines, Inc., 741 Boston Post Road, Suite 200, Guilford, CT 06437. Requests for cancellation should be sent by certified or registered mail, return receipt requested.
  • In the event of cancellation, the total amount paid for fare, minus cancellation fees of $250 per passenger, will be promptly refunded based on the date of receipt by American Cruise Lines, Inc. of the written request for cancellation, in accordance with the following schedule: 91 days or more prior to departure date, 100% of amount paid for fare less fees; more than 46 days, but less than 90 days prior to departure date, 50% of amount paid for fare less fees; 45 days or less prior to departure date, no refund will be made. The cancellation fees of $250 per passenger may be applied as a courtesy discount toward fare for a future cruise reserved with American Cruise Lines, Inc. within one year of the cancellation date. Fees paid for the American Cruise Lines Cruise Cancellation Protection Plan are non-refundable.

American Cruise Line ships are built to rarely move during sea travel and minimizing seasickness. However, the small sizes of the ships and lack of stabilizers do create uncomfortable motions during some exposed passages. For guests not accustomed to cruising, these sea motions can be quite unpleasant.

The decor on the American Cruise Line ships resembles that of a generic hotel chain’s front lobby. Color palettes throughout the ships are muted and plain.The biggest upside is the main lounge with tall windows that provides the perfect vantage point for passing scenery outside the ship. Luxury amenities are limited when compared to their cruise lines in the industry.

There is a $500 deposit required per person in order to confirm any reservation for a cruise lasting less than 9 days. A $900 per person deposit is required for all trips lasting 10 or more days. Complete payment for any booked cruise is to be made 90 days prior to the boarding date. Single travelers are welcome. Shore excursions typically cost $20 to $70 and can be paid onboard near the end of your cruise

However, these guests will be charged 150-175 percent of the double occupancy rate dependent on the stateroom selected.

The Bottom Line

American Cruise Lines is an optimal choice for older adults without children. While these guests are not excluded from booking a reservation, this cruise line is not designed for families with young children or teenagers as there are no entertainment options or activities created for them. The cruises and offshore excursions are reasonably priced. However, entertainment options are limited. The historical tours and evening lectures are perfect for history and culture enthusiasts.The dress code is resort casual and the ships offer open seating in restaurants, which is a big plus for guests who love to meet new people and socialize.

Fares include passage, dining, snacks and complimentary cocktails. The ships are small and intimate, allowing guests to move around easily in a relaxed atmosphere. There are little complaints filed against American Cruise Lines when compared to other excursion companies in their industry.

See “Full Details” Tab (top) for further details

Featured Details

Audience & Convenience

American Cruise Lines attracts older adults without children. The ships have no activities for children. Cruises range from 6-14 nights and offered year round.

What are the destinations for 2015-2016?

  • Destinations include: Alaska and the Pacific Northwest, Mississippi River, and the Northeast and Southeast United States. Special theme cruises are also available.

Do they offer transportation services from airports to the ports?

  • Transportation to and from the airports and to the ship is available at an additional charge. Several partner hotels offer complimentary shuttles to the ship on the morning of your cruise.

Safety

Do they have any security?

  • American Cruise Lines, Inc.’s ships are equipped with safety, navigation and communications systems, including defibrillators and oxygen. Many systems on the ships have back-up redundancy for safety and convenience. All American Cruise Lines, Inc.’s ships are U.S.-flagged, certified and regularly inspected by the U.S. Coast Guard, U.S. Public Health Service and the Federal Communications Commission.

How do they prevent theft? unknown

What precautions do they take for disease prevention? unknown

Basically, what do they offer in way of Vacation Protection?

  • Cruise Cancellation Protection is recommended and available, and allows for a refund of the cruise fare cost, up to the sailing date. For information on the Cruise Cancellation Protection Plan, contact American Cruise Lines, Inc. Passengers may cancel cruise reservations by sending a written request for cancellation to American Cruise Lines, Inc., 741 Boston Post Road, Suite 200, Guilford, CT 06437. Requests for cancellation should be sent by certified or registered mail, return receipt requested.
  • In the event of cancellation, the total amount paid for fare, minus cancellation fees of $250 per passenger, will be promptly refunded based on the date of receipt by American Cruise Lines, Inc. of the written request for cancellation, in accordance with the following schedule: 91 days or more prior to departure date, 100% of amount paid for fare less fees; more than 46 days, but less than 90 days prior to departure date, 50% of amount paid for fare less fees; 45 days or less prior to departure date, no refund will be made. The cancellation fees of $250 per passenger may be applied as a courtesy discount toward fare for a future cruise reserved with American Cruise Lines, Inc. within one year of the cancellation date. Fees paid for the American Cruise Lines Cruise Cancellation Protection Plan are non-refundable.

Price

What is the price of 2-3 of their featured cruise trips?

  • New Orleans – New Orleans: Eight-Day/Seven-Night Paddlewheel Cruise $4,450-$6,010
  • Historic South and Golden Isles Cruise: Eight-Day / Seven-Night Southeast Cruise: $3,985-$4,885

What are their prices for cruises to the Caribbean, Alaska, Mexico and Europe?

  • Caribbean: Not Available
  • Alaska: $3,975-$10,075
  • Mexico: Not Available
  • Europe: Not Available

 

Activities/Services

What services/activities are standard on all their cruise ships?

American Cruise Lines’ staterooms, most at more than 220 square feet, are by far the largest in their class. The majority of staterooms have spacious private balconies and feature a roomy private hotel-like bath and a large, opening picture window, allowing you spectacular up-close views of landscape, ports, and sea. Each stateroom is tastefully designed with your comfort and convenience in mind and includes the following amenities:

  • Twin or King-sized bed
  • Twice-daily stateroom service
  • Remote-controlled satellite TV w/DVD player
  • Internet access
  • Individual climate control system
  • Writing desk & stationery
  • Hair dryer
  • Spacious closet and four-drawer dresser and dual night tables

What services/activities are unique?

  • Local experts, guest speakers, authors, historians and entertainers
  • Free ship-wide Wi-Fi Internet access and complimentary computer access in its lounges.
  • State-of-the-art fitness equipment

Service Fees

Do any of the services on the boat cost?

  • Shore excursions typically cost $20 to $70 and can be paid onboard near the end of your cruise.

Contact Information

(800) 814-6880

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1 American Cruise Lines Reviews

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    June 30th, 2015 Saint Albans, VT

    My room on the Queen of the Mississippi, one of the American Cruise Lines Paddleboats, was misrepresented on the diagram in their booklet as a Category A double; it was at best a single. It was cramped and had a musty, moldy odor caused by a leaky AC. When I requested that the company refund a portion of my expense for this room, I was offered a 20% courtesy discount on a future booking. Not at all happy with this offer.

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