American Cruise Lines to Redesign and Rename Paddlewheel Ships

American Cruise Lines plans to redesign and rename its four classic paddlewheelers.

The river vessels will get a new interior design similar to that on the company’s modern riverboats, while retaining the traditional elements true to steamboat history. The project is slated for completion in March 2022.


The paddlewheelers will get new names to all start with “American.” America, Queen of the Mississippi and Queen of the West will be renamed American Splendor, American Heritage and American West, while American Pride will retain its original name.

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The announcement follows the August 2021 unveiling of American Melody and its new interior design. “American Melody’s extraordinary reception, particularly by our loyalty program members, has inspired us to bring the same new aesthetic to our entire paddlewheel fleet,” said Charles B. Robertson, president and CEO of American Cruise Lines.

The paddlewheel refurbishment will not change the company’s ambitious new construction timeline. American is doubling the size of its U.S. fleet to 15 small ships, including the introduction of six new modern riverboats.

The new paddlewheel redesign project will be completed by Studio DADO of Miami, which did the interior design for American Melody.

The two Mississippi River paddlewheelers, American Splendor and American Heritage, will celebrate the musical genres of the river, from jazz and blues to country and rock ‘n roll, as well as historical literary figures, like Mark Twain. The two Columbia & Snake paddlewheelers, American Pride and American West, will highlight Western and Native American themes, including the famous Lewis & Clark expedition.

From the staterooms and suites to the lounges and dining rooms, each ship will be made over with new color palettes, luxurious textiles and linens, new furniture and carpets and regionally inspired artwork and flourishes.

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