November 30, 2000
The increasingly ambitious American Classic Voyages – America's only big-ship U.S. flagged cruise line – spent the week in Carnival and Royal Caribbean-esque activity: meeting with financial analysts and travel agents to offer updates on the line's expansion plans. They're impressive. American Classic Voyages operates four cruise lines: American Hawaii Cruises, United States Lines, Delta Queen Coastal Voyages and Delta Queen Steamboat Company. The hot news is the completion of refurbishment of Holland America's former Nieuw Amsterdam, now ACV's Patriot; she begins 7-day Hawaiian itineraries from her Honolulu homeport on December 9. But there's more: Currently, the company has four ships under construction – all in U.S. shipyards. The Cape May Light and Cape Cod Light, intimate, 226-passenger ships, will make up the new Delta Queen Coastal Voyages line and will offer, beginning May 2001, itineraries along the East Coast, the Great Lakes, and Canada's maritimes. The 1,212-passenger Patriot will be the debut ship in ACV's United States Lines. Following, in 2003 and 2004, will be two newbuilds: 1,900-passenger ships which will also feature Hawaiian itineraries. The ships are currently under construction in Mississippi.