I consider myself a pretty experienced ocean cruiser, however, I just recently had a taste of a small ship during a 15-day river cruise on the Rhine River and loved it. Though Europe will always hold a special place in my heart, I’m eager to see what sort of river cruising is available in the US.

American Cruise Lines, the largest American-flagged cruise line, has just announced their newest ship, American Constellation will set sail to Alaska for the 2018 cruise season; more than doubling their capacity in the region. The 175-passenger ship will have special cruise access to Glacier Bay from The National Park Service.

“It’s a privilege to be a part of the ongoing preservation and conservation of Glacier Bay. We are continuously looking for ways to provide our guests with the most memorable cruising experience and this rare glimpse of the world’s most magnificent biosphere does just that.”

– Charles A. Robertson, CEO of American Cruise Lines

I for one am looking forward to experiencing a world of firsts on the American Constellation. It not only boasts the largest staterooms on any small ship in Alaska but it’s also the only fully-stabilized ship in the region. Couple that with furnished balconies and full-size bathrooms and you have yourself the comfort of home on the water.

American Constellation rooms

Itineraries range from 8 to 15 days and can include complimentary pre-cruise hotel packages for all cruises departing from Juneau, Alaska. Complimentary guided tours are offered at each port (Juneau, Petersburg, Kake, Glacier Bay–to name a few), while onboard American Cruise Lines offers award-winning enrichment from local experts, historians, and naturalists.

If you’re looking for a more traditional riverboat experience, then I recommend you checking out one of American Cruise Lines other itineraries. They have 10 ships total and over 35 itineraries along the rivers and inland waterways of Alaska, the Pacific Northwest, the Mississippi River and the East Coast, so there are plenty of options for you to choose from for your next vacation.