On a cruise ship
American Melody: A modern river ship for exploring the Mississippi
American Melody began its inaugural season in September 2021 as the newest riverboat from American Cruise Lines to offer sailings on the Mississippi River through the American heartland.
The 175-passenger ship features panoramic views throughout, including an impressive four-story glass atrium in the center of the ship. It also boasts roomy accommodations, with cabins ranging in size from 250 to 650 square feet, all featuring full-size bathrooms, spacious closets and private balconies where guests can take in the passing scenery and enjoy daily room service at breakfast.
American Melody also features six lounges for sipping cocktails and mingling with fellow passengers — and most of these spaces have large, impressive wall-to-wall windows. There's also a forward-facing observation lounge, fitness center and yoga studio. Every stateroom has a private balcony. For guests staying in a Grand Suite or Veranda Suite, at the end of each day the room attendant will deliver a “suite treat” to your stateroom, such as mini cheesecakes or chocolate-covered strawberries.
While other small cruise lines repurpose old casino ships, American Cruise Lines jettisoned the traditional paddlewheel motif and built a fleet of new boats from the ground up. The result is a ship with a sleek, contemporary design and one that's quieter, wider and faster than any other river ship — and also the most environmentally friendly in the industry, the cruise line says.
Who will enjoy sailing on American Melody
The ship attracts a mature set of travelers who want an easy, safe cruise experience close to home that offers a nostalgic taste of the American heartland and the region's glory days.
Where American Melody sails
American Melody offers these main sailings:
- “7 Night New Orleans” cruises depart from New Orleans and visit Oak Alley Plantation, Vacherie, Louisiana; Natchez and Vicksburg, Mississippi; and St. Francisville, Baton Rouge and Houmas House Plantation, Louisiana.
- “7 Night Upper Mississippi River” cruises depart from St. Louis and visit Hannibal, Mo.; Fort Madison, Davenport and Dubuque, Iowa; La Crosse, Wisc.; and Red Wing (Minneapolis) and St. Paul, Minn.
- “7 Night Upper Mississippi River” cruises depart from St. Paul, Minn., and visit Red Wing (Minneapolis), Minn.; La Crosse, Wisc.; Dubuque, Davenport and Fort Madison, Iowa; and Hannibal and St. Louis, Mo.
- Longer “14 Night Grand Heartland” sailings are also available.
When you sail on an American Cruise Lines ship, your fare includes a pre-cruise hotel package, all shore excursions (organized daily), a cocktail hour each evening, cruise accommodation, gourmet meals, Afternoon Tea service, room service for breakfast, onboard enrichment and entertainment programs and complimentary shipwide Wi-Fi.
On board you'll find a main open-seating dining room featuring traditional American fare. Wines and beers come from the U.S. and are complimentary with lunches and dinners on board. American Melody also offers the Ellipse Café for a casual dining option with the ambiance of a yacht, complete with teak decks and river views from every table.
Entertainment & activities
Much of the action on a river cruise centers on the charming ports along the way. Guest lecturers and historians provide daily updates about port highlights while “riverlorians” recount the history and culture of the region.
The River Lounge serves as the ship's show lounge with a central stage, grand piano and ample seating. The performance space allows for different types of entertainment to be featured. Warm cookies are served in the lounge starting at 10 am., Afternoon Tea service with fresh pastries is at 3:30 pm and a cocktail hour with free drinks is at 5:30 pm. Evening entertainment includes a nightly one-hour show that ranges from a live concert, solo performances and musical tribute to movie trivia or games.
On board, the upper deck features a Sky Walk and shuffleboard area, or you can spread out and enjoy the views. Reading and quiet conversation are also popular ways to pass the time. Note that there's no casino on board.
All staterooms come with step-out balconies. Rooms are among the most spacious in the industry.
American Melody offers these cabin categories: Single Private Balcony (250 square feet), AAR Private Balcony (275 square feet), AAC Private Balcony (316 square feet), AAM Private Balcony (350 square feet), Veranda Suite (405 square feet), including a private walk-out balcony, full-size bathroom and large living area with sliding glass door, and Grand Suite (650 square feet), with floor-to-ceiling glass windows, sliding glass doors, private balcony with private dining area, and separate bedroom and living area.
American Melody is the fourth new build in the American Cruise Lines fleet. Part of its "Modern Riverboat" series, the ship follows sister ships American Song (2018), American Harmony (2019) and American Jazz (2020). Coming next in the same class: American Symphony (2022) and American Serenade (currently scheduled for late 2022).
All American Cruise Lines ships are USA-flagged and built by the company-owned Chesapeake Shipbuilding Yard in Salisbury, Md.
Interested in a cruise on this ship?
If you're interested in a cruise on American Melody, contact a Cruiseable travel advisor at 1-877-322-3773 or by email. You'll usually get a better deal than you can get by contacting the cruise line directly.