On a cruise ship
CruiseClout score: 95.0
American Cruise Lines' Independence: Hugging the eastern coastline
Maybe it's time to see more of the United States. American Cruise Lines offers a variety of options, including the Independence, which cruises the Maine coast in summer and the Atlantic coast between South Carolina and Florida in winter. Fall cruisers can cruise the Hudson River for seasonal color and leaf peeping.
Built in 2010, Independence is a small cruise ship with larger than average staterooms and plenty of onboard amenities. New design features including Rolls Royce stabilizers allow for better stabilization so the ship will roll less, and passengers will have a smoother cruise.
While the passenger capacity is roughly the same as the 100-passenger American Star and American Spirit, Independence is larger, giving a more spacious feel to the interior areas, including the cabins and balconies.
Who will like sailing on Independence
Independence is a good fit for those who might like small ship cruising along the eastern coast of the United States. It's a great small ship for those worried about seasickness. Passengers tend to be older Americans, and the elevator is a big draw.
Where Independence sails
Independence spends winter months cruising the coastal waterways of Florida, Georgia and South Carolina. New England cruises are featured during summer months.
The casual atmosphere is intended to foster camaraderie between fellow passengers, and all meals, which feature fresh meats and seafood, and in-season fruits and veggies, are open seating. Look for crab in season on the Chesapeake Bay cruise and lobster in Maine! Open decks and glassed-in observation areas allow for stellar views of the passing scenery.
Activities & entertainment
Simple but comfortable, the Independence was built to nestle into small coves and ports along the East Coast. Activities onboard are often tied into the destination and may include a visit with a local lobsterman in Maine, or while on southern sailings, costumed antebellum characters may entertain cruisers.
Other activities include:
- Lectures and Q&A sessions
- Walking tours of historic homes
- Museum visits
- Binoculars are available to use any time
- Kite flying on the observation deck
- Exercise equipment is minimal. Most passengers get their exercise by going ashore independently and walking through the towns
Staterooms on the Independence are generally more spacious than those found on other small cruise ships, with picture windows and private bathrooms. Some rooms have private balconies, perfect for watching the world float past.
With a maximum of 104 passengers, and generally leisurely schedules, you will have time to relax and join fellow passengers in excursions to towns and villages along the way.
- Spacious staterooms
- Most staterooms have private balconies
- Large opening picture window
- All interior entrances means that every stateroom has a private view
- Complimentary wi-fi in all staterooms
- Satellite TV and DVD player in all staterooms
- Twice-daily stateroom service
- Individual climate control system
- Writing desk & stationery
- Hair dryer
- Spacious closet
- Four-drawer dressers and night tables
- 110-volt outlets
Amenities on this ship
Note: There's no pool, fitness center, spa facilities, whirlpools or casino on the petite Independence. Passengers get their exercise by going ashore and walking around the port towns.
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Interested in a cruise on this ship?
Top highlights on this ship
- New design features including Rolls Royce stabilizers make for a smoother cruise and less seasickness
- Simple but comfortable, these ships were built to nestle into small coves and ports along the East Coast
- Don't miss the crab and lobster served in the Chesapeake Bay and Maine regions!
“Independence is best suited to mature couples and single travelers sharing a cabin who want to cruise in an all-American environment where the itineraries and destinations are more important than food, service or entertainment. It is extremely expensive for what you get – although this is a new ship and the cabins are larger and marginally better equipped than those in comparable ships.”