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US rivers line prepares new ship for 2021

US domestic operator American Cruise Lines is preparing for the introduction of a new ship on the Mississippi river next summer.

The 175-passenger American Melody took to the water for the first time at its shipyard in Maryland ahead of being fitted out.

The fourth in a series of new vessels is part of a rapid-building plan as the company releases as many as two new riverboats each year ahead.

A fifth yet to be named riverboat is due in 2022.

The five-deck American Melody is set to begin sailing the Mississippi in summer 2021 with the line also planning to launch sister vessel American Jazz in March after Covid delayed its debut this year.

American Melody will feature a multi-storey glass atrium, cabins with private balconies and an opening bow with retractable gangway.

Other features include a casual outdoor cafe as well as a dining room with river views from every table, sky-lit lounges, open-air sundecks, library, chart room, games room, fitness room and yoga wellness studio as well as lift access to all decks.

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