Four new riverboats are to be built by American Cruise Lines to cruise the Mississippi River system and the Columbia and Snake Rivers.


The new ships will enter service between 2015 and 2017 with the first two carrying between 150 and 200 passengers.


Construction has already begun on the first two ships, with the first to enter service in spring 2015.


At least one of the four new vessels will sail along the Columbia and Snake Rivers from the Pacific coast to the Idaho border, more than 500 miles inland.


It will be specially built for cruising in the Pacific Northwest with cabins featuring panoramic views, balconies, and room service.


The itinerary will be similar to American Cruise Lines’ existing itinerary on the Columbia and Snake Rivers aboard Queen of the West, which was renovated in 2010.


Company vice president Timothy Beebe said: “There is a longstanding history of riverboating in America. Since the 1800s, each new riverboat has sought to outdo the last by offering more amenities, comforts, and service than its predecessors.


“The Columbia and Snake Rivers have not seen a new riverboat in over 10 years, so the upgrade is overdue, and the new ship on the Mississippi River will complement the Queen of the Mississippi beautifully.”