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American Jazz Review

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American Jazz
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Passenger to Crew

August 2020

Shore Excursions
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American Cruise Lines Cruise Deals
Aaron Saunders
Cruise Critic Contributor

American Jazz Overview

Rather than looking like a Mark Twain-esque paddlewheeler, American Jazz brings a more contemporary look to river cruising in America. Following the trend set by fleetmate American Song, American Jazz boasts some decidedly uncommon features, including a four-story atrium filled with glittering glass, staterooms that measure 250 square feet at a minimum and a forward-facing observation lounge.

One of the most important features of this class of ships is the innovative bow design. The bow swings upward to open, revealing a retractable gangway that allows passengers to go ashore even when more traditional docking space is limited or unavailable. Because of this American Jazz can call on ports that even vessels in its class aren't typically able to.

Under construction at the Chesapeake Shipbuilding yards in Maryland, American Jazz will make its maiden voyage along the Mississippi on Aug. 17, 2020.


Food onboard reflects American tastes, styles and regional specialties. In keeping with American Cruise Lines' "All American" theme, passengers can expect predominantly American wines, beers and spirits whenever possible.

Meals are served in an open-seating dining room with expansive panoramic windows. Beer, wine and soft drinks are offered on a complimentary basis during lunch and dinner, while snacks can be found in the ship's lounges throughout the day.

Complimentary drinks and hors d'oeuvres during a daily cocktail hour are available to all passengers.

Room service is available but only serves continental breakfast.


Staterooms aboard America Jazz are, like the rest of the American Cruise Lines fleet, generously proportioned. Rooms range in size from 250 square feet right up to 800 square feet. All rooms come with private balconies.

A total of eight single-occupancy cabins are spread throughout the vessel, each coming in at 250 square feet and includes a private balcony, ensuite bathroom and ample storage space.

Standard balcony cabins start out at 275 square feet and come equipped with a large sitting area and all the usual amenities, including ample storage space, satellite TVs and DVD players, and complimentary Wi-Fi internet access.

At the top of the pack are the two 800-square-foot Grand Suites aboard American Jazz. These are complemented by three slightly smaller, but no less impressive, 645-square-foot Owners Suites. Both accommodation grades come equipped with full-size bathrooms, separate sitting areas, floor-to-ceiling windows and enlarged balconies.

A single wheelchair-accessible stateroom is available onboard, located on Main Deck.

Top Deck Attractions

Plenty of observation space is available on the upper deck of American Jazz, along with a small putting green that is popular with passengers.


Music and lectures are the main form of entertainment aboard American Jazz, with riverlorians hosting informative and engaging talks on ports of call and the cultural and historical aspects of the Mississippi River. Part stories, part lectures, these talks are prized by passengers for their wealth of information.

Musical acts are a popular pastime as well, with American Cruise Lines hosting a wide variety of live bands onboard, from jazz and blues to country and western and even rock 'n' roll.

Passengers aboard American Jazz tend to be mature cruisers and, as such, most elect to retire after dinner while a few will converse over nightcaps and music.


American Jazz will operate a series of voyages along the Mississippi River beginning Aug. 17, 2020.

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Awards and Recognition

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American Cruise Lines Fleet

American Melody
5 reviews

Providing a healthy dose of Americana on U.S. waterways, American Melody joins American Song, Harmony and Jazz in 2020 offering contemporary design and innovative features.

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American Star

The 100-passenger American Star is similar to fleetmate American Spirit, though it includes a few more modern touches like flat-screen satellite TVs in all cabins.

American Spirit
3.0 / 5.0
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Operating exclusively along the U.S. East Coast, crewed entirely by Americans and built on the Chesapeake Bay, American Spirit is an American ship through and through.

Queen of the Mississippi

American Cruise Line's paddlewheel riverboat Queen of the Mississippi combines modern amenities with design elements reminiscent of the days when steamboat paddlewheelers plied the Mississippi River.


American Cruise Lines introduced the 104-passenger Independence in 2010. Some 75 percent of Independence's cabins have balconies. The ship has seven cabins for solo travelers.

Queen of the West

The 120-passenger Queen of the West cruises the Columbia and Snake rivers in the Pacific Northwest. Itineraries include six-, seven- and 14-night sailings from Portland, Oregon.

4.0 / 5.0
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American Cruise Lines has been sailing the Mississippi since 2012. Its newest vessel, the 185-passenger America, is slightly larger than the line's other ships.

American Pride
4.0 / 5.0
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Originally named Queen of the Mississippi, the renamed American Pride paddlewheeler now operates on to the Snake and Columbia rivers on Pacific Northwest itineraries.

American Constellation
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The made-in-the-USA, 163-passenger American Constellation, the newest ship from American Cruise Lines, set sail in spring 2017.

American Constitution
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American Cruise Lines newest coastal cruiser boasts spacious cabins and eastern U.S. itineraries that you won't find on other lines.

American Song

New modern riverboat from American Cruise Lines will cruise the Mississippi River in 2018 before moving west in 2019.

American Harmony

A contemporary river cruise ship with oceangoing pedigree, American Harmony brings big-ship amenities to the mighty Mississippi.

American Jazz

The third ship in American Cruise Lines' new class of modern riverboat, American Jazz debuts in August 2020, offering contemporary river cruises through America's heartland.

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