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American Melody Review

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American Melody
-- / 5.0
5 reviews

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Passenger to Crew


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American Cruise Lines Cruise Deals
Aaron Saunders
Cruise Critic Contributor

American Melody Overview

Unlike most American river cruise ships, American Melody and its fleetmates eschew the traditional paddlewheel design that has defined river cruising along the Mississippi and other rivers since the days of Mark Twain. Boasting contemporary design and a sleek profile that blends an elaborate riverboat with a small intercoastal ship, American Melody offers a thoroughly modern river cruise experience through America's heartland.

Unexpected onboard features for a ship of its class include a soaring four-level atrium topped with a glass skylight, a forward-facing observation lounge, wall-to-wall windows in nearly every public room and an all-balcony cabin arrangement.

One key feature is the ship's unique bow, which swings open to reveal a retractable gangway that allows the ship to pull right up into places where more traditional cruise ships would be unable to dock.

Announced in August 2019, the 190-passenger American Melody is under construction at the Chesapeake Shipbuilding yards in Salisbury, Maryland. It makes its debut in late 2020.


Meals onboard offer traditionally American fare complemented by American wines and beers. All meals are served in the ship's open-seating dining room, and wine, beer and soft drinks are complimentary with lunches and dinners onboard.

Snacks are available in the ship's main lounge, and complimentary drinks and hors d'oeuvres are offered during a daily cocktail hour.

Room service is available for breakfast only.


American Cruise Lines prides itself on the spaciousness of its cabins, and for good reason: They're huge.

Continuing the tradition that began with the debut of American Song, the smallest cabins onboard are the ship's eight single-occupancy staterooms that come in at a spacious 250 square feet.

The accommodations only get larger from there, with the entry-level AAR staterooms with private balcony measuring 275 square feet.

At the top of the accommodations chain are two massive 800-square-foot Grand Suites and a trio of spacious, 645-square-foot Owners Suites, each offering full-size bathrooms, separate sitting areas, floor-to-ceiling windows and spacious private balconies.

There is one wheelchair-accessible cabin on Main Deck. All cabins feature ample storage space, private bathrooms, satellite TVs with DVD players and complimentary Wi-Fi.

Top Deck Attractions

Up top, American Melody features an expansive sun deck equipped with a putting green.


Onboard entertainment revolves around musical performances and guest lecturers. Most American Cruise Lines voyages are strong in this respect, offering an eclectic mix of musical styles, from jazz to blues to country and rock 'n' roll.

Guest lecturers and onboard historians provide itinerary and port-specific information, while onboard riverlorians touch on the unique history and culture of the vessel's sailing waterway.

Reading and quiet conversation are also popular pastimes on these voyages, which tend to attract a mature audience of cruisers looking to sail the heartland of America.


Exact itineraries aboard American Melody have yet to be announced. The vessel makes its debut in late 2020.

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Awards and Recognition

American Melody Member Reviews

American Melody
Sail Date: May 2015
We sailed on the Victoria Sophia as part of a Magic of the Yangtze trip and sailed down the river from Shanghai to Chongqing staying on the boat for 8 days. A number of tours off the boat was also included in the... Read More
American Melody
Sail Date: Jul 2011
We took a week long cruise from Chongqing to Shanghai in July. Finding the ship was very difficult, even with Chinese instructions for the taxi driver and we were dropped at the wrong dock. Some porters... Read More
American Melody
Sail Date: Jun 2011
We had taken a river cruise in the past and so were interested in a small/boutique cruise experience. This ship has approximately 200 passengers, which in hindsight was probably a bit big for our tastes. The age of... Read More
American Melody
Sail Date: May 2010
Somewhat seasoned travellers, my wife and I are in our late 50's and residents of a small village in Eastern Canada. We wanted to visit Asia while our health still permitted it. We decided on an extended 8-night... Read More

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.

View All American Melody Cruises
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
Editor Rating

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
Editor Rating

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
Editor Rating

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
4.0 / 5.0
Editor Rating

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

American Constitution
4.5 / 5.0
Editor Rating

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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