Domestic Bookings Rise as Cruisers Seek to Support American Business

American Cruise Lines said it is experiencing a strong increase in demand across its domestic portfolio of river and coastal cruises.

The company attributed the demand to increased awareness of U.S. cruise options along with travelers’ desire to support all-American businesses.

American said advance bookings for the 2021 season are “robust, with next year’s passenger counts currently more than 25 percent ahead of the same time last year.” American has released its 2022 and 2023 schedules and said its aggressive building program remains on schedule.

The company also offers a new “Cruise With Comfort” program that allows passengers with bookings for cruises through Aug. 31, 2020, to cancel for any reason up to 24 hours before the start of their cruise packages. They will receive a 100 percent refund or a voucher worth 125 percent of what they paid applicable on a future cruise.

Based in Guilford, Conn., American is a rare cruise company that builds and flags its ships in the U.S. and used an all-American crew on its 12 ships. Its 100- to 200-passenger ships operate 35 itineraries that visit 28 states. More ships are on the way, including three more sleek modern riverboats that were scheduled to debut this year and in 2021.

“American has truly led the way in opening up the possibilities for adventure in the U.S.,” said Susan Shultz-Gelino, vice president of trade relations for American. “We have been building new small-ship styles to suit every taste and we continue to expand our huge collection of curated itineraries; the options are endless with American. And the best part is you don’t have to travel abroad, or fly, to enjoy it all.”

In late 2019, American also reintroduced its Cruise Close to Home marketing campaign, which likely resonates even more today during the coronavirus pandemic. American also cited the April 2020 CruiseCompete CruiseTrends report, which found that American was the No. 1 most-requested river cruise line by travelers and that the U.S. was the top country overall.

“People want to travel, and they are beginning to plan experiences for later this year and in the year ahead. American’s modern fleet, unique itineraries, and low passenger counts, allow us to offer amazing domestic options, as folks begin to cruise again. The desire to travel and the American spirit for exploration is alive and well,” said David Luxeder, director of marketing for American.

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