ACV kicks off ship construction

NEW ORLEANS -- American Classic Voyages began construction of the first of its two planned 1,900-passenger, 72,000-ton ships at the Ingalls Shipyard in Pascagoula, Miss., during the Independence Day weekend.

The ship, which will sail the Hawaiian Islands under the United States Lines brand, is slated to enter service in 2003 as the first major cruise ship built in the U.S. since the 1950s.

Ingalls also will build its sister ship, which is scheduled to debut in 2004. The $1.4 billion contract also includes an option for a third ship.

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