ACV's expansion plans include ships in Hawaii

NEW YORK -- Top officials of U.S.-flag cruise operator American Classic Voyages updated the company's expansion plans during a meeting with analysts aboard 1,212-passenger Patriot, docked in Los Angeles for promotional events for travel agents.

ACV is spending $260 million to build two 1,900-passenger, 72,000-ton ships for Hawaii cruises beginning in 2003 and 2004. The vessels will be the first large contemporary cruise ships ever built in the U.S.

ACV is also spending $26 million to build Cape May Light and Cape Cod Light, two 224-passenger coastal ships that begin service in May and August of 2001, respectively. ACV will deploy a total of 3,707 berths and eight ships in 2001 among its various brands.

Patriot, the first vessel in ACV's United States Lines fleet, recently completed a $21 million refurbishment in a Portland, Ore. shipyard. The ship expects to host 6,000 agents during promotion events that will continue as the ship sails to San Francisco on Nov. 29.

Patriot departs for its homeport of Honolulu on Dec. 2 and begin seven-night cruises Dec. 9.


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