(3:55 p.m. EDT) — American Cruise Lines has begun construction of a coastal cruise ship that is slated to enter the line’s fleet in January 2017. The 170-passenger ship will feature cabins up to 350 square feet in size, with butler service and private balconies. It’s under construction at Chesapeake Shipbuilding in Salisbury, Maryland. Another of the line’s ships, the riverboat America, is under construction at the same shipyard.
The head coach of the championship soccer U.S. Women’s National Team, Jill Ellis, will serve as godmother for Avalon Passion, a new river cruise ship from Avalon Waterways debuting in April 2016.
The christening for the company’s 11th Suite Ship will take place on April 13, 2016, in Linz, Austria. After the ceremony, the 166-passenger ship will sail the Danube River.
MSC Cruises is launching its Status Match program in the U.K. on Monday.
The line is matching valid loyalty club memberships from other cruise lines, hotel groups and tour operators with the MSC Voyagers Club loyalty scheme in a bid to attract those in the new-to-cruise market and existing cruisers curious to try MSC.
MSC Voyagers Club guarantees a 5 percent discount on cruise prices and 15 percent off select sailings.