Anchors away — 12 cruise ships are set to be built in Salisbury.
Salisbury's Chesapeake Shipbuilding will build the fleet of ships, which is part of American Cruise Lines' Project Blue.
The first two ships are under construction and slated to be completed in 2023, according to a news release from American Cruise Lines.
The two ships, named "American Eagle" and "American Glory," are set to make their debut along the East Coast.
"Together with Chesapeake Shipbuilding, we built the first modern riverboats in the country. Now we are proud to introduce another new ship design for domestic exploration," American Cruise Lines President and CEO Charles Robertson stated in the release.
The release states this fleet will "more than double the nation’s current capacity for domestic coastal cruises."
Under Project Blue's plans, the ships will only sail in American waters. They will primarily be seen in "small towns and close-to-home adventures."
“Project Blue started as a design challenge to create a boat small enough for New England harbors and stable enough for the Alaska Inside Passage, with a draft shallow enough for the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway," Robertson said in the release. "These boats can run almost anywhere, and because there will be 12 of them, they will be deployed all over the United States.”
The ships' hybrid catamaran design will give them the ability to cruise along lakes, rivers, bays and America’s coastline.
At 241 feet long and 56 feet wide, these ships will be significantly smaller than most cruise ships. According to several online cruise blogs, the average cruise ship is about 1,000 feet long.
Despite the small size, each ship will have the capability to house 109 passengers and 50 crew members.
Additionally, each ship will feature 56 staterooms, two dining venues, room service, and an "adventure deck" that will offer kayaks, tender boats and "other activity-related options."
Miami-based Studio DADO will decorate the ships' interiors.
Founded in 1991, American Cruise Lines offers river cruising and small ship coastal cruising across the nation.
Chesapeake Shipbuilding is the "most successful shipyard and naval architecture firm of its kind" in the country, according to its website. The shipyard was established in 1980 along the Wicomico River.
Chesapeake Shipbuilding President Steven McGee also serves as vice president of American Cruise Lines.
Maddie Aiken is the community reporter for Delmarva Now/The Daily Times. Have a story tip or idea? Send it her way at email@example.com or on Twitter @madsaiken.
This article originally appeared on Salisbury Daily Times: Salisbury's Chesapeake Shipbuilding to build national cruise ships