Interior view: American Cruise Lines’ American Serenade

Alexa Paolella discusses the spaces onboard the cruise line's newest riverboat

Interior view: American Cruise Lines’ American Serenade
The Sky Lounge features a large skylight that keeps guests connected to their surroundings

By Amber Hickman |

American Serenade, which departed New Orleans for its first voyage in April 2023, is the sixth riverboat in American Cruise Lines’ American Riverboat series. 

It is the third of those to have interiors designed by Miami-based firm Studio DADO, with Lillian Sowalski, the in-house interior designer for American Cruise Lines, overseeing the entire process from start to finish. 

Alexa Paolella, the public relations manager at American Cruise Lines, described the ship with three words: “spacious, elegant and comfortable.”  

Thought has been placed into every detail onboard, down to artwork chosen to reflect the Mississippi River, referencing musicians and the writer Mark Twain, for example, who grew up on the river and spent time as a steamboat pilot. 

American Serenade is designed to bring the outside world to the guests, with large windows offering panoramic views and bringing in natural light.  

“The top deck of the ship is wide open, with lounges inside and out,” says Paolella. “There’s a gorgeous new skywalk where our guests can walk around and exercise. An ellipse-shaped opening on the deck has steps that lead directly down to the appropriately named Ellipse Café on the deck below. It’s a beautiful design feature that allows for the light to filter down.” 

Skylights feature in all the lounges. “In the Sky Lounge, for instance, the skylight is like a pyramid above the whole lounge, allowing the light to pour in,” says Paolella. “It’s very beautiful, airy and bright.” 

The atrium also features glass in its design, including for the railings of the four-storey staircase. 

The ship can accommodate 180 guests in 91 rooms, all of which have private balconies and sliding glass doors. 

“All of the rooms onboard are spacious,” says Paolella. “The palette is very natural and elegant, and the textiles have been carefully chosen to blend well together.” 

The Grand Suites stand out the most, says Paolella, “like having all the comforts of home with you while you cruise.” At over 60 square metres, they have a private dining area on the balcony and an entertainment centre that separates the bedroom from the living area. 

The main dining restaurant is designed to accommodate all guests, removing the need for reservations or alternative venues. The space will also be used for evening entertainment and other activities, such as lectures. 

“In addition to the grand River and Sky Lounge, there are three intimate lounges onboard for guests wanting to relax in a smaller, quieter space; The High Note Lounge, the Lyric Lounge and the Study, where guests can read a book, play cards or look at maritime charts,” says Paolella. 

The ship’s details set it apart from others in the series. 

“The overall elegance and the theme that Studio DADO began with American Melody is continuing, but with slight changes in colours, carpets and so on,” says Paolella. “The Studio DADO team have done a good job of keeping it open and modern yet comfortable and cosy, and I think guests will appreciate that.” 

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