Many of our guests have expressed interest in finding out what happens between the time a new ship leaves the shipyard and before it is christened for its inaugural season.
What are Sea Trials?
One of the last steps in the construction and positioning of a vessel is the Sea Trial or “Shake Down Cruise.” Approximately a month before a ship is scheduled to travel with our guests, representatives from Chesapeake Shipbuilding, where all our vessels are built, and American Cruise Lines come on board with a sea trial checklist to measure a new vessel's performance and general “seaworthiness.”
During this time, which typically runs between 12 and 24 hours, the new ship is tested in the fields below:
- Safety features
- Navigational systems
- Fuel flow
Though this is called a “Sea” Trial, our fleet is vetted on the intracoastal waterways and rivers in which we travel. Above, American Eagle can be seen during the ‘speed’ trial, which includes an impressive 180° turn.