American Queen Steamboat Company has expanded its fleet with the addition of Victory Cruise Lines’ two small ships sailing the Great Lakes.
The company is also expanding further with Ocean Victory launching next year.
Following the acquisition, the company will now be using American Queen Voyages (AQV) for its portfolio of river, lake and expedition cruises with North American itineraries.
The new brand comprises American Queen Voyages River, American Queen Voyages Lakes & Oceans and American Queen Voyages Expedition.
AQV includes an expanded fleet of seven ships on the Mississippi River, with plans to run eight ships by 2023.
Sailings are also planned on other US rivers, the Great Lakes and Pacific north-west, plus Canada, Mexico and the Yucatan Peninsula and Alaska.
The rebranding marks the company’s move into expedition territory, with new Alaska and Central America expeditions set to launch in 2022.
The news was announced at the Seatrade Cruise Global event, held today (September 29) in Miami.
Shawn Bierdz, president of American Queen Voyages said: “Through a decade of transformation, American Queen Voyages has surged from the great American rivers to include lakes, ocean and expedition experiences.
“Today, we are American Queen Voyages and embrace this simple but important expression – Discovery Runs Deep.
“As we move into this new chapter and introduce our version of encounter travel, we uphold the originating vision of our company’s founder and chairman, John Waggoner, and his unwavering belief in the renaissance of US river cruising and close-to-home adventures.”
In addition to its new trade name, AQV has added a new tagline, ‘Discovery Runs Deep’, inviting travellers to explore off-the-beaten path in North America.
The tagline highlights the company’s ‘encounter travel’ offerings, which focus on interactions with people, music, local food and nature.