American Queen Steamboat, Victory Cruise Lines Merge Under New Name and Headquarters

American Queen Steamboat Company ship
American Queen Steamboat Company ship

American Queen Steamboat and Victory Cruise Lines have merged to form a new brand, American Queen Voyages. Following this news, American Queen Voyages announced that it will have a new headquarters at Fort Lauderdale, which will be home to its marketing, sales, vessel operations with more than 100 staff on hand.

American Queen Voyages

The new cruise line will offer a portfolio of North American itineraries, as the overarching brand is compromised of American Queen Voyages River, American Queen Voyages Lakes & Ocean, and American Queen Voyages Expedition, which includes new Alaska and Central America expedition experiences beginning in 2022.

Under its new tagline, “Discovery Runs Deep,” American Queen Voyages invites travellers to go off the beaten path to discover more of North America.

“Through a decade of transformation, American Queen Voyages has surged from the great American rivers to include lakes, ocean and expedition experiences,” said Shawn Bierdz, president, American Queen Voyages.

“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 U.S. river cruising and close-to-home adventures.”

The newly imagined brand celebrates its growth from operating its singular vessel, the American Queen, to expanding to a seven-vessel fleet with the acquisition of Victory Cruise Lines.

Looking ahead, American Queen Voyages is set to expand to eight vessels by 2023 and plans to deliver travel experiences throughout America’s heartland rivers, the Great Lakes and Pacific Northwest, as well as Canada, the Eastern Seaboard, Mexico, the Yucatán Peninsula and Alaska.

American Queen Voyages River

American Queen Voyages River is led by namesake U.S.- flagged American Queen.

Its journeys will explore history, culture and landscape of America with departures from river port cities, including Memphis, New Orleans, Cincinnati, Louisville, Pittsburgh, St. Louis and Minneapolis.

In APR 2014, American Queen Steamboat Company began serving the Pacific Northwest with the American Empress, and added the American Duchess to the Mississippi River in AUG 2017.

The newest and fourth boat to join the American Queen Steamboat Company fleet is the American Countess, which made its debut in MAR 2021 and sails the Mississippi, Ohio and Tennessee rivers.

American Queen Voyages Lakes & Ocean

Formerly Victory Cruise Lines, American Queen Voyages Lakes & Ocean encompasses the brand’s voyages to Canada, the Great Lakes, New England and Eastern Seaboard and Mexico and the Yucatán Peninsula.

Guests will sail on identical 202-passenger ships, formerly Victory I and Victory II, which will be renamed Ocean Voyager and Ocean Navigator, respectively. Itineraries are spread throughout coastal North America in historic ports including Mackinac Island as well as cities like Charleston and Savannah or even the islands of the Bahamas.

American Queen Voyages Expedition

American Queen Voyages Expedition launches the brand’s advance into expedition cruising with all-inclusive cruises to Alaska.

Cruises will operate on newly built 186-passenger vessels, with an X-Bow design: Ocean Victory in 2022 and the Ocean Discoverer in 2023. The new, expedition-style Ocean Victory will traverse 12 and 13-day journeys through the less-traveled regions of Alaska’s Inside Passage led by an expedition team. Guests can deploy kayaks and Zodiacs with expedition leaders, view wildlife from sliding observation platforms, witness marine research by California Polytech University students in real-time and have discussions with First Nations leaders.

American Queen Voyages Expedition notes that the focus of the expedition program is exploring Alaska up close with a 186 guest capacity per cruise.

New Headquarters

American Queen Voyages’ new headquarters in Fort Lauderdale makes sense for the restructured cruise line.

“South Florida is the heart of the cruise industry, and Fort Lauderdale is undeniably the epicenter of that region,” said Bierdz as reported by Seatrade Cruise News, “Having a presence in Fort Lauderdale allows us to tap into a talented workforce across the tri-county area, as well as offer an attractive home base for those looking to relocate here.”

The company will be leasing more than 23,000 square feet of the top floor of the landmark Coastal Tower at 2400 East Commercial Boulevard, Fort Lauderdale.

For more information on American Queen Voyages, visit its web site.

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