American Queen Voyages has been unveiled as a new cruise line brand following the merger of American Queen Steamboat Company and Victory Cruise Lines.
The new brand is made up of American Queen Voyages River, American Queen Voyages Lakes & Ocean and American Queen Voyages Expedition, including Alaska and Central America expeditions.
It has a total of seven ships with the acquisition of Victory Cruise Lines, and plans to operate eight vessels by 2023.
The fleet will offer journeys through the Great Lakes and Pacific Northwest, as well as Canada and the Eastern Seaboard, Mexico and the Yucatán Peninsula, and Alaska.
The new tagline is ‘Discovery Runs Deep’, with the line inviting travellers “to throw away the guidebook and go off the beaten path to discover the unscripted experiences of North America”.
President Shawn Bierdz 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.”
The line’s senior vice-president marketing and sales Kari Tarnowski said: “To see America, you have to look beyond the roads and American Queen Voyages embraces this notion with compelling travel encounters.
“We celebrate 10 incredible years in business as American Queen Steamboat Company and embrace its legacy as we enter this new phase. We look forward to delivering… to our guests, travel advisors and port partners across North America.”
The line is represented in the UK and Europe by river cruise specialist, Light Blue Travel.
Light Blue Travel MD Rupert Thomson added: “Light Blue Travel has represented the American Queen Steamboat in the UK and Europe since it launched 10 years ago with just one steamboat, the American Queen, with its distinctive, working red paddlewheel.
“We’ve come a long way since then with the steamboat fleet growing to three vessels on the Mississippi and one on the Columbia and Snake Rivers.
“With the introduction to the group of Victory Cruise Lines on the Great Lakes and Alaska it’s excellent timing to rebrand ahead of the launch next year of the company’s first expedition vessel Ocean Victory, which will cruise the Alaskan Inside Passage along with Ocean Discoverer in 2023.”