The American Queen Steamboat continues to show its regality on the water as it acquires Victory Cruise Lines to expand its offering. The company acquisition is likely to be finalised in January 2019, with an as of now undisclosed amount exchanging hands for the brand. The company has announced that Victory will remain as a sister brand to American Queen, which itself has focused on inland rivers of the Pacific Northwest since 2012. The addition of Victory’s ships – which travel to the Great Lakes, New England, Canada, Cuba, and Mexico – means that the company’s reach can expand. While they remain tight lipped about which specific services they will run, the company has their sights set on a strong future as a premier excursion provider.
American Queen to Royally Expand
The original Cape Cod Light and Cape May Light have been acquired by the American Queen Steamboat Company in a bid to expand their reach into the Great Lakes. The chairman of American Queen, John Waggoner, claims that customers have been pressing the company for a trip to the Great Lakes for some time, so this could have spurred on the purchase. This comes after Victory’s CEO, Hans Lagerweij, claimed that bookings for the Great Lakes in the upcoming year already are up 35% on 2018. No word has yet been made on whether the Victory team will remain in place, or whether American Queen will unveil a shakeup to bring some fresh ideas and a fresh perspective to their new business venture. Buying Victory is no surprise for followers of American Queen, who will be aware of the strategy of the company since 2011 has been to buy and renovate old steamboats, with their current armada comprising of 200+ passenger vessels.
What Is It Like On Board?
The American Queen Steamboat Company is making strong headway with its mission to build the brand and provide a strong experience for customers. The Victory cruise lines will bring another level of excitement and entertainment, especially as their remit for destinations has been broader. While the boat trips may epitomise history and link to the past, they are fully equipped with mod-cons and ways to keep 21st century customers happy. Riverboat casinos were a key factor in America’s past, so offering guests the opportunity to play casino games on board allows them to feel as though they are living the history that the river cruises allow. One of the games on offer on board is the popular table game of roulette, a casino staple which sees players try to guess the next number that will come up, opting for red or black or odd or even, or going for a straight lucky number. I actually learned how to play at sea. The Victory lines offer catering options from a light afternoon tea, to a cocktail tasting experience, to a fully stocked a la carte menu. Cocktail tasting has become somewhat of a trend in recent years, combining approaches in gourmet food and mixology, with events and even classes taking place in major cities worldwide. Adding to the experience for customers, the onboard enrichment program provides sightseeing excursions and lectures on the various places the boat will pass. So for the guests who want to sit back and relax, those who want to do something exciting, or those who want to learn new information, they are all covered.
Why the Great Lakes?
If the Great Lakes is the ultimate destination in riverboat cruising – and the impetus for the American Queen Steamboat Company purchasing Victory Cruise Lines, then what’s so great about it? A river cruise is certainly different than an ocean cruise and allows you to have more of an in-depth look at an area, as opposed to a broader view. As such, the slower pace can provide more of a relaxing vacation – or alternatively, can allow you to amp it up yourself, depending on what you do on the boat and what you plan to do off the boat. The more sedate experience is suited to absorbing history and culture and the terrain Mother Nature has to offer, especially when it comes to the Great Lakes. The Great Lakes – Huron, Ontario, Michigan, Erie, and Superior (remember them as HOMES) feature some of the most dazzling scenery that North America has to offer, and spans both the United States and Canada. You could spend time in New England and then head over to a colder climate up north, taking in the sights as you go.
Company acquisitions happen all the time, and rarely affect the end-user consumer. But, when a brand purchases another one in a bid to expand its reach, that can only spell positivity and a new scope for travel for the consumer. Exploring America by boat is both at the very height of modernity and a hark back to the days of the new frontier, prospectors and explorers finding new land to call home. Travelling by boat through America is a fantastic way to see the sights and with a shared management, the experience is now guaranteed to be the best it can be.