TORONTO — The news reports coming in from Grand Bahama and the Abaco Islands are heartbreaking, and the images even more so.
TORONTO — American Queen Steamboat Company and Victory Cruise Lines are looking to grow their presence in the Canadian market with a new partnership with Cruise Strategies Ltd.
Cruise Strategies, led by company president and CEO Vanessa Lee, will serve as the Canadian market representatives for both lines. AQSC and VCL are headquartered in New Albany, IN. AQSC completed its acquisition of VCL in early 2019.
Lee says the partnership will help the two cruise lines meet the demands of its current market in Canada, and grow market share here as well. “I have followed the acquisition of the two Victory ships in recent months and the overall increased interest in small ship cruising, as well as the emergence of the Great Lakes as a burgeoning destination,” says Lee. “Canadians are also keen to see more of America’s rivers and enjoy coastal voyages, as well as exploring their own-at-home marvelous small towns and marquee ports on our Great Lakes.”
Lee recently toured the newly upgraded M/V Victory I. “It was a delight to see the new appointments and the quality improvements to her and sister ship M/V Victory II. We have great confidence these two small beauties will offer a great inclusive experience for Canadians to sail amongst some of the most amazing places in Ontario, Quebec and the United States.”
AQSC chairman and CEO John Waggoner says American Queen Steamboat Company “is thrilled to partner with Cruise Strategies to grow our presence in the Canadian market”, adding, “for many, traveling on our authentic paddle-wheelers or exploring the Great Lakes region, is the trip of a lifetime, and we look forward to offering these experiences to a broader audience.”
AQSC has been operating river cruises since 2012 and currently sails three vessels: American Queen, American Duchess and American Empress. Joining the fleet in 2020 will be the American Countess.
Early booking savings of up to US$1,800 per stateroom ($900 per guest) are available on select 2020 voyages booked by July 31, 2019. Ask for offer code 2020EBD1.
Here’s a look at the AQSC fleet…
American Queen is billed as the largest, most opulent riverboat in the world. Longer than a football field and six decks in height and laced with gingerbread trim, American Queen journeys through the heartland offer a unique perspective of American history, culture and landscape with convenient departures from some of America’s most iconic river port cities including Memphis, Nashville, New Orleans, Cincinnati, Louisville, St. Louis and Minneapolis.
As the first all-suite paddle-wheeler in the U.S., American Duchess offers large accommodations, vaulted ceilings, fine dining options, beautiful decks for strolling and premium amenities. Unique to the American Duchess are the spacious Loft Suites complete with full bathroom, small dining area, lounge with a queen sofa-bed and desk area, a private balcony and an upstairs loft area with a semi-private bedroom, a full bathroom and generous closet space.
The largest overnight riverboat west of the Mississippi River, the American Empress follows the trail of Lewis and Clark on the Columbia and Snake Rivers.
American Countess is scheduled to join the fleet in April 2020. Built from an existing hull, the American Countess underwent significant reconstruction, including lengthening the vessel by 60 feet. The American Countess will offer the same heartland and deep South six-to-15-day itineraries as American Queen and American Duchess.
More information about American Queen Steamboat Company is at americanqueensteamboatcompany.com or call 1-888-749-5280.
Victory Cruise Lines, acquired by American Queen Steamboat Company in early 2019, operates M/V Victory I and M/V Victory II, identical 202-guests ships sailing North America’s coastal regions. Victory Cruise Lines operates all-inclusive cruises to the Great Lakes, St. Lawrence Seaway, Canada and New England.
A new build, the M/V Ocean Victory, carrying 180 guests, is on order for 2021 to sail in Alaska and B.C. Sales for Ocean Victory will open in July 2019.
Savings of up to US$4,800 per stateroom ($2,400 per person) are available on select 2019 departures booked by June 30, 2019. Ask for offer code 2019VICTORYEBD.
Early booking savings of up to US$1,200 per stateroom ($600 per guest) are available on select 2020 voyages booked by September 30, 2019. Ask for offer code 2020VICTORYEBD
More information about Victory Cruise Lines is at victorycruiselines.com or call 1-888-907-2636.