FORT LAUDERDALE — American Queen Voyages (AQV) is sailing full steam ahead into Q4 2022 with a brand new strategic vision set forth by newly-appointed President Cindy D’Aoust.
Leaning into her four decades of travel industry experience, D’Aoust, who was announced as president in September 2022, begins her tenure at the helm of the U.S.-based cruise line with a renewed focus on people, prestige and ports.
“American Queen Voyages is an established storied cruise line and brand known for exemplary service and experiences,” said D’Aoust. “The opportunity moving forward is to further strengthen the reputation and relationships to continue on a growth trajectory. Working with the talented teams at AQV and [parent company] Hornblower Group, I am confident in the leadership strategy that will help to make American Queen Voyages the top American-based cruise line of choice.”
PEOPLE: FOCUSING ON RELATIONSHIPS
Building meaningful relationships with guests, employees and particularly travel advisors has always been a priority for D’Aoust.
“One thing I have learned during my time in travel is the importance of the travel advisor,” she said. “Travel professionals are the essential resource for our guests to discover the perfect itinerary and vessel, and at American Queen Voyages it will always be my priority to listen to our travel agent network and build strong, lasting relationships with our cruise travel partners.”
D’Aoust is also placing a greater emphasis on guest feedback. In the immediate future, the company plans to work with travel partners to take a deeper dive into guest preferences and strategically plan accordingly for future sailings.
And, as D’Aoust also noted, much of AQV’s success is due to its crew and staff. “The hospitable culture at American Queen Voyages is already exceptional and I plan to be a resource for our crew and staff to ensure their suggestions are heard so we can continue to offer elevated service aboard our vessels,” she said.
PRESTIGE: ELEVATING THE BRAND
D’Aoust’s goal at American Queen Voyages includes elevating the company’s image through luxury-level upgrades in service, product enhancements and exclusive itinerary offerings.
As such, she has announced upgrade enhancements for AQV’s American Duchess vessel, a purpose-built boutique paddlewheeler holding only 166 guests that debuted in 2017. The upgrades will honour the boat’s history, incorporating elevated onboard services, a shore enrichment program specific to the vessel as well as reimagined itineraries. It will be ready to set sail for the 2024 season with additional enhancements and updates announced over the coming months.
The AQV leadership team is assembling an American Duchess-specific advising task force of travel partners, agents and hospitality industry experts to prioritize feedback in order to deliver a dynamic experience for guests.
The American Duchess will sail the first half of 2023 before its extended layup begins in June 2023.
PORTS: ECONOMIC IMPACT
The economic impact for each port visited by American Queen Voyages sailings is an average of US$135 per person, per day. AQV brings this economic influx to a variety of less-travelled destinations along America’s waterways. D’Aoust plans to identify new and exciting additions and extensions to AQV’s cruise itineraries, which will bring additional revenue to new port locations while also offering guests new experiences.
“One of the amazing opportunities we have at AQV is to help our guests discover the beauty, history and people of America – both in major cities and smaller towns,” she said. “Our strategy will incorporate thoughtful and deliberate ways to bring a positive economic impact to the American ports American Queen Voyages serves.”
For more information go to https://www.aqvoyages.com/.