American Queen Steamboat Co. is acquiring Victory Cruise Lines,
which operates two ships on the Great Lakes.
Under the agreement, which is expected to close in January, AQSC
said it will purchase the Victory I and Victory II ships along with the Victory
Cruise brand name from Sunstone Ships. Financial terms were not disclosed.
Victory Cruises operates overnight cruises on the
202-passenger ships. AQSC said it would release more details on its plans for
the identical 300-foot-long vessels in the coming months.
AQSC operates the flagship American Queen and the boutique
paddlewheeler American Duchess, both of which sail the Mississippi and Ohio rivers,
and the American Empress in the Pacific Northwest. The company has a fourth ship,
the American Countess, currently under construction in Louisiana. It will debut
Victory Cruise Lines CEO Hans Lagerweij said bookings for
Great Lake cruises in 2019 are already 35% ahead of 2018 actuals.
“AQSC’s established and strong product and brand is
well-suited to take the Victory vessels and Victory Cruise Line brand forward
creating one of the largest North American Great Lakes and U.S. river cruising
companies in the country,” Lagerweij said.
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