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Published on Monday, November 12, 2018

American Queen Steamboat Co buys Great Lakes operator

American Queen Steamboat Company  has announced a definitive agreement to acquire the Victory I and sister ship Victory II from Sunstone Ships, Inc., as well as the Victory brand. 

The vessels are currently being marketed by Victory Cruise Lines as overnight cruise ships.

Terms of the transaction are not being disclosed and expected to close in early January 2019.

American Queen Steamboat Company chairman and CEO John Waggoner said: "We are pleased to purchase the Victory I and Victory II which will fuel the continued success and growth of American Queen Steamboat Company.

"We look forward to working closely with Victory Cruise Line's new and existing travel partners. These vessels enable us to provide guests with more diverse cruising options particularly in the Great Lakes, a region that our customers have been requesting for years." 

The 5,000-ton, 300-foot-long, 202-passenger Victory I and Victory II are identical and details of upcoming operations on both of vessels will be announced in the coming months.

The ships will join the American Queen Steamboat Company fleet under the Victory Cruise name, alongside flagship American Queen and 166-guest boutique paddlewheeler American Duchess sailing the Mississippi and Ohio Rivers and American Empress in the Pacific Northwest.

The new American Countess, currently under construction in Louisiana, will debut in 2020.

Victory Cruise Lines president and CEO Hans Lagerweij said: "Victory Cruise Lines has established itself as the leading cruise line on the Great Lakes, and our bookings for 2019 are already 35% ahead of our actuals of 2018.

"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 US river cruising companies in the country."

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