NOVEMBER 12, 2018 — New Albany, IN, headquartered American Queen Steamboat Company reports that it has reached a definitive agreement to acquire the Victory I and sister ship Victory II, along with the Victory brand, from Sunstone Ships, Inc. Terms of the transaction are not being disclosed and the deal is expected to close in early January 2019.
“We are pleased to purchase the Victory I and Victory II which will fuel the continued success and growth of American Queen Steamboat Company,” said American Queen Steamboat Company Chairman and CEO John Waggoner. “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 are both identical and are currently being marketed by Victory Cruise Lines as overnight cruise ships.
They were delivered by the Atlantic Marine shipyard in Jacksonville, FL, in 2001 and 2002, respectively, as the Cape May Light and Cape Cod Light.
The Victory I and Victory II will join the American Queen Steamboat Company fleetunder the Victory Cruise name.
American Queen Steamboat’s current fleet consists of the 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 Gulf Island’s Houma, LA, shipyard., will debut in 2020. The new paddlewheeler is being built using the existing hull of the Kanesville Queen, a former casino boat built in 1995.
“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 U.S. River cruising companies in the country,” said Victory Cruise Lines President and CEO Hans Lagerweij.