American Queen Steamboat Company announced November 12 a definitive agreement to acquire the Victory I and sister ship Victory II from Sunstone Ships Inc., as well as the Victory brand. These vessels are currently being marketed by Victory Cruise Lines as overnight cruise ships. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed. The transaction is expected to close in early January 2019.
“We are pleased to purchase the Victory I and Victory II that 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 Victory I and Victory II are identical. Details of upcoming operations on both of vessels will be announced in the coming months.
The Victory I and Victory II will join the American Queen Steamboat Company fleet under the Victory Cruise name, alongside the flagship American Queen and 166-guest boutique paddlewheeler American Duchess sailing the Mississippi and Ohio rivers, and the American Empress in the Pacific Northwest.
The new American Countess, currently under construction in Louisiana, will debut in 2020.
“Victory Cruise Lines has established itself as the leading cruise line on the Great Lakes, and our bookings for 2019 are already 35 percent ahead of our actuals of 2018. American Queen Steamboat Company’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.