American Cruise Lines finalizes purchase of American Queen boats

Published 1:04 pm Thursday, April 4, 2024

American Cruise Lines has acquired the four river cruise vessels that sailed for the now defunct American Queen Voyages (AQV). Both cruise lines routinely docked in Vicksburg, along with Viking River Cruises.

According to industry publication Seatrade Cruise News, the acquisition was approved by US Bankruptcy Judge Marvin Isgur Thursday at a hearing in Houston.

The sale included the American Queen, purchased for $2.15 million, the American Countess, purchased for $1.6 million, the American Duchess, bought for $200,000, and the American Empress, acquired for $1.6 million, Seatrade Cruise News reported. 

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Together with $750,000 for intellectual property such as trademarks, website domain names and certain business reports, the winning bid originally totaled $6.3 million. The price was adjusted by $300,000 after an attorney for AQV parent company Hornblower Group argued certain materials were held jointly as part of the company’s integrated business model.

In addition to AQV’s four river vessels, Seatrade Cruise News reported that the sale of the company’s lakes (coastal) vessels, Ocean Voyager and Ocean Navigator, will go to a different buyer, with that purchase still pending court approval. 

AQV abruptly ceased all operations in February following an email sent to employees at the company’s facilities in New Orleans; Fort Lauderdale, Florida; Vancouver; Washington; and Clarkston, Washington, notifying them that their employment would be terminated.

“This action is expected to be permanent,” the email said. “The timing of this notice is necessitated by both unforeseen business circumstances and an inability to obtain sufficient capital at a commercially reasonable rate to continue operations.”

American Cruise Lines has not yet released information regarding how the acquisition of the former AQV boats will impact locations where the cruise line routinely docked, such as Vicksburg and Natchez.