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Iconic Mississippi River Cruise Line Permanently Dry-Docked: Another Business Victim Killed by COVID

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From the American Queen Voyages (AQV) website:

Despite great efforts by our team, crew and partners, American Queen Voyages (AQV) unfortunately has been unable to rebound from the effects of the pandemic. The overnight cruise industry was especially affected by changes in travel preferences and, as a result, AQV has become financially unsustainable.

We are therefore shutting down the business, and all future AQV cruises have been cancelled.

We are deeply proud of our crew and the outstanding travel experiences and service we have provided to our guests. As we reflect on the journey we have shared over the years, we are filled with gratitude for the privilege of serving our guests, partners and agents and for being part of our incredible local communities.

It has been an honor to bring joy to so many lives, and we are deeply touched by the relationships we have formed and the memorable experiences we have created.

We sincerely regret any inconvenience this decision causes. Our goal is to ensure a smooth process for all AQV stakeholders.

Adam Peakes, president of the line’s owner Hornblower Group, said it plans to “sell the company, or, if a sale cannot be achieved, its operations will be wound down.”

Reported by Travel &  Leisure on 21 February 2024:

Before the shutdown, American Queen Voyages operated the overnight cruise division of the Hornblower Group, which will be acquired, according to a press release shared with T+L.

The cruise line first adopted the name American Queen Voyages in 2021 after changing it from the American Queen Steamboat Company. Under the new name, the company sailed river cruises, lake and ocean cruises, along with expedition voyages to destinations like Alaska. …the company was known for having some of the best river cruises in the United States, journeying along the Mississippi, Ohio and Cumberland rivers on board classic paddle wheelers.

Now, American Queen Voyages has declared bankruptcy. Travelers who request a refund are warned they will first receive a denial notice since “AQV has filed for Chapter 11 to conduct its business shutdown and is not making reimbursement payments directly.” Customers must then submit the refund request to Argo Surety, which has insured the cruise line.

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