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COVID-19 Update

AMERICAN QUEEN STEAMBOAT COMPANY SUSPENDS SERVICE THROUGH 2020 SEASON, LOOKS AHEAD TO 2021

American Queen Steamboat Company (AQSC), a Hornblower® Family Company, announced the following updates to its 2020 season, including the American Countess’ debut sailing.

American Duchess

The American Duchess, which sails on the Mississippi, Ohio and Tennessee rivers, will extend its suspension through March 14, 2021.

NEW: American Countess

The American Countess, the latest paddlewheeler to join the AQSC fleet on the Mississippi, Ohio and Tennessee rivers, will extend its suspension through March 27, 2021.

American Empress

The American Empress, which sails the Columbia and Snake rivers, will extend its suspension through April 11, 2021.

American Queen

The iconic American Queen, which sails on the Mississippi, Ohio and Tennessee rivers, will extend its suspension through May 16, 2021. 

AQSC thanks its guests, travel agent partners, vendors and team members for their patience and understanding during this constantly developing situation. The company will continue to work closely with ports of call and the local communities it visits and adhere to the recommendations of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and U.S. Coast Guard to safely prepare for sailings when they resume. 


Updated September 15, 2020, 10:00 AM (EST)

Hornblower Group Announces Acquisition of Shore Excursions of America

American Queen Steamboat Company + Victory Cruise Lines to Expand Land-Based Offerings

NEW ALBANY, Ind., October 1, 2020 – Hornblower Group, the world’s leading provider of water-based experiences including American Queen Steamboat Company (AQSC) and Victory Cruise Lines (VCL), is pleased to announce its acquisition of Shore Excursions of America (SEA). This acquisition allows Hornblower to grow its overnight cruise experience with AQSC and VCL, elevate the travel agent and consumer booking process and expand upon its land-based excursions. 

“We are thrilled to welcome the Shore Excursions of America team into the Hornblower family,” shares Kevin Rabbitt, Chief Executive Officer, Hornblower Group. “Integrating Shore Excursions of America’s experiences was a strategic investment in the long-term success of Hornblower Group and demonstrates our continued commitment to the future. It was the logical next step in the organic growth of our overnight cruise division with American Queen Steamboat Company and Victory Cruise Lines.” 

The strategic benefits of this acquisition include strengthening Hornblower’s ability to service new and existing travel agent partners and guests, as well as expanding its already diverse land-excursion portfolio. Looking ahead, the integration of SEA with Hornblower will also allow AQSC and VCL to further develop their offerings in anticipation of continued growth through upcoming vessels, including the American Countess and Ocean Victory in 2021 and the Ocean Discoverer in 2023. In addition, the combination of SEA’s resources with AQSC and VCL will further enhance the already seamless booking process for travel agent partners and consumers. 

“We have always shared the same core values and service-oriented cultures as the Hornblower Group,” shares James Palmeri, principal and co-founder of Shore Excursions of America. “We look forward to starting this new chapter with American Queen Steamboat Company and Victory Cruise Lines as we continue to create and deliver amazing experiences for our guests.  We also look forward to leveraging the resources of Hornblower overall to bring our services to a broader consumer audience.”

Based in Easton, Pennsylvania, Shore Excursions of America is a leading provider of shore excursions and cruise extension and exploration packages in the United States. Founded in 2011 exclusively to fulfill the needs of AQSC and VCL, SEA has been a critical third-party partner to both cruise lines through the creation of distinctive and immersive excursions that routinely rank as a top highlight among guests. Following the acquisition, Palmeri will continue in his role as principal and founder, with the remainder of the SEA management team expected to stay in place with no change in responsibilities.