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Wednesday 21 February 2024

River cruise specialist no longer afloat

The travel business may be bouncing back but there are still some victims of the pandemic coming to light.

River cruise specialist American Queen Voyages has just ceased operations, although the company's website is still live.

The business is up for sale and if that fails it will be wound up.

American Queen Voyages ceased all operations as of February 20 and all future voyages have been cancelled, said.

The news follows on the heels of several large travel agencies suspending sales of the company's cruises after repeated problems with commission payments and customer service issues.

The line conducted expedition cruises in Alaska and British Columbia, as well as river cruises on the Ohio, Mississippi and other rivers. It was represented by Journey Beyond in Australia. 

Travel Market Report first heard reports of the closure on Facebook and confirmed it by calling the main reservations number. 

When calling the main number, a message says: "American Queen Voyages has made the difficult decision to shut down and all future cruises have been cancelled. Guests and customers should expect to be fully refunded for cancelled cruises."

American Queen Voyages is owned by the Hornblower Group. Earlier this month AQV cancelled several sailings onboard the flagship American Queen, as well as the American Countess, claiming it needed time in dock to ensure the ships were ready to deliver the best possible experience.

Employees and crew were told the shut down was due to “unfortunate business circumstances and an inability to obtain sufficient capital at a commercially reasonable rate to continue operations.”

The company's flagship American Queen is the largest steamboat ever built

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