American Queen Headed for Recycling Facility; Future Uncertain

Travel Agent reported last week that the future for four of six former American Queen Voyages (AQV) ships have been determined. Among those were Ocean Voyager and Ocean Navigator—which will sail the Great Lakes under their former names, Victory I and Victory II as a revival of the Victory Cruise Lines brand—and American Countess and American Duchess—which were acquired by American Cruise Lines and are set to be scrapped. It appears there has been some movement regarding American Queen, which could indicate a similar future.

Industry reports surfaced this week that American Queen is either heading for or has arrived at the MARS (Modern American Recycling Service) in Houma, LA. Travel Agent asked American Cruise Lines (ACL) for an update on the riverboat's fate. Here's the ACL response: “American Cruise Lines remains focused on modernizing and elevating the domestic cruise industry with new ships, large staterooms, modern technology and rigorous environmental standards. We have recycled the former AQV vessels Countess and Duchess. We continue to evaluate options for the Queen, including the possibility of donation to a municipal or non-profit entity."

The last ship that ACL acquired was American Empress. While it will not be sailing the waters of the Columbia or Snake Rivers this year, it remains a possibility that it returns to service.

As for the two being revived under the Victory Cruise Lines flag, they were purchased by John Waggoner, the founder of American Queen Voyages (then American Queen Steamboat Company) and Victory Cruise Lines.

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