American Queen Steamboat Company has announced that Ted Sykes will be stepping down from his role as president and COO by the end of the year. Sykes joined the river cruise line six years ago after the launch of the first boat, American Queen. Since that time the company has expanded to the Pacific Northwest with the American Empress on the Columbia and Snake Rivers in 2014 and launched the American Duchess, the first purpose-built boutique paddlewheeler on the Mississippi River basin, in 2017. American Queen Steamboat Company also recently announced that the American Countess is under construction for launch in slightly over a year.
Under his stewardship, Sykes saw demand increase year upon year, with many voyages selling out months in advance, American Queen Steamboat Company said. 2018 will conclude with the river cruise line’s most successful season on record with bookings at record levels.
Under Sykes’s leadership, itineraries including the Mighty Mississippi voyages spanning from St. Paul to New Orleans were introduced. Sykes also brought the themed Christmas Market sailing concept from Europe to domestic river cruising, extending the seasons on the lower Mississippi. Sykes’s team also earned recognition for its shore excursions and cuisine, American Queen Steamboat Company said.