American Cruise Lines agrees to buy bankrupt American Queen ships

Published 1:28 pm Tuesday, April 2, 2024

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American Cruise Lines has purchased four American Queen Voyages river ships plus other assets, according to a court filing.

“American Cruise Lines is pleased to be the successful bidder for AQV’s river vessels. We look forward to announcing additional details as we move through the bankruptcy process,” the company said in a statement.

Sale Prices:

  • American Queen: $2,150,000
  • American Empress: $1,600,000
  • American Countess: $1,600,000
    American Duchess: $200,000
  • Certain other related assets, including, among other things, trademarks associated with American Queen Voyages™ (“AQV”), website domain names associated with AQV, and certain business records: $750,000.

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An auction was held for the assets, including the coastal ships, following American Queen’s bankruptcy, with American Cruise Lines emerging as the winner of the river fleet. It is unknown who emerged as the buyer of the two coastal ships in the company’s fleet, the Ocean Navigator and Ocean Voyager.

American Queen Voyages, which operated river cruise boats that dock in Natchez, ceased all operations as of Feb. 24 and abruptly cancelled all future voyages.

American Queen Voyages was one of three cruise companies which docks in Natchez and Vidalia, La. American Queen Voyages operates the American Queen and the American Countess, both of which have been docking in Natchez during the past year, and the American Duchess on the Mississippi River. The American Queen is the largest paddlewheel steamboat ever built and has long docked in Natchez.

At the time, Natchez Mayor Dan Gibson said he was optimistic that the boats would return. “We are so grateful to American Queen for all of the years they supported Natchez and we are optimistic that there will be eventually a transition to another owner,” he said. “I’m hopeful this will be a temporary lapse in their ability to bring tourists to Natchez.”

On Monday, Gibson shared his thoughts on the news of the purchase.

“As our country’s largest cruise company, and one that has supported Natchez now for many years, American Cruise Lines is in the perfect position to carry on this American tradition. At City Hall, we consider this great news. And we wish them every success as they bring this great boat back to the river,” he said.