Victory Cruise Lines/American Queen Steamboat line contact info?

  • Hi Guest, welcome to the help forum. You can get fast answers to your customer service questions here. We have a dedicated team of advocates who are ready to help. Just go to the section that matches your question and ask us!
  • If you've posted a question or issue for our advocates to assist with, please be sure to check back frequently for responses and requests for clarification.
  • Did you know you can get email notifications when something new posts to your favorite forum? It's easy. Just click the "watch" link right next to the "post new thread" button at the top of your favorite forum. The rest is easy. Now you'll never miss another conversation.
  • Want to become an expert user? Drop by the How to use this forum section and all will be revealed. We'll show you how to make the most of your experience.
Apr 15, 2020
7
2
1
57
I'm looking for executive contact info for Victory Cruise Lines/American Queen Steamboat. I would also appreciate any info on who to contact at the federal level, since the company appears to be selling cruises now in violation of the CDC ban. I can start with my delegation but am wondering if there is an ombudsman at Dept of Transportion or other? Does any federal agency regulate cruising on American waters?

I am "scheduled", along with my 85-year-old mother, for a Great Lakes Cruise from Chicago to Toronto that departs on May 20, with Victory Cruise Lines, which is a smaller cruise line owned by American Queen Steamboat Company. The company has not sent me a single communication regarding COVID-19, nor has it ever communicated with me, even on billing (no reminders that final fees were due, etc), although it did send me original invoice by email after I paid my deposit. Now, the CDC has extended its ban on cruise ships through July, I believe (originally for another 100 days, but the Trump administration pressured them to cut it back by 20 days). I assume that means that Victory CAN'T sail on May 20, but its website still pretends that the cruise is happening.

The website says all cruises through May 15 are cancelled, which is a bit disingenuous as it is mostly a seasonal operator. On the website, for cruises leaving after May 15, it is basically offering a rebooking for later in 2020 -- at a higher price -- which of course is very uncertain and probably not safe, and I'm pretty sure would necessitate the purchase of additional travel insurance, which already cost a bundle due to my mom's age.

I have just started my written communications with the company via its guest relations email (which I only acquired after making a comment on their new Facebook page). But I want to get started on higher ups. I can't understand, why, in this day and age, a so-called "luxury" company would not understand the value of communicating with its customers -- even in simple matters such as sending them reminders about upcoming payments.
 

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
23,067
23,018
113
New York
www.promalvacations.com
The ban had quietly pulled back a bit from July. I would not rush on this- wait and see if they cancel the cruise. Cruise ships cannot port in Canada now and I’m fairly sure that the cruise will be canceled. If you cancel now you will be subject to their cancellation fees.

Sit back and be patient. We had a group on a Greek cruise May 16 and it was just canceled.
 

jsn55

Verified Member
Dec 26, 2014
9,758
10,556
113
San Francisco
My experience with American Cruise Lines a couple of years ago tells me that Victory Cruise Lines may operate in a similar fashion. Essentially, they have no idea what they're doing. Something as simple as a payment reminder is probably beyond their scope. Add in this horrendous corona mess and everything comes to a halt. Administration is probably running around in circles wondering what to do next. So they do nothing, day after day. While we were on our small-ship cruise from Jacksonville to Charleston, it was obvious that the lack of communication extended right down to the ship's crew. Upon our arrival to board, the ship had moved, there was no communication, and nobody knew where we supposed to board. I had lunch with the captain a couple of times, and he had very little communication with the home office.

When Victory cancels the cruise, insist on a refund, if those are the terms of your contract. Even my excellent TA cruise specialist had trouble dealing with ACL. Neil is right, right now waiting is the only option. What about your flights? Don't cancel those either, wait for the airline to cancel and offer a refund. Cruises in North America have such tempting itineraries, but reality is nothing like the European small ship and river cruises. The experience was just plain awful. I hope you can escape from this booking with Victory and plan a different kind of trip with your mother.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Nancy
Apr 15, 2020
7
2
1
57
Thank you both, I have not cancelled but am increasingly concerned that my mom and I will be out $11,000 because I suspect that company will go bankrupt. I wrote to the customer service email yesterday and had no response. They are still adverting their cruise that leaves May 20 from Chicago, while the CDC has extended its ban on cruising until July. It's unfathomable that a company could be so irresponsible.
 
Jan 30, 2018
114
141
43
72
Victory Cruise Lines is affiliated with AQSC - American Queen Steamboat Company - NOT ACL, American Cruise LInes.

We have taken a number of trips with AQSC, including a re-routed (while enroute) "Mighty Mississippi" trip last summer and they handled that as well as they could.

Did you call them? You only mention what is on the website and starting to write letters.
 

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
23,067
23,018
113
New York
www.promalvacations.com
This is on their website:

NEW CHANGE POLICY (for domestic reservations only)

For all sailings after May 15, 2020, guests can cancel up to 30 days before sailing, or up to April 30 (whichever comes first). Reservation is subject to standard cancellation penalties and guests will receive a future cruise certificate for the penalty amount.

Any reservation may move to another sail date in 2020 and their current cancellation penalty applies to the new sail date. New sail date must be of equal or greater value and guest is responsible for any increase in fare. AQSC will cover flight change fees for those guests that immediately move to a new sail date.

Terms:
- The future cruise certificate will include voyage fare, hotel packages, city stay packages and insurance.
- The future cruise certificate will not include the Kentucky Derby Premium Package
- Port fees will be refunded as normal.
- Future Cruise Certificate must be used by the original booked travelers only.
- Future Cruise Certificate is valid for travel in 2020 or 2021.
- This policy is in effect until 4/30/2020.
- Valid on domestic reservations only.

CONTACT US

American Queen Steamboat Company
www.AQSC.com
222 Pearl Street
New Albany, IN 47150
United States
(833) 971-1120
[email protected]
 
Apr 15, 2020
7
2
1
57
I have emailed the customer service email they sent me on their Facebook page because I want a paper trail, but I will try to call them today.

Their "cancellation policy" is poorly written and hard to understand, but my take on it is that you can move your current cruise for one later this summer and you'll have to pay more if the cruise costs more (which it will, since the May cruises were discounted due to it still be pre-season). But they are not offering refunds at this point because according to their terms, all cruises, including the one set to leave on May 20, are running, in direct violation of the CDC order.

I realize that the cruise will not actually happen. But it is so annoying that this company is playing "chicken" with customers to the 11th hour, hoping they will cancel or move the cruise dates.

I am so done with this company and I do not want to take the cruise later this summer, or next year, as who knows where things will be later this summer, or next year.
 

weihlac

Verified Member
Jun 30, 2017
2,850
3,656
113
Maui Hawaii
The OP needs to seriously reconsider the wisdom of cruising with her 85-year-old mother this year (and perhaps any other year). The problem of COVID-19 outbreaks on cruise ships is not going to go away anytime soon.
 

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
23,067
23,018
113
New York
www.promalvacations.com
Almost all cruise lines are doing the same thing. We had a group cruise in Greece scheduled for May 16 and they just canceled it.

Did you by any chance buy a Cancel for Any Reason insurance policy?
 

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
23,067
23,018
113
New York
www.promalvacations.com
The OP needs to seriously reconsider the wisdom of cruising with her 85-year-old mother this year (and perhaps any other year). The problem of COVID-19 outbreaks on cruise ships is not going to go away anytime soon.
That’s right but the problem is that the cruise lines are doing just what she says- “playing a game of chicken”- cancel now and pay a cancellation fee which is hefty, or sit it out and see if the cruise line cancels so there is no cancellation fee.
 
Apr 15, 2020
7
2
1
57
I have the standard insurance and not the "cancel for any reason," since I knew when I bought the policy that the only reason I would cancel would be covered by the policy (e.g. health, death, etc). Fortunately I did not buy airline tickets as I knew I could hold off until later.
 
Apr 15, 2020
7
2
1
57
The OP needs to seriously reconsider the wisdom of cruising with her 85-year-old mother this year (and perhaps any other year). The problem of COVID-19 outbreaks on cruise ships is not going to go away anytime soon.
Yes, I know, that is why I want a refund. I am not going on any cruises, period, but especially never with this company.
 
Apr 15, 2020
7
2
1
57
Just an update: the company responded to my email after I posted the CDC order on all of its recent Facebook posts touting their upcoming cruises. I spoke with the Customer Relations Manager and while she still used a lot of waffling language, she basically said the May 20 cruise wasn't happening; she had been trying to get the company president to be more proactive, etc. Feel bad for her that she is getting the hit for the failure of the company's leadership to follow basic common sense communication principles.
 
  • Like
Reactions: krisseye and Patina

BittyBoo

Jul 30, 2018
356
868
93
49
Just an update: the company responded to my email after I posted the CDC order on all of its recent Facebook posts touting their upcoming cruises. I spoke with the Customer Relations Manager and while she still used a lot of waffling language, she basically said the May 20 cruise wasn't happening; she had been trying to get the company president to be more proactive, etc. Feel bad for her that she is getting the hit for the failure of the company's leadership to follow basic common sense communication principles.
Was she able to provide you with information on getting your cruise fare refunded?
 
Apr 15, 2020
7
2
1
57
Was she able to provide you with information on getting your cruise fare refunded?
She said they May 20 cruise would not happen and that she would request that my refund be expedited. She also gave me the snail mail address for the company president (which I had requested). I told her I would remove my Facebook posts that linked to the CDC ban on cruising, and I did. But I don't think I will ever take tour with them because I know COVID will be active for a couple of years, and honestly, I wouldn't do this trip myself, I was going with my 85-year-old mom because she wanted to go.
 

jsn55

Verified Member
Dec 26, 2014
9,758
10,556
113
San Francisco
She said they May 20 cruise would not happen and that she would request that my refund be expedited. She also gave me the snail mail address for the company president (which I had requested). I told her I would remove my Facebook posts that linked to the CDC ban on cruising, and I did. But I don't think I will ever take tour with them because I know COVID will be active for a couple of years, and honestly, I wouldn't do this trip myself, I was going with my 85-year-old mom because she wanted to go.
I know exactly how you feel. We were offered a future cruise with ACL at 50% off, but turned it down flat. All you can do is keep up the pressure for a refund, I'd be contacting them weekly. Such a shame ... but small-ship cruises in this country have never "caught on" and the companies that run them haven't been able to figure out how to fix the problem. Someone things he can make it all work and buys the assets, but this kind of cruising requires a great deal of expertise. Viking will "soon" start cruising in America and I hope that they will bolster the other companies by using their expertise to create wonderful memories for their pax.
 
Jan 30, 2018
114
141
43
72
Viking will "soon" start cruising in America and I hope that they will bolster the other companies by using their expertise to create wonderful memories for their pax.
Hmmm...I have heard enough stories about Viking's intransigence (on this and other boards) on refunds, changes, etc. to doubt they will provide a shining model for river cruising in the USA.

I know I will sound like a cheerleader, but AQSC in 10 years has gone from 1 boat to 4 (one of these scheduled to come into service this year). We have had 7 lovely trips with them and have another planned for August. On nearly every trip the boat has been full.

Now, if the August trip is cancelled, we will see if my cheerleading is justified. Will we get our deposit back? The OP's Victory Cruise Line experience has me wondering.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Pixie Pie and jsn55

jsn55

Verified Member
Dec 26, 2014
9,758
10,556
113
San Francisco
I hear what you're saying, LDV. Two weeks after we returned from our awful ACL cruise, my travel agent met a guy in an ACL hat who had been on many of their cruises and just loved them. You just never know ... my criteria are the European river cruises where the competition is so fierce that they're all the very best that they can be. I too have heard about Viking's back office, but my TA books a lot of Viking cruises without problems.