A cruse line that made frequent annual stops in Dubuque has ceased all operations as of this week, according to multiple outlets.

The American Queen Voyages made the announcement and effectively canceled all future cruises. An automated voice message on its customer information hotline said that the company "made the difficult decision" to suspend operations. It also directed callers to a special website to begin the refund process.

A message on another website revealed that the cruse line had become financially unsustainable following the COVID-19 pandemic:

Despite our best efforts, demand for overnight cruises has not recovered following the pandemic, and AQV has become financially unsustainable. We thank you for your support and deeply regret any inconvenience this causes you. - per AQV Info's website

Per the company's website, two American Queen cruse-ships were scheduled for 10 stops in Dubuque this summer. One ship with a maximum of 417 guests was set to dock in Dubuque six times, while the other ship, fit for a maximum 245 guests, was slated for four stops. The cruise line made 12 stops in Dubuque in 2023.

Photo Credit: KFVS12, YouTube
Photo Credit: KFVS12, YouTube

Per the Telegraph Herald, the absence of the American Queen Voyages in Dubuque will certainly affect the tourism boost the community seeks from the ocean liners in the summertime.

Keith Rahe, President/CEO of Travel Dubuque, told the Telegraph Herald that the cruises bring significant business to area hotels, restaurants, and several attractions to Dubuque and the surrounding areas, notably the National Mississippi River Museum & Aquarium.

There is the hope and belief that customers who saw their American Queen cruises cancelled will rebook with other cruise lines that make stops in the Dubuque-area.

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No cruises were sailing at the time of the closure. Adam Peakes, Preside of Hornblower Group, who owns American Queen Voyages, said the company plans to sell, and if a sale cannot be achieved, "its operations will be wound down," per USA Today:

Please know this decision was not made lightly. We are deeply proud of our employees and crew for the outstanding services they have provided our guests over the years. As the backbone of the AQV experience we extend our deepest appreciation to our team for their unwavering commitment, passion and hard work, which has been exceptional. We would also like to express our heartfelt gratitude to our guests, partners, agents and the local communities where we call who have each been integral to our journey. - per an emailed statement shared by USA Today

Read more about the American Queen Voyages cruise line ceasing operations on USA Today's website. For a local angle to the story and how this closing will impact Dubuque, visit the Telegraph Herald's website.

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