Uncertainty due to the COVID-19 pandemic has prompted one Great Lakes cruise line to cancel its remaining cruises in 2020. Victory Cruise Lines (VCL), announced it will cancel all planned itineraries for the remainder of the 2020 season due to prolonged governmental restrictions and uncertainties of future travel through Canadian waters. The company will focus its efforts on the upcoming 2021 season. John Waggoner, founder, and CEO of American Queen Steamboat Company. “The health, safety, and confidence of our guests, crew, and partners is our number one priority, and we will return in 2021 stronger and better than ever.”
Great Lakes was to see A Growth in Cruising
Several cruise lines were expected to be sailing the Great Lakes in the summer of 2020. The popularity of river cruising in Europe has focused new attention on the inland freshwater sea of the Great Lakes. Travelers can select from travel that includes north shore of Lake Superior all through the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Seaway and ending in the Canadian Maritimes or New England.
The Victory cruise line has two nearly identical 105-stateroom ships, Victory I and Victory II. They were to begin the second season of sailing with between the larger ports of the Great Lakes. These two ships are considered ocean-going coastal vessels with a draft and waterline that makes them ideal craft for exploring destinations larger vessels cannot reach on the ports along the Great Lakes.
It’s uncertain if other cruise lines plying the Great Lakes will follow suit. Blount Small Ship Adventures, Pearl Seas Cruises, and Hapag-Lloyd Cruises have made investments to their fleet or expanded its itinerary in the Great Lakes. News Site, Greater Milwaukee News & Events reported that the Blount cruise line has suspended all 2020 and 2021 voyages in the Great Lakes and beyond. The Ponant Cruises is a French luxury line that announced it was coming back to the region. Ponant has a 10 day Québec – Milwaukee run in September.