Fred Holidays clarifies its connections after American Queen Voyages failure

Fred Holidays, the UK representative for American Cruise Lines, has issued a statement about the collapse of American Queen Voyages, expressing sorrow at the news but clarifying to the trade that is has no connection with the failed river cruise operator.

In the statement, Fred Holidays said it is “saddened to hear the news that American Queen Voyages has ceased trading, and the team’s thoughts are with all those who have been affected”.

The British operator added: “Following a number of calls from agents, Fred Holidays would like to reassure them that, while American Cruise Lines offers a similar product, it has no connection with American Queen Voyages and it continues to operate successfully.

“Fred Holidays is aware that the UK trade has a number of guests booked on American Queen Voyages cruises and would like to offer support if required.

“Whether they want help with existing bookings, would like to re-book clients on similar product, need help with packaging up a cruise or just want some advice, Fred Holidays has a team of river cruise specialists who will be able to assist.”

Meanwhile, Light Blue Travel confirmed the collapse of American Queen Voyages and is offering refunds or alternative cruises to booked customers.

AQGSA, the UK and Europe representative for American Queen Voyages, is administered by Light Blue Travel.

 Light Blue Travel managing director Rupert Thomson said: “We were saddened to hear that American Queen Voyages ceased trading yesterday.

“AQGSA, as administered by Light Blue Travel, acted as GSA for American Queen Voyages in the UK and Europe, both for the trade and direct bookings.

“All those who have made bookings through the UK office will be offered one of two options. We will either source a similar cruise through another supplier, or give a full refund of monies paid to AQGSA Ltd.”

He added: “We understand this news may cause concern to those with bookings and will be very disappointing, but if they choose to reschedule an alternative cruise, they can rest assured that we will do our utmost to find the most suitable solution.

“Nobody need worry about their money, it is held by AQGSA Ltd in the UK in designated bank accounts. We can only apologise for the disruption, which is totally beyond our control.

“We will contact all trade partners who hold bookings shortly, and anyone with a direct booking should contact their travel provider.

“We have worked with American Queen Voyages since the early days, nearly 10 years, and are very sad that the company has ceased trading.

“We hope that the iconic paddlewheel steamboats will be rescued in the future and can re-commence their unique North American river cruises on the Mississippi.”

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