Though the company spent a great deal of time and money to get the Great American Steamboat Co. name out there, Tim Rubacky, senior vice president of marketing, told Cruise Critic that once the American Queen came out, the line realized the ship was actually its brand image.
"While the GASC name is out there… when speaking with our guests and agent partners, they made us realize that American Queen is the brand… and our research also supported that."
Naming the company after a flagship is part of the company's tradition as well. Current CEO Krida also served as president of the now-defunct Delta Queen Steamboat Company which in its storied history also underwent a name change. That line was first established in 1890 as the Greene Line.
"Just as the Greene family renamed their operation to honor the historic Delta Queen, we are embracing the legacy of the American Queen and renaming the Company in honor of her," Krida said. "Because of her iconic status, she has quickly become the brand in the eyes of our guests and travel agent partners."
The Great American Steamboat Company launched in 2012 with plans to revive the cruising industry on the Mississippi, Ohio and Tennessee rivers. For 2013 the 436-guest American Queen will sail a total of 30 departures between Memphis and New Orleans, as well as several sailings from St. Louis, St. Paul, Cincinnati, Chattanooga and Pittsburgh.
-- by Dori Saltzman, News Editor