American Queen Steamboat Company has acquired identical Victory I and Victory II ships from Sunstone Ships and the Victory Cruise Lines brand.

Terms of the transaction have not been disclosed, but the deal is expected to go through in early January 2019.

John Waggoner, American Steamboat Company’s chairman and chief executive, said: “We look forward to working closely with Victory Cruise Lines’ new and existing travel partners.”

Waggoner said the two 300-ft vessels would allow the line to offer passengers “more diverse cruising options”, particularly in the Great Lakes.

Victory I and Victory II will join the American Queen Steamboat Company fleet under the Victory Cruise name, alongside its flagship American Queen and 166-guest paddle wheeler American Duchess and 223-guest American Empress.

New ship American Countess, which is currently under construction in Louisiana, will debut in 2020.

Victory Cruise Lines’ president and chief executive Hans Lagerweij said bookings for 2019 are already 35% ahead of 2018, adding: “Victory Cruise Lines has established itself as the leading cruise line on the Great Lakes.

“American Queen Steamboat Company’s established and strong product and brand is well suited to take the Victory vessels and Victory Cruise Lines brand forward, creating one of the largest North American Great Lakes and US river cruising companies in the country.”