D’Aoust returns to the water with AQV

Former CLIA President/CEO to lead American Queen Voyages

The former head of Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA), Cindy D’Aoust, is heading back to her maritime past, appointed as President of American Queen Voyages (AQV) in the United States.

D’Aoust will take the reins from US travel and cruise industry veteran, David Giersdorf, who has been Acting President at American Queen Voyages since May.

Following her four-year term as CLIA’s President and CEO, D’Aoust moved into a leadership role with Cape Resorts as President of Hospitality, for the past three years. In July, D’Aoust was also named Chief Executive Officer of UK-based tour operator Trü Travel Group – a role that appears to have been short-lived or not come to fruition.

She brings close to 40 years of travel and hospitality industry experience to the role at AQV, commencing 3 October 2022.

D’Aoust’s appointment comes 12 months to the day since American Queen Voyages rebranded from American Queen Steamboat Co. which comprised American Queen Voyages River, American Queen Voyages Lakes & Ocean (including Victory Cruise Lines) and American Queen Voyages Expedition.

“Hornblower Group is committed to the expansion of American Queen Voyages, as evidenced by the substantial investments in vessels, company rebrand, talent and training, technology, a new Fort Lauderdale headquarters, in the heart of the cruise industry epicenter,” said Kevin Rabbitt, CEO, Hornblower Group.

Cindy D'Aoust delivering a keynote address at CLIA Australasia Cruise360 in Sydney, 2018 in her role as CLIA President/CEO.

“We are thrilled to welcome Cindy to American Queen Voyages as our new president, bringing her exceptional background in successfully leading travel associations and hospitality brands through periods of growth.

“I am confident that through Cindy’s deep knowledge of the industry, expertise in elevating brands coupled with her considerable talent, leadership skills, and respected reputation, she will greatly contribute to the future success of American Queen Voyages,”Rabbitt added.

As president, D’Aoust will be responsible for developing and implementing AQV’s overall business strategy: providing guidance to the leadership team to create growth, driving innovation, performance and guest satisfaction.

Meanwhile, in the same media statement, parent company Hornblower said AQV will join its newly created overnight division.

“Headed up by Chris Tallent, chief executive officer of Journey Beyond, Australia’s leading experiential travel company, this division will further benefit AQV by having it join the iconic overnight rail and lodging brands of Journey Beyond and aligning them with AQV to strengthen its global go-to-market strategy, uniting Hornblower’s portfolio to trade partners and further reinforcing the connectivity and alignment between all of Hornblower’s brands,” Hornblower stated.

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