Victory Cruise Lines, New Albany, Ind., sister brand of American Queen Steamboat Co., a Hornblower Group company, marks its expedition experience debut with the new 104.4m (342'4") steel-hulled Ocean Victory in 2022. Created for intimate access with an innovative X-Bow design, the vessel will sail 12 and 13-day journeys through the less-traveled regions of Alaska’s Inside Passage led by a seasoned expedition team.

Like-minded explorers will deploy kayaks and Zodiacs with expedition leaders, view wildlife from sliding observation platforms, witness marine research by California Polytech University students in real-time and have engaging discussions with First Nation leaders. Accommodating only 186 guests (100 crew), the focus of the expedition program is exploring Alaska up close. 

“My most memorable travel experiences have always been journeys of complete immersion — whether it’s in a culture, an ecosystem, region or simply being immersed with my family and fellow travelers,” John Waggoner, chairman of Victory Cruise Lines, said in a prepared statement. “Alaska is such an incredible destination, and our Ocean Victory expedition sailings were created to deliver an unmatched level of immersion for guests to experience this singular region like never before.”

Delivered by China Merchants Heavy Industries (Jiangsu), Ocean Victory is owned by Sunstone Ships and will be chartered by Victory Cruise Lines for expedition cruising beginning in May 2022.

The new 8500 GT passenger vessel has a depth of 5.3m (17.3') and a 5.1m (16.7') draft. Main propulsion comes from two Wärtsila 6L26, 1,200 kW diesel electric propulsion systems and twin Wärtsila 8L26, 1600 diesel electric propulsion systems to give the boat a total output of 5,600 kW. The engines are hooked up to Brunvoll AS controllable pitch 4-bladed, 3,100mm (122") propellers through Bronvoll AS three-phase induction motors for marine duty. Ocean Victory is also fitted with an 880 kW Brunvoll AS tunnel thruster. Kongsberg Gruppen AS provided the controls and DPS system. The propulsion package gives the passenger vessel a running speed of 15.5 knots.

The brand new, expedition Ocean Victory will sail between Vancouver, B.C. and Sitka, Alaska, on 12 and 13-day journeys and feature ports of call that larger ships cannot access, including Baranof Island’s eastern coast. Ports of call include a pre-cruise hotel stay in Vancouver, B.C.; Canadian Inside Passage; Fiordland (Kynoch Inlet); Ketchikan/Metlakatla; Misty Fjords National Monument; Wrangell/Stikine River Wilderness; Waterfall Coast/Baranof Wilderness; Petersburg/Le Conte Glacier; Tracy Arm/Endicott Glacier; Kake/Frederick Sound/Five Finger; and Sitka, Alaska. Sailings available in May, June, July, August, and September 2022.


Ken Hocke has been the senior editor of WorkBoat since 1999. He was the associate editor of WorkBoat from 1997 to 1999. Prior to that, he was the editor of the Daily Shipping Guide, a transportation daily in New Orleans. He has written for other publications including The Times-Picayune. He graduated from Louisiana State University with an arts and sciences degree, with a concentration in English, in 1978.