Hornblower Group Rebrands Portfolio

Hornblower Group has launched City Experiences as the new brand name for the company’s water-based and land-based portfolio of offerings.

Hornblower Niagara Cruises, a significant segment of City Experiences’ Canadian operations, will now operate as Niagara City Cruises and will continue providing services from its dock at the base of the iconic Niagara Falls as one of the most desired and scenic attractions in one of Canada’s most popular tourist destinations. The twin catamarans of Niagara City Cruises — the Niagara Thunder and Niagara Wonder — will continue to carry passengers on the sightseeing tour that offers the most unique view of the Falls.

Mory DiMaurizio, Chief Operating Officer, City Cruises, Canada, said that: “When we hit the water for our 2021 season, we will be sporting a new name and a new look, but the breathtaking experience aboard our boats will not change. The rebrand will also allow us to better integrate with other City Experiences properties, bringing more technology into play for an improved guest experience.”

Offerings aboard Niagara City Cruises and its season opening date will be announced shortly.

City Experiences represents a diverse portfolio of experiences in major travel destinations worldwide and aligns more than 25 existing companies into a single brand promise, offering locals and tourists alike a broad range of global experiences.

Kevin Rabbitt, Chief Executive Officer, Hornblower Group, said: “To support our growing portfolio of world-class water and land-based offerings, we are thrilled to introduce City Experiences and Niagara City Cruises to the world as we continue building upon our heritage as experience providers.”

Rabbitt continued: “Enabled by technological investments, diversified operations and a single brand identity, we will continue to explore various opportunities and platforms to add to our portfolio of business that will contribute to the company’s projected growth and future success.”

The City Experiences new business introduction streamlines a portfolio of 25-plus brands into three distinct experience offerings:

City Cruises – Private events, dining cruises and water sightseeing. Beloved brands that now fall under the City Cruises umbrella include:

  • Alcatraz Cruises
  • Boston Harbor Cruises
  • City Cruises in the UK
  • Gananoque Boat Line
  • Hornblower Cruises & Events
  • Niagara Cruises
  • Potomac Riverboat Company
  • Spirit Cruises and Odyssey Cruises
  • Statue Cruises

City Ferry – Transportation services across inland and coastal waterways.

City Experiences – Land-based experiences including shore excursions, partner-offered experiences city tours and multi-port packages.

To expand its land-based experiences portfolio, City Experiences also announces the acquisition of Walks, a leading sightseeing tours and activities operator operating one-of-a-kind travel experiences in top tourism destinations around the world.

With 100-plus tours available across 14 cities, including Rome, Venice, Paris and NYC, Walks creates the opportunity for travellers to explore cities at street-level, hear stories from local experts, and uncover a place’s unique history.

Walks also began offering virtual tours last year known as Tours from Home, receiving widespread recognition.

Through this acquisition, Walks joins City Experiences’ growing portfolio of land-based experience companies — which includes Cruising Excursions and ShoreTrips, leading global shore excursions providers in the UK and U.S. respectively — and supports the company’s overall business strategy towards growing its product offerings for its guests.

City Experiences also works with local travel partners to offer curated discount packages for guests. Powered by Anchor, Hornblower Group’s proprietary ticketing system, the most recent initiative is the Official Downtown Experience which brings together access to three iconic New York City attractions — Statue Cruises, the 9/11 Memorial & Museum and One World Observatory —  providing more time to experience favorite attractions through specified reservations and live ticketing.

Kristina Heney, City Experiences chief marketing and revenue officer, pointed out that: “Creating a single brand identity allows us a greater connection between our land and water experiences, focused marketing and sales efforts, increased guest recognition of our collective City Experiences offerings, and ultimately easier cross-selling of our portfolio within cities and between global destination markets.”

Heney added that: “Further, our investment in our intuitive booking platform, Anchor, and a holistic end-to-end digital experience will provide an enhanced guest experience with a new frictionless and personalized journey that will further reinforce our brand promise.”

Outside of the City Experiences portfolio, Hornblower Group will continue to operate an Overnight Cruise Division—featuring American Queen Steamboat Company, Victory Cruise Lines and Shore Excursions of America—NYC Ferry and Puerto Rico Ferry systems, other Government transportation services, and our Anchor ticketing services for third-party vendors.

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