Tuesday, April 06, 2021

Hornblower Group Announces Rebranding of Chicago Cruising Operations as ‘City Cruises’ for 2021 Season on Lake Michigan and The Chicago River (Chicago, IL)


Continiuing to offer patrons unparalleled views and unforgettable memories, the Global Experiences and Transportation Leader introduces City Experiencesthe new brand name for the company’s growing portfolio of world-class water- and land-based offerings, including City Cruises 

 Let’s get back on the water. Hornblower Group, a global leader in world-class experiences and transportation, announced today the launch of its Chicago cruising operations as City Cruises under City Experiences, the new brand name for the company’s water- and land-based portfolio of offerings. Locals and travelers alike are invited back on City Cruises’ luxurious yachts including the Odyssey Lake Michigan, Spirit of Chicago, Chicago Elite, and their newest vessel to join the fleet, Odyssey Chicago River, to enjoy specialty curated cocktails and cuisines, all while taking in the unmatched views of Lake Michigan and the city skyline from the Chicago River. Patrons looking for a little thrill can also select one of five Seadogs for a fast-paced lake tour, the perfect excuse to get on the water for some of the best views of Chicago.   
“This is such an exciting time to get our vessels back and running on our Chicago waters,” said Dan Russell, regional vice president, Hornblower Group. “With this new rebrand into City Cruises, we have adapted to a heightened standard of cleanliness and social distancing to ensure all guests and crew alike feel comfortable going out again, and we can’t wait to provide the same, unforgettable experience in our beloved city.”
The health and safety of both guests and the crew remains City Cruises’ top priority. While guests can expect the same high standards and welcoming service, experiences have been adapted to ensure heightened cleanliness and to maintain social distance onboard. With expansive decks both inside and out, there is plentiful fresh air and more than enough room on board for everyone to stay safely apart. 
To provide reassurance in the current pandemic environment, City Experiences has expanded its industry defining SafeCruise by City Cruises program, building on already stringent sanitation processes, to incorporate further health-driven measures to guard against the spread of COVID-19 and other viruses.  These include, but are not limited to:
  • Supporting local regulatory initiatives against the spread of COVID-19
  • Mandatory daily crew member health screening, and wearing of appropriate PPE.
  • Revised boarding and ticketing procedures to allow for social distancing and touchless entry.
  • Requiring guests to wear face masks while cruising, except while eating and drinking.
  • Reducing the number of guests on board, as supported by local government, and adapting all seating and table spacing to allow for a minimum 6-foot distance between guests.
  • Implementing enhanced sanitation and disinfection procedures, with hand sanitizing stations available throughout the vessel.
City Experiences, the new brand name for the company’s water- and land-based portfolio of offerings, 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.  
The City Experiences new business introduction streamlines a portfolio of 25+ renowned 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+ unique tours available across 14 cities, including Rome, Venice, Paris and NYC, Walks creates the opportunity for travelers 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.

“To support our growing portfolio of world-class water and land-based offerings, we are thrilled to introduce City Experiences to the world as we continue building upon our heritage as experience providers,” said Kevin Rabbitt, chief executive officer, Hornblower Group.  “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.” 
City Cruises offers brunch and dinner cruises featuring delicious cuisine alongside a sophisticated selection of award-winning wines, craft beers and specialty cocktails, all while enjoying the spectacular views of Chicago and Lake Michigan.  Cruise prices start from $86.90 for brunch or $99.90 for dinner (prices per person, excl. fees & taxes). 
For private groups, City Cruises also operates a choice of luxurious private charter experiences.  For more information or to book a cruise experience on one of the Chicago vessels, please visit cityexperiences.com or call (888) 957-2634.
Please click the below links for City Experiences B-roll material:
Download:  CLICK HERE
About City Experiences
City Experiences represents Hornblower Group’s expansive portfolio of water- and land-based experiences and includes two sub-brands: City Cruises and City Ferry.  City Cruises operates dining, sightseeing and private events across 22 destinations in the U.S., Canada and the UK.  City Cruises also operates cruises on behalf of the National Park Service and the Niagara Parks Commission and currently holds service contracts to provide ferry service to the Statue of Liberty National Monument and the Ellis Island National Museum of Immigration, Alcatraz Island and Niagara Falls.  City Ferry offers specialized knowledge and expertise required to transport passengers, vehicles and other cargo safely across inland and coastal waterways with operations including NYC Ferry and Puerto Rico ferry system, among others.  City Experiences’ portfolio also offers a range of land-based experiences including shore excursions, partner-offered experiences, multi-port packages, and Cruising Excursions, ShoreTrips and Walksproducts.  For more information visit cityexperiences.com.
About Hornblower Group
Hornblower Group is a global leader in world-class experiences. The corporate entity of Hornblower Group is comprised of American Queen™ Steamboat Company and City Experiences.  Seaward Services, Inc., a marine services company specializing in the operation, maintenance and repair of government and privately owned vessels, is also a subsidiary of Hornblower Group, operating and maintaining U.S. Navy Ranges and port facilities, including local oil spill response.  Today, Hornblower’s footprint spans 111 countries and territories, and 125 U.S. cities, with offerings including water-based experiences, land-based experiences, overnight cruise experiences, and ferry and transportation services.   Hornblower Group is headquartered in San Francisco, California, with additional corporate offices in Boston, Massachusetts; Chicago, Illinois; London, United Kingdom; New Albany, Indiana; New York, New York; and across Ontario, Canada. 
About SafeCruise by City Cruises
Established over 25 years ago, SafeCruise by City Cruises delivers industry-defining standards for health, safety and security across all of our City Cruises operations. Continuously improving, the program follows the most up to date government and industry guidelines and applies decades-long operational expertise to ensure a safe environment for guests and crew members, while maintaining City Experiences’ excellent record of safety. For more information visit cityexperiences.com/safecruise/.

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