Hornblower Group today announced the acquisition of another day-tour operator, Walks, and said it is rebranding its growing portfolio of 25 day-cruise and water- and land-based excursion operators under one new brand called City Experiences.
The move follows the recent acquisition by the company of three cruise excursion companies, including the troubled ShoreTrips, a leading independent provider of commissionable cruise excursions that shuttered during the pandemic owing more nearly $5 million in refunds for customer payments on canceled trips.
In addition to Shoretrips, Hornblower also recently purchased Shore Excursions of America and U.K.-based Cruising Excursions.
Hornblower is also the parent of the American Queen Steamboat Co. (AQSC) and Victory Cruise Lines. Its day-cruise brands include city cruises in London, New York, Boston and Niagara Falls.
The acquisition of Walks, which the company said offers more than 100 street tours in 14 cities including Rome, Paris, Venice and New York, brings to 25 the number of brands being folded under the City Experiences umbrella.
"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," said Kristina Heney, City Experiences' chief marketing and revenue officer. "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."
Hornblower CEO Kevin Rabbitt , said the company also "will continue to explore various opportunities and platforms to add to our portfolio of businesses that will contribute to the company's growth and future success."
Hornblower Group said it will continue to operate AQSC, Victory and Shore Excursions of America as an overnight cruise division outside of the new brand. Additionally, the ferry systems it runs under government contracts with New York and Puerto Rico will continue to fall under the Hornblower brand.