Mariposa Cruises joins Entertainment Cruises

CHICAGO (Aug. 29, 2018)  – Entertainment Cruises, the nation’s leading dining and sightseeing cruise company, today announced it has acquired Toronto-based Mariposa Cruises. The completion of the transaction extends the company’s footprint into Canada for the first time, boosting its operation to 48 vessels serving upwards of 2.3 million guests across 11 city locations in North America.

“As a highly regarded business with an established reputation for quality on-water experiences, Mariposa Cruises perfectly complements Entertainment Cruises’ portfolio. This is a natural and exciting step in our expansion strategy beyond the US,” said Kenneth Svendsen, CEO of Entertainment Cruises. “Both companies share a commitment to excellence and are deeply rooted in the guest experience, and together they will be better able to achieve their combined vision in the Canadian market.”

Recognised as Toronto’s largest hospitality cruise operator, Mariposa Cruises has served the city’s waterfront and Lake Ontario with dining cruises, sightseeing and private charters since 1987. Given its longstanding reputation, the business will continue to operate under the Mariposa Cruises brand and will remain headquartered at its home base in the heart of the Toronto Harbourfront at the Queen’s Quay Terminal Building.

“Entertainment Cruises’ commitment to extraordinary experiences and relentless focus on quality is a great cultural and commercial fit for our business,” said Jim Nicholson, President and CEO, Mariposa Cruises. “We will benefit from a level of scale and scope that supports our ambitions, and better equips us for the future – more so than if we had continued to pursue a standalone path. I feel excited for Mariposa under their leadership.” 

Kenneth Svendsen will lead the newly merged company. With immediate effect, Mariposa Cruises President and CEO Jim Nicholson will step down and Cindi Vanden Heuvel – the current Vice President and a 27-year veteran of the company – will step into the Vice President / General Manager position. With 128 full time and seasonal employees joining Entertainment Cruises, the company intends to maximize benefits for both operations and leverage the significant expertise across the whole business.

“Under his leadership, Jim Nicholson has firmly established Mariposa Cruises as an impressive and successful hospitality business that is much admired by its contemporaries. I would like to thank Jim for his tremendous efforts and extend my very best wishes for his future endeavors,” added Svendsen.

Today’s announcement reaffirms Entertainment Cruises’ continued confidence in the sector where it already operates a portfolio of seven distinctive, award-winning cruise brands in coveted destinations such as Alexandria VA, Baltimore, Boston, Chicago, National Harbor, Norfolk VA, Philadelphia, New York, Weehawken NJ and the wider Washington D.C.area. In 2016, the company acquired Virginia-based Potomac Riverboat Co., and has since added four new high speed, low wake, environmentally friendly water taxis to service the DC metro area. Next month, Odyssey Chicago River ─ a modern glass-enclosed vessel built specifically for cruising the Chicago River ─ is expected to make its much-anticipated debut and will introduce upscale dining and entertainment alongside unparalleled 360-degree views of  the city’s world-renowned architecture. Entertainment Cruises is part of the PPC Partners group of companies.

About Entertainment Cruises

Entertainment Cruises is the premier provider of water-based dining, sightseeing and transportation experiences in the US. Over the last 40 years, the company has defined and redefined the domestic marine hospitality industry, establishing a portfolio of eight distinctive, award-winning brands that are available in popular US city locations such as Alexandria VA, Baltimore, Boston, Chicago, Norfolk VA, Philadelphia, National Harbor, New York, Weehawken NJ, Washington D.C. area, and Toronto, Canada following the recent acquisition of Mariposa Cruises. Today, almost 2,500 full-time and part-time shipmates operate a fleet of 48 vessels, delivering over 18,000 cruises to 2.3 million guests each year. This September, Entertainment Cruises will launch Odyssey Chicago River, a luxurious glass-enclosed vessel that will cruise the waters of the Chicago River pairing upscale dining and entertainment with 360-degree views of the surrounding architecture. Entertainment Cruises is part of the PPC Partners group of companies. For more information, visit entertainmentcruises.com.

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Twenty-seven years ago when Mariposa Cruises first set sail, we never could have envisioned that one day our cruise tickets would be booked using a cell phone. Back in those days a cell phone was a clunky device that only the likes of Gordon Gekko from “Wall Street” was fortunate enough to own.

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