Viking to Launch Mississippi River Cruises for the First Time
Viking has announced that they will be expanding their cruise repertoire to include America’s longest river — the Mississippi.
The new Mississippi River cruises venture honors a commitment Viking Chairman Torstein Hagen made to loyal past guests — to launch the Mississippi product by early April. The company’s first custom vessel, Viking Mississippi, will debut in August 2022 and sail voyages on both the Lower and Upper Mississippi between New Orleans and St. Paul. Viking’s arrival will bring modern cruising to the Mississippi, and represent a major commitment to economic development in many communities along its banks.
Currently scheduled ports of call include seven states: Louisiana (Baton Rouge, Darrow, New Orleans, and St. Francisville); Mississippi (Natchez and Vicksburg); Tennessee (Memphis); Missouri (Hannibal, St. Louis); Iowa (Burlington, Dubuque and Davenport); Wisconsin (La Crosse); and Minnesota (Red Wing, St. Paul).
“At a time where many of us are at home, looking for inspiration to travel in the future, I am pleased to introduce a new, modern way to explore this great river. We invented the concept of modern river cruising when we got our start 23 years ago—first on the rivers of Russia and then in Europe. Since then, many people have come to appreciate the unique exploration that comes with river cruising—but currently there are very few options to do so on American rivers,” said Torstein Hagen, Chairman of Viking. “Our guests are curious travelers, and they continue to tell us that the Mississippi is the river they most want to sail with us. The Mississippi River is closer to home for many of our guests, and no other waterway has played such an important role in America’s history, commerce and culture.”
Hosting 386 guests in 193 all-outside cabins, the new Viking Mississippi is inspired by both the ocean and river ships, and will feature a clean Scandinavian design and spaces that are familiar to past guests, but have been reimagined for Mississippi River voyages. Currently under construction in Louisiana, the vessel will have five decks, expansive windows, and comfortable amenities that make it the largest and most modern cruise ship in the region.
- All Outside Staterooms: Passengers can choose from seven stateroom categories: Veranda, French Balcony, Deluxe Veranda, Penthouse Veranda, Penthouse Jr. Suite, Terrace Suite, and Explorer Suite. All cabins have a private veranda or French balcony, king-size bed, flat-screen TVs, mini-bar, glass-enclosed shower, heated bathroom floor, and 24-hour room service.
- Explorers’ Lounge & The Bow: A familiar space to returning Viking guests, Viking Mississippi will include an Explorers’ Lounge near the bow of the ship. The two-story lounge has floor-to-ceiling windows that open to The Bow, an outdoor seating area where guests can relax in the sun.
- River Cafe: From American classics to Mamsen’s Norwegian specialties, this indoor/outdoor dining venue on the top deck will offer casual al fresco dining.
- Aquavit Terrace: A public space beloved by both ocean and river Viking guests, this ship will include an Aquavit Terrace on the top deck, providing a casual dining space ideal for a good old American barbecue cookout. Combined with the River Cafe, the Aquavit Terrace will provide the most al fresco dining on the Mississippi.
- Sun Terrace with Infinity Plunge Pool: Similar to Viking’s ocean ships, Viking Mississippi will have a glass-backed pool at the aft.
- 360-Degree Promenade Deck: Travelers can stroll the entire ship outside on Deck 1, stretching their legs while enjoying the landscape and wildlife.
Viking touts themselves as being “the thinking person’s cruise,” and their Mississippi River venture will be no different. A focus on cultural enrichment onboard the ship means that passengers will enjoy Destination Performances that represent the most iconic music of the region, as well as Guest Lecturers that shed light on the region’s art, architecture, history, culture, natural world, and more. Itineraries will feature Viking’s Privileged Access experiences, which open doors to places that can otherwise be difficult to visit. On Mississippi River cruises, travelers may choose to take a guided kayaking trip in the Louisiana bayou, visit a working farm in the Quad Cities, or immerse themselves in Cajun culture during a Privileged Access excursion to the Rural Life Museum of Louisiana State University.
- America’s Heartland - 8 days from St. Louis to St. Paul
- Heart of the Delta - 8 days from New Orleans to Memphis
- Southern Celebration - 8 days from New Orleans to Vicksburg and back
- America’s Great River - 15 days from New Orleans to St. Paul
Every Mississippi River cruise fare includes one complimentary shore excursion in each port of call, all onboard meals, beer and wine with lunch and dinner, self-service laundry, free WiFi, and more.
Starting today, inaugural 2022-2023 cruises are available for booking for past Viking guests. Bookings open to the general public on April 15, 2020.
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Will you be considering sailing Viking Mississippi?