Viking Sets Sail on the Mississippi
From rivers, to oceans and lakes… and now to America’s heartland. Viking Cruises has announced it will cruise the Mississippi between St. Louis and New Orleans beginning in 2022.
The company’s first custom vessel, purpose-made in America for these iconic river itineraries, is named Viking Mississippi and debuts in August 2022. It will be the largest and most modern ship in the region.
In signature Viking style, the 193 stateroom, 5-deck state-of-the-art ship features the clean lines of Scandinavian style. In the case of the Viking Mississippi, there are also American influences that reflect her location. All guests enjoy spacious, all-outside suites or staterooms with either veranda or French balcony, well appointed, including 24-hour service.
Popular Viking features previous Viking cruise guests know and love include:
- Sun Terrace with Infinity plunge pool with a glass back on aft sun terrace;
- Explorers’ Lounge with floor-to-ceiling windows opening to The Bow forward outdoor lounge with the best views of the river;
- River Café, a casual, al fresco alternative dining venue serving casual food from American classics to Norwegian specialties;
- Aquavit Terrace on the top deck for casual dining and American barbecue; Combined with the River Café, the Aquavit Terrace will provide the most al fresco dining on the Mississippi;
- The Restaurant main dining venue on Deck 1 serving daily-changing menus featuring delicious regional cuisine and classics prepared with fresh, local ingredients;
- Full 360-Degree Promenade on Deck 1;
- Enrichment on board and on shore, including 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, Privileged Access, Local Life and Working World experiences like a kayaking trip in the Louisiana bayou; visit a working farm in Quad Cities; or immersion in Cajun culture during a Privileged Access excursion to the Rural Life Museum of Louisiana State University.
- Sustainability features like solar panels, LED lighting, floor-to-ceiling windows that maximize natural light and an energy-efficient hybrid propulsion system that will make Viking Mississippi the most environmentally friendly passenger ship on the Mississippi River.
The Viking Mississippi’s launch not only brings a new age of modern river cruising to the U.S., close to home for many fans of Viking cruising in Europe and around the world. It also represents major support for the local tourism economy in communities along its routes. 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).
2022-2023 Viking Mississippi Inaugural Voyages
- America’s Heartland (8 days; St. Louis to St. Paul)—From pristine farms nestled in rolling terrain to steep bluff rising from tributaries dotted with wooded islands, the Upper Mississippi offers a rich tapestry of beauty upon every turn of the river. This journey introduces you to the unforgettable experience of the locks and dams that control the flow of the heartland rivers. Hear stories of settlers migrating west; learn about Lewis & Clark, Mark Twain, John Deere and the Amish and Norwegian migrations; experience the regional music like polka and Norwegian folk; and taste regional cuisine showcasing local beer, produce and Wisconsin cheese.
- Heart of the Delta (8 days; New Orleans to Memphis)—This journey on the Lower Mississippi is infused with American history, culture and heritage. Tour the area where the migrating French and Acadians settled; immerse yourself in the culture and lessons from the American Civil Rights Movement; discover the music of the South—jazz, blues and gospel; and experience the life and food culture of the south, from Cajun and Creole to the famed “dry” Memphis BBQ.
- Southern Celebration (8 days; New Orleans–Vicksburg–New Orleans)—On this exploration of the Lower Mississippi, visit the historic homes of Louisiana and Mississippi; learn about Civil War history, touring sites like Vicksburg National Military Park; and discover the excitement and unique flavors of New Orleans and Baton Rouge.
- America’s Great River (15 days; New Orleans to St. Paul)—Experience nearly the entire length of the Mississippi River on this incredible journey from the Gulf of Mexico to the northernmost reaches of the U.S. Relax and enjoy the variety of scenery, foliage and wildlife on this leisurely voyage. Enjoy southern charm and beautifully preserved homes in Natchez; retrace the steps of Civil Rights leaders in Memphis; ascend the Gateway Arch in St. Louis; and visit “The Norwegian Valley” in La Crosse.
The Viking Mississippi will join Viking’s current fleet of 79 river and ocean vessels, as well as the recently-announced new Viking Expeditions to Antarctica and the North American Great Lakes. Viking has introduced more than 60 new river cruise ships and 6 ocean ships in the last 8 years, making it the largest small-ship cruise line.
Images of Renderings: Viking
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by Lynn Elmhirst
in River or Ocean Cruises