Right now, it may be a dark time for the cruise industry, as most ships have returned to port and passengers have re-scheduled or canceled plans as a result of the pandemic. But, here’s one cruise line that is thinking ahead to a brighter future.
Viking River Cruises recently announced details of the purpose-built Viking Mississippi, which will host 386 guests in 193 all outside staterooms, the new state-of-the-art Viking Mississippi is inspired by Viking’s award-winning river and ocean ships and will feature clean Scandinavian design, as well as public spaces that are familiar to guests but that have been reimagined for Mississippi River voyages. The new ship, aptly named Viking Mississippi, will sail between New Orleans and St. Paul, Minnesota, with the inaugural trips slated for August 2022.
Purpose-built for the Mississippi and currently under construction in Louisiana, the five-deck ship’s cutting-edge design, expansive windows and comfortable amenities will make it the largest and most modern cruise ship in the region.
“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,” said Viking chairman Torstein Hagen in a statement. “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,” Hagen added.
Stretching for 2,350 miles, from Minnesota’s Lake Itasca to the Gulf of Mexico, Viking’s new cruises on the “Mighty Mississippi” offer a different type of cross-country journey for the curious explorer–one that allows you to be immersed in American history and culture.
On board the vessel, guests will find cool, contemporary Scandinavian-inspired design, as is typical of Viking ships. A variety of larger gathering spaces — the Explorer’s Lounge, the River Cafe, a Sun Terrace — will provide panoramic views of riverside scenery. All guest rooms will also have good views, and many will come with private verandas for personal outdoor space. (Some categories have French balconies, which provide fresh air but not outdoor seating.)
The ship will also have an “infinity plunge pool” on board, Viking says, plus a “360-Degree Promenade Deck,” which will encircle the entirety of the ship.
As for what to see and do, Viking has announced several eight-day itineraries that focus on northern or southern portions of the river. Trips between St. Louis and St. Paul include tours and guest lectures on board that discuss Mark Twain and westward expansion; sailings from Memphis to New Orleans have a focus on French and Acadian cultures as well as the civil rights movement and jazz. Viking will also host 15-day, full-river sailings.
Every Mississippi River cruise fare includes everything guests need, with no surprises or hidden fees. Cruise fares include one complimentary shore excursion in each port of call, all onboard meals, and all port charges and government taxes. Guests also enjoy many complimentary amenities as part of their fare, including beer and wine with lunch and dinner service, lectures, alternative dining at no extra charge, self-service launderettes, 24-hour room service and free Wi-Fi.
Viking has opened reservations for their new cruises on the Mississippi River in 2022 to the general public. Message me if you would like additional information on cruising the Mighty Mississippi!