Viking has cemented plans for the launch of US river cruising, opening sales to past passengers this week for its new Mississippi River program commencing August 2022.
Inspired by Viking’s European Longships, the aptly named Viking Mississippi will accommodate 386 guests in seven stateroom and suite categories, ranging from Veranda and Deluxe Veranda Staterooms to the luxurious Explorer Suites at the bow of Deck 5 above the bridge.
Currently under construction in Louisiana, Viking says Viking Mississippi has been designed to manoeuvre nimbly, “yet large enough to offer extremely comfortable sailing.”
The ship will cruise on the lower and upper Mississippi, between New Orleans and St. Paul. Currently scheduled ports of call on Viking’s new Mississippi River Cruises will include seven US 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).
Announcing the entry into the US river cruise market, Viking Chairman Torstein Hagen said: “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,” Hagen said.
“Our guests are curious travellers, and they continue to tell us that the Mississippi is the river they most want to sail with us,” Hagen added.
What’s onboard Viking Mississippi?
Onboard, Deck 1 will feature Viking Mississippi‘s primary dining venue, The Restaurant, as well as the Living Room and Library. The dual-level Explorers Lounge will be positioned at the bow offering panoramic 180-degree views and ascending to Deck 2. The vast majority of Deck 2, all of Deck 3 and 4, as well as the front half of Deck 5, are dedicated to the 193 staterooms and suites.
On Deck 5 is the indoor River Café, which will serve American classics and Mamsen’s Norwegian specialities, and the Aquavit Terrace that’s been dubbed “a revolutionary indoor/outdoor viewing area for al fresco dining or American barbecue experience”. The Sun Terrace at the aft of Deck 5 will feature an infinity plunge pool with 270-degree views.
Staterooms range in size from the lead-in 24.9-square-metre Veranda Stateroom, to the 31.2-square-metre Penthouse Veranda Stateroom, to the 95-square-metre (including wrap-around verandah with sun bed) Explorer Suite. They come standard with king-size Viking Explorer beds, 42-inch flat-screens, interactive LCD TVs, Freyja toiletries and more.
2022/2023 Mississippi program
The Mississippi program features four itineraries:
- Eight-day Heart of the Delta (New Orleans to Memphis) – from $5,695 per person twin share
- Eight-day America’s Heartland (St. Louis to St. Paul) – from $6,695 per person twin share
- Eight-day Southern Celebration (New Orleans-Vicksburg-New Orleans) – from $5,795 per person twin share
- 15-day America’s Great River (St. Paul to New Orleans) – from $14,595 per person twin share
Itineraries will explore towns and cities while taking in views of pastoral farms and towering bluffs; and immerse guests in the region’s rich history and culture. Highlights include experiencing New Orlean’s festive French Quarter and the city’s creole cuisine, the Vicksburg National Military Park, a visit to a working family farm in Iowa and the St. Louis Gateway Arch.
Guests will be offered one complimentary tour at each port. In addition, Viking’s Enrichment program will offer opportunities including a guided kayak trip in the Louisiana bayou and VIP access to the Rural Life Museum of Louisiana State University.
A collection of pre- and post-cruise options are offered in New Orleans, Memphis and Nashville.
Viking will open general sales on its Mississippi program on 16 April 2020.
For more information see vikingrivercruises.com.au/ships/mississippi
Images credit: Viking