VIDEO: Viking responds to strong demand for Mississippi River cruises

Written by Nick Blenkey
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Viking Mississippi [Image: Viking River Crusis]

Viking River Cruises says that new 2023 sailings of its Mississippi River cruises are now on sale. The company’s first custom vessel, Viking Mississippi, currently under construction at an Edison Chouest Offshore group shipyard in Louisiana, is set to debut in August 2022 and will sail voyages on the Lower and Upper Mississippi River, between New Orleans and St. Paul.

Hosting 386 guests in 193 all outside staterooms, the new state-of-the-art, Jones Act compliant, 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 have been reimagined for Mississippi River voyages. Purpose-built for the Mississippi, the five-deck ship’s cutting-edge design, expansive windows and comfortable amenities will, says Viking, make it the most modern cruise ship in the region. It will also, says Viking, be the most environmentally friendly passenger ship on the Mississippi River. In addition to a hybrid propulsion solution, sustainabilty features will include solar panels, LED lighting and floor-to-ceiling windows that maximize natural light

Viking’s first river cruises in the U.S. had been highly anticipated when they were officially announced in April 2020, and several sailings have already sold out. This strong demand has led Viking to open additional 2023 sailing dates sooner than originally expected.

“We are very pleased at the initial response and support we have received from guests and community partners along the Mississippi River,” said Torstein Hagen, Chairman of Viking. “Like me, many travelers are planning ahead for when we will once again be exploring the world in comfort – to exotic destinations as well as those closer to home. We look forward to welcoming guests as we bring modern river cruising to the Mississippi River in 2022.”

Viking’s arrival on the Mississippi will mark a major commitment to tourism and economic development in many communities along the river, with the new cruises expected to bring more than 5,800 guests to the region in 2022 and 17,600+ during the first full sailing season in 2023. Currently scheduled ports of call on Viking’s new Mississippi River cruises comprise seven U.S. 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).

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