Chouest shipyard floats out Viking MississippiWritten by Nick Blenkey
Viking Cruises reports that its 386-guest Viking Mississippi river cruise vessel was floated out today at Edison Chouest Offshore’s LaShip shipyard in Houma, La.
Set to debut in June 2022, the Jones Act compliant Viking Mississippi will sail Viking’s much-anticipated voyages on the Lower and Upper Mississippi River, between New Orleans and St. Paul.
“It is a proud moment that this new ship has met an American waterway for the first time,” said Torstein Hagen, Chairman of Viking. “Our guests have long wanted to sail the Mississippi River with Viking, and we very much look forward to welcoming them on board this summer. We are grateful to our American partner, Edison Chouest Offshore, who has helped bring to life our vision of exploring the Mississippi in the ‘Viking way.’”
The traditional float out is a significant milestone, moving the vessel into its final stage of construction. In keeping with maritime tradition, the ship’s ceremonial godmother, Dionne Chouest, General Counsel of Edison Chouest Offshore, assisted with the float out.
Viking says its arrival on the Mississippi River will represent a major commitment to tourism and economic development in many communities along the river, with the new voyages expected to bring more than 7,500 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 itineraries are in 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).
Hosting 386 guests in 193 all outside staterooms, and offering multiple passenger amenities, the new state-of-the-art, five-deck river cruise ship is inspired by Viking’s award-winning river and ocean ships and will feature elegant Scandinavian design, as well as public spaces that will be familiar to Viking guests but reimagined for Mississippi River voyages.
The Viking Mississippi is equipped with a variety of measures to maximize energy efficiency and emissions—including a diesel-electric propulsion system comprised of eight CAT C32 EPA Tier 4 diesel engines, each powering a 940 eKw water cooled generator; each engine/generator unit is individually mounted on a specially designed double raft isolation system that produces a remarkably quiet and smooth ride.
Propulsion power is provided by Voith 6-bladed propulsion thrusters driven by permanent magnet electric motors as are the pump jet bow thrusters/
An advanced exhaust gas scrubbing system will significantly reduce sound and emissions.