Viking’s highly anticipated program on the Mississippi River came one step closer to reality on March 7 when the new 386-guest Viking Mississippi hit the water for the first time in Louisiana.
Scheduled to debut in June 2022, the Viking Mississippi will sail the lower and upper Mississippi, between New Orleans and St. Paul.
“It’s a proud moment that this new ship is encountering an American waterway for the first time,” said Torstein Hagen, president of Viking. “Our guests have long wanted to sail the Mississippi River with Viking, and we look forward to welcoming them on board this summer. We are grateful to our U.S. partner, Edison Chouest Offshore, who helped bring our vision to explore the Mississippi to life in the “Viking way”.
The traditional float took place at Edison Chouest Offshore’s LaShip shipyard in Houma, Louisiana, and is significant because it denotes a vessel entering its final stages of construction. In keeping with maritime tradition, the ship’s ceremonial godmother, Dionne Chouest, general counsel for Edison Chouest Offshore, attended the launch.
Viking’s arrival in Mississippi is expected to bring more than 7,500 guests to the area in 2022 and more than 17,600 in the first full boating season in 2023.
Ports of call currently scheduled on Viking’s new Mississippi River routes 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).
Accommodating 386 guests in 193 all-exterior staterooms, Viking Mississippi is inspired by Viking’s river and ocean-going vessels and will feature sleek Scandinavian design, as well as public spaces familiar to guests but reimagined for Mississippi River voyages. Each Mississippi River fare includes a complimentary shore excursion at each port of call, all meals on board, and all port charges and government taxes. Also included are beer and wine for lunch and dinner, conferences, alternative restaurants at no additional cost, self-service laundry facilities, 24-hour room service, and free Wi-Fi.