Viking Mississippi Enters Final Construction Phase
Europe, Russia, Ukraine, Asia, Egypt.
These are the places Viking offers river cruises around the world.
And with Viking’s first U.S.-built riverboat now in the water and entering its final phase of construction, the company has added a fifth destination to its lineup of river cruise destinations: the Mississippi River.
The Viking Mississippi, a 386-passenger river boat under construction at Edison Chouest Offshore’s LaShip shipyard in Houma, La., was launched March 7. Its maiden voyage is scheduled for June 2022, with the Viking Mississippi set to make the eight-day trip from New Orleans to Memphis, Tenn.
“It is a proud moment that this new ship has met an American waterway for the first time,” said Torstein Hagen, Viking’s chairman. “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.’”
Dionne Chouest, general counsel of Edison Chouest Offshore, is the vessel’s ceremonial godmother and assisted with the “float out.”
With more than 7,500 passengers anticipated in 2022 and well over double that projected for 2023, Viking’s arrival on the Mississippi River represents a major tourism boost for the communities where the Viking Mississippi will stop. According to Viking, the vessel’s itineraries include stops in seven states: Louisiana (New Orleans, Darrow, St. Francisville and Baton Rouge), Mississippi (Natchez and Vicksburg), Tennessee (Memphis), Missouri (Hannibal and St. Louis), Iowa (Burlington, Dubuque and Davenport), Wisconsin (La Crosse) and Minnesota (Red Wing and St. Paul).
The 450-foot-long Viking Mississippi will feature 193 all-outside staterooms spread across five decks. Staterooms will range from 268 square feet to more than 1,000 square feet. All will have a private veranda or French balcony, kingsize bed, large flatscreen television, mini bar, glass-enclosed shower, heated bathroom floor and around-the-clock room service.
The vessel will offer a variety of suites, including some that feature wraparound verandas. Each suite will offer two rooms and its own veranda off the sitting room.
The Viking Mississippi will bring the Explorers’ Lounge from Viking’s ocean cruises to the river. The lounge will open to The Bow, an outdoor seating area perched on the front of the vessel. There will also be topside dining on the Aquavit Terrace, a pool aft, the Living Room for socializing and the Library, curated by the London bookshop Heywood Hill.
Life onboard the Viking Mississippi will reflect the music and culture of the regions it will cruise through, from New Orleans Jazz and blues of the Mississippi Delta to Wisconsin Polka. There will be guest lectures and shore excursions, as well.
Viking boasts that the Mississippi will be at the forefront of environmentally conscious design, with its eight Caterpillar C32 EPA Tier 4 diesel engines, emissions scrubbing system and Voith thrusters. Main engines and generators are all individually mounted to reduce noise and vibrations.
For more information, visit vikingrivercruises.com.