On March 30, 2020 Viking made the highly anticipated announcement that it will further expand its destination-focused travel experiences with the launch of new
Mississippi River cruises.
The company’s first custom vessel, Viking Mississippi, will debut in August 2022 and will sail voyages on the Lower and Upper Mississippi, between New Orleans
and St. Paul.
Viking’s arrival will bring modern river cruising to the Mississippi and will represent
a major commitment to tourism and economic development in many communities
along the river.
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).
Starting today, inaugural sailings of Viking Mississippi’s 2022-2023 season are now available to Viking past guests
only. Bookings have been open to the general public since April 15, 2020, and the demand and market enthusiasm has matched and beaten all expectations.
Viking arguably invented the concept of modern river cruising when they started 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 the reality is, currently there are very few options to do so on American rivers. “Our guests are curious travelers, and they continue to tell us that the Mississippi is the river they most want to sail with us. The Mississippi River is
closer to home for many of our guests, and no other waterway has played such an important role in America’s history, commerce and culture,” said Torstein Hagen, Chairman of Viking.
This announcement is the most recent milestone as Viking continues to expand its fleet and destination-focused travel offerings. In January 2020 the company unveiled Viking Expeditions, with the first 378-guest purpose-built expedition ship, Viking Octantis, launching in January 2022 on voyages to Antarctica and then North America’s Great Lakes. A second expedition vessel, Viking Polaris, will debut in August 2022, sailing to Antarctica and the Arctic.
Now, let’s talk a little bit about the ship Viking Mississippi. Hosting 386 guests in 193 all outside staterooms, the new state-of-the-art 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 are familiar to guests but that have been reimagined for Mississippi River voyages.
Purpose-built for the Mississippi and currently under construction in Louisiana, the five-deck ship’s cutting-edge design, expansive windows and comfortable amenities will make it the largest and most modern cruise ship in the region.
Some of the highlights of the new ship include:
- All Outside Staterooms: Guests can choose from an unparalleled seven spacious
stateroom categories that range from 268 sq. ft to 1,024 sq. ft: Veranda, French
Balcony, Deluxe Veranda, Penthouse Veranda, Penthouse Jr. Suite, Terrace Suite
and Explorer Suite. All staterooms feature a private veranda or French balcony,
king-size bed with luxury linens, large flat-screen interactive TV, mini-bar, large
glass-enclosed shower, heated bathroom floor and 24-hour room service
- Viking Suites: Viking Mississippi will have some of the largest true suites on the
river, with every suite featuring two rooms and a full-size veranda off the spacious
sitting room. Guests in Penthouse Jr. Suites (400 sq. ft.) and Terrace Suites (425
sq. ft.) receive early stateroom access; expanded double-sink bathroom; mini-bar
with alcoholic beverages, soft drinks, water and snacks replenished daily; welcome
champagne; and laundry, pressing and shoe shine services. Guests in the
expansive Explorer Suites (657 sq. ft. to 1,024 sq. ft) also receive a wraparound
veranda and complimentary Silver Spirits Beverage Package.
- Explorers’ Lounge & The Bow: Familiar to Viking’s ocean guests as one of the
most popular onboard public spaces, Viking Mississippi will also feature an
Explorers’ Lounge near the bow of the ship. The sun-filled, two-story Explorers’
Lounge has floor-to-ceiling windows that open to The Bow, a unique outdoor
seating area at the front of the ship where guests can relax and enjoy ever-
changing riverside views.
- River Café: From American classics to Mamsen’s ® Norwegian specialties, this
indoor/outdoor dining venue on the top deck will offer alternative restaurant dining
in a casual al fresco setting.
- Aquavit Terrace: A public space beloved by many of Viking’s ocean and river
guests, Viking Mississippi will also feature a revolutionary Aquavit Terrace on the
top deck, providing a casual dining space ideal for an American barbecue
experience. Combined with the River Café, the Aquavit Terrace will provide the
most al fresco dining on the Mississippi.
- Sun Terrace with Infinity Plunge Pool: Similar to Viking’s ocean ships, Viking
Mississippi will have a glass-backed pool experience at the aft, allowing guests to
take a dip while fully surrounded by their destination.
- The Living Room: Clean Scandinavian design paired with American influences,
the Living Room on Deck 1 is designed for socializing, relaxing and entertainment.
Nearby, the quiet corner of The Library, is a perfect place to discover a new book.
- The Restaurant: This main dining venue on Deck 1 will serve daily-changing
menus featuring delicious regional cuisine and always available classics prepared
with fresh, local ingredients
- Full 360-Degree Promenade Deck: Guests can stroll the entire ship outside on
Deck 1, stretching their legs while viewing scenic landscape and regional wildlife
- Enrichment On Board and On Shore: Connecting guests to their destinations through authentic experiences is central to Viking creating “the thinking person’s cruise.” A focus on cultural enrichment onboard Viking Mississippi means that guests will enjoy Destination Performances that represent the most iconic music of the region—as well as Guest Lecturers that shed light on the region’s art, architecture, history, culture, the natural world, and more. And only The Viking Way® of exploration provides guests with itineraries that feature Privileged Access®, Local Life and Working World experiences, opening doors to places otherwise difficult to visit. On Viking’s Mississippi River itineraries, guests may choose to take a guided kayaking trip in the Louisiana bayou; visit a working farm in Quad Cities; or immerse themselves in Cajun culture during a Privileged Access excursion to the Rural Life Museum of Louisiana State University.
- Sustainable Features: Solar panels, LED lighting, floor-to-ceiling windows that
maximize natural light and an energy-efficient hybrid propulsion system will
make Viking Mississippi the most environmentally friendly passenger ship on the
- Viking Inclusive Value: Every Mississippi River cruise fare includes everything
guests need, with no surprises or hidden fees. Cruise fares include one
complimentary shore excursion in each port of call, all onboard meals, and all port
charges and government taxes. Guests also enjoy many complimentary amenities
as part of their fare, including beer and wine with lunch and dinner service,
lectures, alternative dining at no extra charge, self-service launderettes, 24-hour
room service and free Wi-Fi.
Viking Mississippi inaugural voyages range from 2022 to 2023 and are as
- America’s Heartland (8 days; St. Louis to St. Paul)—From pristine farms nestled
in rolling terrain to steep bluff rising from tributaries dotted with wooded islands, the
Upper Mississippi offers a rich tapestry of beauty upon every turn of the river. This
the journey introduces you to the unforgettable experience of the locks and dams that
control the flow of the heartland rivers. Hear stories of settlers migrating west; learn
about Lewis & Clark, Mark Twain, John Deere and the Amish and Norwegian
migrations; experience the regional music like polka and Norwegian folk; and taste
regional cuisine showcasing local beer, produce and Wisconsin cheese.
- Heart of the Delta (8 days; New Orleans to Memphis)—This journey on the
Lower Mississippi is infused with American history, culture, and heritage. Tour the
an area where the migrating French and Acadians settled; immerse yourself in the
culture and lessons from the American Civil Rights Movement; discover the music
of the South—jazz, blues, and gospel; and experience the life and food culture of
the south, from Cajun and Creole to the famed “dry” Memphis BBQ.
- Southern Celebration (8 days; New Orleans–Vicksburg–New Orleans)—On this
exploration of the Lower Mississippi, visit the historic homes of Louisiana and
Mississippi; learn about Civil War history, touring sites like Vicksburg National
Military Park; and discover the excitement and unique flavors of New Orleans and
- America’s Great River (15 days; New Orleans to St. Paul)—Experience nearly
the entire length of the Mississippi River on this incredible journey from the Gulf of
Mexico to the northernmost reaches of the U.S. Relax and enjoy the variety of
scenery, foliage, and wildlife on this leisurely voyage. Enjoy the southern charm and
beautifully preserved homes in Natchez; retrace the steps of Civil Rights leaders in
Memphis; ascend the Gateway Arch in St. Louis; and visit “The Norwegian Valley”
in La Crosse.