Viking’s first purpose-built ship for the Mississippi River, Viking Mississippi, has been floated out at the shipyard in Houma, Louisiana.
The float out is an important construction milestone for any vessel, as it marks the first time it touches water. The float out took place at Edison Chouest Offshore’s LaShip shipyard. In keeping with maritime tradition, the vessel’s ceremonial godmother, Dionne Chouest — General Counsel of Edison Chouest Offshore — assisted with the float out.
“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.’”
Viking’s arrival to the Mississippi is expected to bring over 7,500 passengers to the region in 2022, and 17,600+ during the first full sailing season in 2023.
Current ports of call on the line’s new Mississippi River itineraries 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).
Viking Mississippi has a capacity of 386 passengers in 193 all-outside staterooms, and its design has been inspired by Viking’s other river and ocean ships. The five-deck vessel will feature public spaces that are familiar to Viking passengers, but that have been reimagined for Mississippi River voyages.
Highlights of the ship include:
- All outside staterooms ranging from 268 to 1,024 square feet
- Explorers’ Lounge featuring floor-to-ceiling windows, which opens up to an outdoor seating area at the front of the vessel called The Bow
- River Café serving American classics and Mamsen’s Norwegian specialties with both indoor and outdoor seating
- Aquavit Terrace on the top deck, providing a casual dining space ideal for barbecues
- Sun Terrace with Infinity Plunge Pool, similar to the infinity pool on Viking’s ocean ships
- The Living Room on deck 1, designed for socializing, relaxing, and entertainment
- The Restaurant main dining venue with daily-changing menus featuring regional cuisine
- A 360-Degree Promenade Deck
- Enrichment on board and ashore, such as performances of iconic music of the region where the ship is sailing; guest lecturers speaking about architecture, history, nature, and more; and excursions featuring Local Life, Working World, and Privileged Access experiences
The cruise fare for Viking’s Mississippi River cruises includes one shore excursion in each port of call, all onboard meals, beer and wine with lunch and dinner, self-service laundry, 24-hour room service, and wifi.
Viking Mississippi is scheduled to debut in June 2022, sailing voyages on the lower and upper Mississippi River between New Orleans and St. Paul.