Rumours have long been floated about the imminent arrival of Viking Cruise Line’s foray into the American domestic river cruise market. Conversation picked up traction early in 2020 as certain ports on the Mississippi released information about arrangements they had made with Viking. Now we can confirm that Viking have announced their first river cruise vessel – the Mississippi.
Slated for release in August 2020, the Mississippi will berth 386 passengers. This number is in line with the predicted size of the vessel. The design will reportedly be in Viking’s trademark clean Scandinavian style. Viking Cruise Line have reported that the ship will boast many sustainable features, making it a truly modern entry into the tradition of river boats sailing the Mississippi – including Solar panels, LED lighting, floor-to-ceiling windows that maximize natural light and an energy-efficient hybrid propulsion system. They claim these innovations will make Viking Mississippi the most environmentally friendly passenger ship on the Mississippi River.
Design-wise there is a lot to be excited about for prospective passengers. Guests can expect every suite aboard Viking’s new ship to feature two rooms and a full-size veranda off the spacious sitting room. 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.
Viking have certainly designed with their American guests in mind as the Mississippi will feature the revolutionary Aquavit Terrace – an alfresco dining space perfect for American BBQ! With ever-changing views an attractive selling point for the river cruise customer, window space and outdoor space must be maximised on small limited-space river cruise vessels. In addition to the features already mentioned, the Mississippi will also include outdoor dining space River Café and a glass-backed Sun Terrace with Infinity Plunge Pool on the ships aft. Viking have also fitted the ship with a 360 promenade deck, Deck 1, which offers the guests the opportunity to stretch their legs and take in the regional wildlife.
Starting today, inaugural sailings of Viking Mississippi’s 2022-2023 season are now available to Viking past guests only. Bookings will open to the general public on April 15, 2020.
Viking will not be the only cruise line operating on the Mississippi river, but it will be interesting to see how the entry of such a big name in cruise will impact the American domestic river cruise market. Is river cruise a burgeoning market for American cruise goers? We say watch this space…