Viking® celebrated that the new 386-guest Viking Mississippi® was “floated out” in Louisiana, marking a major construction milestone and the first time the ship has touched water. Set to debut in June 2022, the Viking Mississippi will sail Viking’s highly-anticipated voyages on the Lower and Upper Mississippi River, between New Orleans and St. Paul.
“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.’”
The traditional float out took place at Edison Chouest Offshore’s LaShip shipyard in Houma, Louisiana and is significant because it denotes a ship moving into its final stage of construction. In keeping with maritime tradition, the ship’s ceremonial godmother, Dionne Chouest, General Counsel of Edison Chouest Offshore, assisted with the float out.
Viking’s arrival to the Mississippi will represent a major commitment to tourism and economic development in many communities along the river, with the new voyages expected to bring more than 7,500 guests to the region in 2022 and 17,600+ during the first full sailing season in 2023. Currently scheduled ports of call on Viking’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).
The 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 elegant Scandinavian design, as well as public spaces that are familiar to guests but reimagined for Mississippi River voyages. Purpose-built for the Mississippi, the five-deck ship’s cutting-edge design, expansive windows and comfortable amenities will make it the largest and most modern ship in the region. 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: The Viking Mississippi will have some of the largest true suites and the first-ever wraparound private verandas on the river. Every suite features 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) will also enjoy 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, the 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, the 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, the Viking Mississippi will have a glass-backed pool experience at the aft, allowing guests to take a dip while surrounded by their destination.
- The Living Room: Elegant Scandinavian design paired with American influences, the Living Room on Deck 1 is designed for socializing, relaxing and entertainment. The Library, curated by acclaimed London bookshop Heywood Hill as on all Viking vessels, is a quiet corner that is perfect for discovering 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: A focus on cultural enrichment on board the Viking Mississippi means that guests will enjoy Destination Performances that represent the most iconic music of the region, such as New Orleans Jazz, Delta Blues and the Wisconsin Polka. Guest Lecturers will shed light on the region’s art, architecture, history, culture, natural world and more. And only The Viking Way® of exploration provides guests with itineraries that feature Local Life, Working World experiences and Privileged Access® experiences. 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.
- Environmentally Considerate: The Viking Mississippi is equipped with a variety of measures to maximize energy efficiency and emissions—including a diesel-electric propulsion system comprised of eight CAT C32 EPA Tier 4 diesel engines, each powering a 940 eKw water cooled generator; each engine/generator unit is individually mounted on a specially designed double raft isolation system that produces a remarkably quiet and smooth ride. Propulsion power is provided by Voith 6 blade propulsion thrusters driven by permanent magnet electric motors; pump jet bow thrusters are powered by permanent magnet motors; and a highly advanced exhaust scrubbing system significantly reduces sound and emissions.
- Viking Inclusive Value: Every Mississippi River fare includes everything guests need, with no surprises or hidden fees. 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.