Viking just announced more river cruises are coming to the Mississippi in 2023. While this isn’t usually my method of travel, the sailings look inspired.
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Viking’s First Sailings in the US
Viking began as a boutique, luxury river cruise line with small vessels operating the rivers of Europe. Their approach was to give their guests a cultured experience along with the many cities that port European rivers. Viking focused on food and beverage and cultural land tours as opposed to big-boat shore excursions like jet skis and scuba diving.
But Viking isn’t so small anymore, and now they have added river cruises in the US to their schedule in the future beginning with sailings in August of 2022. Cruising Viking is a new experience in the States, but its award-winning Viking longships are a welcome change.
Extremely High Demand/Custom-Built Ship
Viking hadn’t anticipated just how many of their customers would like a river cruise in the US. Running from St. Paul. MN to New Orleans, LA, the Viking Mississippi will offer a unique picture of America both to countrymen and visitors alike. Shorter trips along the way will also run beginning in ports such as St. Louis, MO, or Memphis, TN. Viking added additional cruises for 2023 as 2022 cruises were selling so fast.
Part of the attraction may be the company’s first custom-built boat. A hallmark of Viking river cruises are that each guest room has a view of the water (no interior rooms), included WiFi and a generally elevated experience. The Viking Mississippi will welcome nearly 400 guests in almost 200 guest rooms. Public spaces look befitting of a premium hotel.
Many US residents occupy the Scandinavian cruise operator’s routes in Europe, getting a better sense of what those cities and their history has to offer. But for US residents and visitors to the States, this sort of cruise offers something unique when compared to Viking’s other choices.
In the past, I have been on only an ocean cruise, nothing like the ships Viking offers. When I saw this press release, it piqued my interest. I showed it to others who also had never considered cruising let alone river cruises and all seemed intrigued. There’s some charm to a Huck Finn trip down the Mississippi.
Travel agents have sold so many trips into 2022 that additional openings are made available to fill bookings into 2023. There appears to be good reason for this interest in Viking’s new line and route in the US, and I am excited to give it a try myself… if I can secure a booking.
What do you think? Have you taken a river cruise before? If not, does this product seem like something that would interest you?
My wife and I dream of taking a Viking cruise in Europe but the same thing on the Mississippi holds zero interest for me.
But I’m glad to see for Viking’s sake that there is strong interest.
Here is what I think Kyle. You want a genuine American experience on the Mississippi River? You want to have a real appreciation for Mark Twain? Then you book a trip on an American built, American owned and operated riverboat. Preferably a genuine sternwheeler. There are currently two companies of long-standing that offer such opportunities. With elegant service, with regional cuisine, with experienced onboard entertainers and historical lecturers/storytellers, and with all the shoreside relationships with attractions, including fleets of motorcoaches and onboard local guides in all the ports of call. These companies are highly rated., just look up the reviews. When in Europe, take a European riverboat, when in America, take an American riverboat. Full stop.
Is this a bad time to mention that this riverboat is manufactured in Louisiana? https://bitly.com/3f3clyB
I wouldn’t sail on a Viking cruise if one was given to me for free. Viking is notorious for their European river cruises turning into bus trips as their barges are deeper than the other lines and can’t navigate the river s if they flood since they can’t pass under the bridges. Then they don’t adequately compensate their customers. Viking customer service is subpar at best. When you are paying the higher price of a river cruise, this is unexceptable.
We have taken the Rhine cruise and the Danube cruise the last two years. They were great; perfect. Zero complaints. Somebody wants no part of a free Viking cruise? Send it to me; please. We are now planning a Viking ocean cruise. Waiting for COVID19 to clear.
Most lines release schedules at a particular time each year. Most haven’t even released late 2022 schedules yet. Not because of demand but because of scheduling, ship inventory, etc..
I really wonder why anyone, after what we have witnessed, and even before Covid with rotavirus, would ever want to set foot for days on a floating Petri dish. I get people like them. I just can’t imagine why.
Viking has served us well on several European river trips. We have been waiting 5 years for this cruise. Already booked for the initial 2022 St.Paul to NO cruise.