Cruise like a Viking … on the Mississippi

Sounds like an intriguing combination, right? 

The Mississippi is one of those rivers that, for me, is truly festooned with a huge variety of cultural history that not only dates back hundreds of years, but also the last century.  It’s a truly remarkable place that I’ve always wanted to visit.

There are of course a variety of ways to explore this area, though the Mississippi is a huge river (in fact the second longest in the USA) that ranges from northern Minnesota to the Gulf of Mexico, passing a number of fascinating places on its way.  So, you could opt to do a long road trip, or indeed a guided group tour exploring the regions along its path.  Or you could exploit the river by taking a river cruise.

You know I’m a big fan of river cruises, having taken a few around Europe, but there’s something that really appeals to me about the Mississippi.  However, there’s quite a limited number of ways to do this at present, with only a handful of operators – all of which looks amazing to be fair.

But what if you were to inject a bit of Viking magic into the Mississippi experience?

Viking Mississippi

In 2020, Viking announced that it would set sail along the Mississippi from 2022, with a dedicated ship to be built in the USA. For me, the mix of the charm, comfort and relaxed nature of Viking together with the thrills of the Mississippi is sure to be a real winner. Let’s look at why.

Why the Mississippi

Taking a river cruise through the Mississippi is said to be to experience the world of Mark Twain’s classic riverside America.  You will see everything from picturesque towns to some of the most fascinating cities in the USA, or world for that matter.  Not to mention the history or culture along the way.  Here’s some highlights, all of which sound truly incredible:

  • Festive French Quarter and Creole cuisine in New Orleans
  • Cajun heritage in Baton Rouge
  • Civil War history at Vicksburg National Military Park
  • Memphis BBQ, Graceland and appreciation of the Delta Blues
  • Steamboat sailings with diverse wildlife sightings
  • Mark Twain’s boyhood home and America’s literary history
  • Up close look at America’s national symbol, the bald eagle
  • Gateway Arch in St. Louis and the pioneering spirit of the Midwest
  • Norwegian cultural experience at Vesterheim
  • Intricate locks and dams of the Upper Mississippi

Why viking is different

Viking is the number 1 river cruise line in the world, and you can see why.  Viking prides itself on being a home away from home, a comfortable way to explore the world within an upscale boutique hotel environment, and oozing scandi-chic.  I’ve found on my cruises with Viking you tend to travel with like-minded and curious passengers who want to genuinely explore the ins and outs of a place.

Viking is also great value, with flights, excursions, Wi-Fi, drinks at mealtime and other benefits all included within your cruise fare.  I don’t say this often as you know, but I honestly cannot fault Viking as a product.  I’ve now sailed with them a number of times both on the rivers and oceans and they consistently get full marks across the board for me.

The ship

Viking Mississippi is a purpose-built modern ship for the Mississippi River, drawing on both the navigational requirements of the area and inspiration and success from Viking’s longships and ocean ships.

Viking Mississippi will host 386 guests in 193 outside staterooms, including a variety of suites.  In addition to the scandi-design that Viking is so well known for, the ship will feature expansive windows throughout to maximise views of the destinations she passes and visits.

She will also feature a number of other features familiar to Viking cruisers including a Sun Terrace, featuring an Infinity Plunge Pool overlooking the aft of the ship and the signature Aquavit Terrace, an indoor/outdoor viewing area for al fresco dining or an American barbecue experience. The Explorers’ Lounge and Bar also makes a return with two-story panoramic views of the Mississippi

The ships will also feature a full 360-degree promenade deck and when you get hungry from all the walking, she will also feature the new River Café, a new way to dine on Viking featuring American classics and Mamsen’s Norwegian specialties.

Itineraries

Viking Mississippi will sail a variety of itineraries ranging from 8- to 15-days and explore everywhere from New Orleans, Memphis, St Louis and St Paul.

For more information head here.

You can read my full experience of Viking at these blogs too

West Indies Explorer on board Viking Sea

Into the Midnight sun on board Viking Sea

A Danube Waltz on board Viking Vilhjalm

 

So, what do you think?  Would you be tempted to explore the Mississippi on board Viking?  Let me know inf the comments and on social media.