Viking Reports High Demand for Future Mississippi Cruises
River and ocean cruise operator Viking announced Thursday that it is opening bookings for its 2023 Mississippi River season ahead of schedule. The firm just announced its debut Mississippi itinerary three months ago.
The company’s first vessel, Viking Mississippi, will debut in August 2022 on itineraries on Mississippi River between New Orleans and St. Paul. They will be Viking’s first river cruises in the U.S., and the company said that several sailings have already sold out. Given the strong demand, the firm has decided to open up additional 2023 sailing dates sooner than originally expected.
"We are very pleased at the initial response and support we have received from guests and community partners along the Mississippi River,” said Torstein Hagen, chairman of Viking. "Like me, many travelers are planning ahead for when we will once again be exploring the world in comfort – to exotic destinations as well as those closer to home. We look forward to welcoming guests as we bring modern river cruising to the Mississippi River in 2022.”
The river cruise sector offers American travelers the opportunity to cruise without crossing borders or boarding an airplane; for many, a river cruise is within reach by car. In the COVID-19 era, this means a reduced risk of travel impediments and health care access challenges in the event of an outbreak. Small-ship river cruising is expected to be among the first areas of the industry to reopen in America.
“Our guests are curious travelers, and they continue to tell us that the Mississippi is the river they most want to sail with us. The Mississippi River is closer to home for many of our guests, and no other waterway has played such an important role in America’s history, commerce and culture," Hagen said in March.