Viking Plans to Add River Cruises on the Mississippi!

We devote thousands of hours of research to help you get Big Travel with Small Money. You support us by signing-up for credit cards through partner links which earn us a commission. Here’s our full Advertising Policy.

Viking Plans to Add River Cruises on the Mississippi!

Erin LizzoViking Plans to Add River Cruises on the Mississippi!Million Mile Secrets Team

We devote thousands of hours of research to help you get Big Travel with Small Money. You support us by signing-up for credit cards through partner links which earn us a commission. Here’s our full Advertising Policy.

Signing up for a cruise evokes images of waving your hat from the top deck as the ship launches into the ocean for a multi-day adventure.  But cruise ships aren’t limited to the ocean!

In fact, many people find that a river cruise is a perfect laid-back way to see a different area of the country.  Now Viking, one of the more popular cruise lines, is expanding their offerings to include a new itinerary on the mighty Mississippi.  We’ve mentioned Viking before as they’re one of the companies that feature adult-only (18+) cruises.  They have an extensive list of destinations and are working to add this new cruise on the Mississippi in the near future.

Take a River Cruise to Watch the Leaves Change This Fall.

Viking plans to introduce this new itinerary on the Mississippi by 2021, but there’s no exact release date at this time.  One thing to note is that this cruise will take place on Viking’s fleet of “Long Ships.”

These ships are built with a focus on comfort and design.  It looks like this will actually be Viking’s first intercontinental river cruise route in the United States.  That could be part of the reason for the delay.  The Transportation Institute has strict laws that designate who can operate vessels on the rivers in the US.  One specific law that dates back to the prohibition era, the Jones Act, specifies that all boats operating on the riverways must be built in the United States.

The Viking Long Ships don’t currently meet this requirement, so a workaround is needed to get this route operational.

The Mississippi Is Such an Iconic River

Growing up in St. Louis, the Mississippi was always a huge part of our city’s identity.  So much of the city’s history was built around the ships that traveled the river.  Mark Twain helped to romanticize the draw of the Mississippi in our national culture with loveable characters Huck Finn and Tom Sawyer who found freedom and adventure on the water.

Rivers are a place to slow down and reflect, they’re also a place to relax and admire the scenery.  I’d be so excited to spend time on one of these ships.  With the beautiful design, impressive meals, and lovely views, the Long Ships are definitely a step up from Huck Finn’s wooden raft!  This would be a great place for bird watchers, leaf peepers, and those who are just looking for a place to unwind and take the slow route.

A Typical Itinerary

Since the Mississippi spans from Northern Minnesota to the Gulf of Mexico, cruise lines typically offer two different itineraries – the Upper Mississippi and the Lower Mississippi.

Exact routes vary depending on the cruise company, most of the Upper Mississippi voyages originate in or near Minneapolis and conclude around St. Louis.  The Lower Mississippi routes usually begin near Memphis and end in New Orleans at the Gulf of Mexico.  The route you choose will largely depend on the time of year you plan to travel.  Most cruise lines offer The Lower route all year round due to the warmer climate.  The Upper route runs from June until October when the weather starts to get too cold.  An average river cruise goes for about 8 or 9 days.

River Boats Are an Important Piece of the Mississippi’s History.

Where to Book A River Cruise Now

There are a few other companies that currently run cruises down the Mississippi.  We’ve found two other cruise lines you can book with while Viking puts the final touches on their itinerary.  Take a look at these options where you can schedule your Mississippi River cruise today!

American Queen Steamboat Company

Routes:   Both Upper and Lower Mississippi River

Upper Mississippi Price:   A 9-day cruise currently costs between $2,300 to $2,800.  They do have longer cruises (16 days or 22 days) as well.

Upper Mississippi Dates:   Cruise dates range from mid-July through the end of August

Lower Mississippi Price:   A 9-day cruise costs between $2,000 and $3,000. They also have shorter cruises (5, 6, or 8 days) and a longer cruise option (23 days) as well.

Lower Mississippi Dates:   The lower Mississippi cruises operate year-round.

American Cruise Lines

Routes:   Lower Mississippi River (8 days), Upper Mississippi (8 days) or both Lower & Upper (22 days)

Upper Mississippi Price:   From $3,500 to $4,270

Upper Mississippi Dates:   August, September, or October

Lower Mississippi Price:   Year-round

Lower Mississippi Dates:   Between $3,600 and $5,000

Upper & Lower Price:   Between $11,270 and $13,845 (depending on your package and amenities)

Upper & Lower Dates:   July and August

Have you ever considered taking a river cruise?  Is this something that you find intriguing? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!

Stay on top of the latest travel news by subscribing to our newsletter!

If you liked this post, why don’t you join the 25,000+ readers who have signed-up to receive free blog posts via email (only 1 email per day!) or in an RSS reader …because then you’ll never miss another update!

Capital One® VentureOne® Rewards Credit Card

Capital One® VentureOne® Rewards Credit Card

  • Enjoy a one-time bonus of 20,000 miles once you spend $1,000 on purchases within 3 months from account opening, equal to $200 in travel
  • Earn 1.25X miles on every purchase, every day and pay no annual fee. Plus earn 10X miles on thousands of hotels; learn more at hotels.com/venture
  • Fly any airline, stay at any hotel, anytime
  • Enjoy a low intro APR on purchases for 12 months; 13.74%-23.74% variable APR after that
  • Travel when you want with no blackout dates
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Miles won't expire for the life of the account and there's no limit to how many you can earn

More Info

Editorial Note: We're the Million Mile Secrets team. And we're proud of our content, opinions and analysis, and of our reader's comments. These haven’t been reviewed, approved or endorsed by any of the airlines, hotels, or credit card issuers which we often write about. And that’s just how we like it! :)

Add comment

E-mail is already registered on the site. Please use the Login form or enter another.

You entered an incorrect username or password

Sorry that something went wrong, repeat again!

8comments

by Newest
by Best by Newest by Oldest

I didn’t see a source cited, but where are you seeing cruises as early as 2018/2019? Those were the dates that were floated for the past couple years before the Jones Act killed Viking’s first foray into the US. Recently there’s been renewed talks, but the estimates I’m hearing are for 2021 launch.

You’re right, with the delay it was pushed back to 2021. I’ve updated the article. Thanks for the tip!

My wife and I have taken several river cruises on Viking in Europe and would like to consider an American river cruise but find it cost prohibitive. We can fly to Europe, take an 8 day cruise on Viking with meals and shore excursions for less than an 8 day Mississippi cruise on an American line. Perhaps Viking in America could change that. If not, no US cruising!

That’s good to know, hopefully when Viking is up and running the prices will drop.

We have been looking to cruise the Mississippi, keep us notified on any great deals. Double occupies.

Absolutely!

Glad to hear Viking is coming to the Mississippi. Cruised Germany and Czech Republic with them. But wrote a letter to the CEO nearly 3 months ago, sent certified mail, to date not heard a peep. Disappointed. Thank you.

Take your business to another boat line. The ceos do not care what customers think only PC fake concerns. Build the boats in USA or no operating permit as per 1920 Jones Act. MAGA Americans First. Q