Viking Mississippi River Cruises On A ‘Long Boat’ A Fun Alternative To Caribbean Cruises

Mississippi River cruises will soon be available to North American who want something different than the usual Alaskan or Caribbean cruises. A European cruise company called Viking Cruises is planning to send passengers on their “long boats” from its U.S. home port in New Orleans by at least late 2017.

In a related report by the Inquisitr, it’s fully possible to retire on a cruise ship and live your senior retirement years idling away in the warmth of the Caribbean sea. The interesting part is that a cruise ship retirement could potentially be less expensive than other options like assisted living and hospice care.

If you picture the idea of Mississippi River cruises involving long boats, the first thing that probably comes to mind is the rugged wooden boats used by the historical Vikings. The fact that these cruise ships are indeed long and narrow about ends the comparison with the ships of yore, since these 413-foot long boats will carry about 300 passengers on a luxury cruise up and down the Mississippi.

Depending on the season, Viking’s Mississippi River cruises will feature stops in St. James, East Baton Rouge, and West Feliciana in Louisiana, only to continue upriver to Memphis, Tennessee, St. Louis, and St. Paul, Minnesota. According to USA Today, the first of Viking’s Mississippi River cruises will set sail in 2017, but the company plans on constructing a total of six Mississippi cruise ships by the year 2020 at a cost of $90 to $100 million a piece.

Viking’s Mississippi River cruises are also expected to benefit the local economies of any ports of call.

“What we’ve seen in other areas around the world, once a cruise line comes in like this, just the notoriety, the awareness, the enhancement image and popularity for a destination is elevated multi-times. So it’s a great opportunity for our community,” said Visit St. Paul President and CEO Terry Mattson, according to KTTC.

Executive Director of Red Wing Port Authority Randy Olson says it will be exciting times during the Mississippi cruise set for between July and October each year.

“We’re just very, very excited about the opportunity to host them. We feel that our riverboat experience has always been positive and we’re looking forward to serving a new set of customers,” said Olson.

Would you try one of Viking’s Mississippi River cruises over a Caribbean cruise if you had a choice?