December is already known as the “most wonderful time of the year,” but it’s about to get a lot better for cruise lovers. Viking is bringing its signature Scandinavian style to the U.S., and just released details of its holiday-themed voyages along the Mississippi River. Set to launch in December 2022, highlights of the sailing include light displays, Cajun cuisine, and VIP access to Graceland.
The eight-day Mississippi Holiday Season itinerary starts with a few days in Memphis, where passengers will be treated to historic and music-fueled tours of the city. Then it’s time for a scenic cruise down the Mississippi with stops in Vicksburg and Natchez. The trip ends in New Orleans, allowing guests to explore the Big Easy before heading home.
Viking currently offers four other Mississippi River cruise routes. This, however, will be the only sailing in December, bringing holiday cheer with a few seasonal perks, including a festive visit to Graceland, exclusive to Viking guests. On day two of the trip, guests will have the opportunity to admire the Christmas decor of the famous estate before enjoying a private dinner fit for the king himself. The night caps off with an after-hours visit to Presley's mansion.
Viking announced the Mississippi cruises in late March, their first river cruises in the U.S., at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. "At a time where many of us are at home, looking for inspiration to travel in the future, I am pleased to introduce a new, modern way to explore this great river," Viking's chairman, Torstein Hagen, said in a statement.
"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,” he added.
Though the voyages won’t set sail until 2022, several cruise dates sold out shortly after the announcement. Viking added 2023 dates in response to the demand. Cruise fares start at $3,999 per person and include a complimentary shore excursion at each port, like the Vicksburg National Military Park or the Memphis Rock ‘n’ Soul Museum.
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