At least 30 cruises a year
Under the terms, Viking will guarantee a minimum of 30 departures per calendar year. Additionally, Viking will reimburse up to $20,000 annually toward the cost of dredging, which will be maintained by the port.
'We’re very excited to welcome Viking to New Orleans. River cruises have been a growing segment for Port NOLA, and Viking’s arrival on the Mississippi in 2022 highlights New Orleans’ draw as a convenient cruise port and enduring tourism destination,' a port spokeswoman told Seatrade Cruise News. 'With stops along the Mississippi River, Viking cruises also represent the future commitment to tourism and economic development for many communities in Louisiana.'
Viking Mississippi to sail August 2022
The 386-passenger Viking Mississippi is scheduled to begin sailing in August 2022. Besides New Orleans, embarkation/disembarkation points include Memphis, St. Louis and St. Paul.
The company has already opened sales for 2023 based on a strong response to the inaugural season.
New Holiday Season itinerary
And, today, Viking added a new eight-day Mississippi Holiday Season itinerary between New Orleans and Memphis, with four departures in December 2022. In addition to Christmas lights displays, Cajun cuisine and historic ports, the cruise offers 'Privileged Access' to Elvis Presley's mansion, Graceland for a private, after-hours tour.
Viking estimates it will host more than 5,800 passengers in the region in 2022. For the first full-year season in 2023, that number is expected to increase to more than 17,600.