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MORE AMERICA THAN EVER BEFORE

MORE AMERICA THAN EVER BEFORE

CRUISING IN AMERICA IS THE TREND FOR 2021

The coronavirus pandemic is forcing many cruise companies, even those that sail only in America, to take a new look at how they present themselves. American Cruise Lines is no exception and is now promoting what it calls “Cruising Close To Home™.” Because 2020 has been such a challenge, American is looking forward to 2021 and has a number of changes and enhancements planned.

Next year, the country’s largest domestic cruise line will have 14 new small ships exploring in over 30 U.S. states. American will introduce two new Mississippi-bound modern riverboats, three brand new itineraries, over 50 new shore excursions, and an array of pre and post cruise packages in famous cities across the U.S.A.

MODERN RIVERBOATS SET THE STAGE FOR THE NEW YEAR

The biggest news is that American is adding two new modern Mississippi riverboats in 2021. In August 2020, American Jazz, the Line’s third modern riverboat passed its sea trials with flying colors. The 190-passenger American Jazz is the latest in American’s series of five new modern riverboats bound for the Mississippi River, where the company has enjoyed remarkable expansion since 2012. Next year, American will have four new riverboats cruising the Mighty Mississippi by adding American Melody, its fourth modern riverboat, in Summer 2021, with a yet to be named fifth ship to follow.

American Cruise Lines has continued to expand year after year. Since just 2017, American Cruise Lines has doubled its fleet to 14 U.S.-flagged ships. American provides one-stop shopping for those guests wanting to sail in the United States since it is the only U.S. river cruise line to offer both classic paddlewheelers and modern riverboats on both the Mississippi and Columbia & Snake Rivers.

NEW CRUISES ARE ON TAP

American also will introduce a new 8-day Cape Codder cruise sailing roundtrip from Boston, which visits a variety of small New England ports including an exclusive partnership with the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution; an 8-Day Music Cities cruise, between Nashville and Memphis, which draws on American musical influences and offers complimentary and extended pre-and post-cruise packages in both Nashville and Memphis; and an 11-day Alaskan Explorers cruise, roundtrip from Juneau, which will visit more Alaskan ports than ever before—including two days in Glacier Bay as well as a complimentary pre-cruise package in Juneau.

EXPLORE ASHORE

Over 50 new shore excursions will be offered in 2021, including many new active excursions—from kayaking and hiking, to wildlife and whale watching adventures. American will also introduce new luxury American Cruise Coaches which will follow all the company’s Upper & Lower Mississippi River cruises from St. Paul to New Orleans. This allows American to provide 100% private transportation for their guests to all shore-side activities, as well as airport transfers upon arrival and departure.

RELAX AND STAY FOR A BIT

Also, if you want to sail and stay to explore a bit, in 2021 American has added many new complimentary pre-cruise hotel and transportation packages. All American’s 2021 Mississippi and Columbia & Snake River cruises offer a one-night complimentary pre-cruise hotel package; with complimentary packages also available on select coastal cruises. American will also offer several longer Premium pre-cruise and post-cruise packages (including new Four Seasons hotel packages from cities like Boston, St. Louis, and Baltimore). In Memphis, American has an all-new VIP Graceland package which includes private tours and presentations of the King’s home and artifacts, as well as two nights in the Guest House Hotel next door to Graceland. American’s many 2021 Premium packages include a vast array of added enrichment from exhilarating Jet Boat rides to backstage tours.

It’s easy to see that after weathering 2020, next year will be an exciting and banner year for cruising close to home with American Cruise Lines.

Contact Select Waterways now to be among the first to experience a Mississippi River cruise, Viking-style, in just two years. Select Waterways are your river and small ship cruise insiders, specializing in European river cruises, including Danube River cruises, Rhine River cruises, wine cruises, Seine River cruises, as well as China river cruises with Yangtze river cruises, Vietnam river cruises with Mekong River cruises, Russia river cruises with Volga river cruises, Nile river cruises, Africa river cruises and Amazon river cruises. We also offer expedition cruises and small ship cruises throughout the world, with polar cruises such as Arctic cruises and Antarctica cruises among the most popular. Naturally, we have American river cruises with Mississippi River cruises, Ohio River Cruises, Columbia River cruises, Illinois River cruises and Tennessee River cruises. Whether it’s luxury river cruising, premium river cruising, expedition cruising or small ship cruising, we’ve got you covered. Visit our website at www.selectwaterways.com or give us a call at 1-844-SWCRUISE (1-844-792-7847). Be sure to join our Insider Club by clicking here and Like our Facebook page by clicking here.

VIKING ANNOUNCES 2023 MISSISSIPPI RIVER CRUISES

VIKING ANNOUNCES 2023 MISSISSIPPI RIVER CRUISES

THE DRAMATIC VIKING MISSISSIPPI HAS ADDED 2023 SAILINGS

Viking has announced that new 2023 sailings of its Mississippi River cruises are now on sale. The company’s first custom vessel, Viking Mississippi, will debut in August 2022 and will sail voyages on the Lower and Upper Mississippi River, between New Orleans and St. Paul. Viking’s first river cruises in the U.S. had been highly anticipated when they were officially announced in April 2020, and several sailings have already sold out. This strong demand has led Viking to open 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.”

SPACIOUS STATEROOMS WILL BE A HALLMARK OF VIKING MISSISSIPPI

Viking’s arrival to the Mississippi will represent a major commitment to tourism and economic development in many communities along the river, with the new cruises expected to bring more than 5,800 guests to the region in 2022 and at least 17,600 during the first full sailing season in 2023. Currently scheduled ports of call on Viking’s new Mississippi River cruises comprise seven U.S. states: Louisiana (Baton Rouge, Darrow, New Orleans and St. Francisville); Mississippi (Natchez and Vicksburg); Tennessee (Memphis); Missouri (Hannibal, St. Louis); Iowa (Burlington, Dubuque and Davenport); Wisconsin (La Crosse); and Minnesota (Red Wing, St. Paul). 

2022-2023 Viking Mississippi voyages are now available and include some very popular itineraries in both the northern and southern stretches of the Mississippi.

DISCOVER THE WALKER ART CENTER IN THE TWIN CITIES

AMERICA’S GREAT RIVER

15 DAYS; NEW ORLEANS TO ST. PAUL

Experience nearly the entire length of the Mississippi River on this incredible journey from the Gulf of Mexico to the northernmost reaches of the U.S. Relax and enjoy the variety of scenery, foliage and wildlife on this leisurely voyage. Enjoy Southern charm and beautifully preserved homes in Natchez; retrace the steps of Civil Rights leaders in Memphis; ascend the Gateway Arch in St. Louis; and visit “The Norwegian Valley” in La Crosse. Multiple sailing dates are now available in June, September and October 2023. Pricing starts at $10,999 per person, with discounted airfare from $199 per person.

SAVOR A SAMPLING OF WISCONSIN CHEESE

AMERICA’S HEARTLAND

8 DAYS; ST. LOUIS TO ST. PAUL

From pristine farms nestled in rolling terrain to steep bluff rising from tributaries dotted with wooded islands, the Upper Mississippi offers a rich tapestry of beauty upon every turn of the river. This journey introduces you to the unforgettable experience of the locks and dams that control the flow of the heartland rivers. Hear stories of settlers migrating west; learn about Lewis & Clark, Mark Twain, John Deere and the Amish and Norwegian migrations; experience the regional music like polka and Norwegian folk; and taste regional cuisine showcasing local beer, produce and Wisconsin cheese. Multiple sailing dates in August and September 2022; additional sailing dates are now available in July, August and September 2023. Pricing starts at $4,599 per person, with discounted airfare from $199 per person.

GROOVE TO THE MUSIC ON BEALE STREET IN MEMPHIS

HEART OF THE DELTA

8 DAYS; NEW ORLEANS TO MEMPHIS

This journey on the Lower Mississippi is infused with American history, culture and heritage. Tour the area where the migrating French and Acadians settled; immerse yourself in the culture and lessons from the American Civil Rights Movement; discover the music of the South—jazz, blues and gospel; and experience the life and food culture of the south, from Cajun and Creole to the famed “dry” Memphis BBQ. Multiple sailing dates in October and November 2022; additional sailing dates are now available in May and June 2023. Inaugural pricing starts at $4,199 per person, with discounted airfare from $199 per person.

LIVE IT UP IN NEW ORLEANS

SOUTHERN CELEBRATION

8 DAYS; NEW ORLEANS–VICKSBURG–NEW ORLEANS

On this exploration of the Lower Mississippi, visit the historic homes of Louisiana and Mississippi; learn about Civil War history, touring sites like Vicksburg National Military Park; and discover the excitement and unique flavors of New Orleans and Baton Rouge. Multiple sailing dates in November and December 2022; additional sailing dates are now available in January 2023. Inaugural pricing starts at $3,699 per person, with discounted airfare from $199 per person.

EXPERIENCE MODERN RIVER CRUISING

Hosting 386 guests in 193 all outside staterooms, the new state-of-the-art Viking Mississippi is inspired by Viking’s award-winning river and ocean ships and will feature clean Scandinavian design, as well as public spaces that are familiar to guests but that have been reimagined for Mississippi River voyages. Purpose-built for the Mississippi and currently under construction in Louisiana, the five-deck ship’s cutting-edge design, expansive windows and comfortable amenities will make it the most modern cruise ship in the region.

Contact Select Waterways now to be among the first to experience a Mississippi River cruise, Viking-style, in just two years. Select Waterways are your river and small ship cruise insiders, specializing in European river cruises, including Danube River cruises, Rhine River cruises, wine cruises, Seine River cruises, as well as China river cruises with Yangtze river cruises, Vietnam river cruises with Mekong River cruises, Russia river cruises with Volga river cruises, Nile river cruises, Africa river cruises and Amazon river cruises. We also offer expedition cruises and small ship cruises throughout the world, with polar cruises such as Arctic cruises and Antarctica cruises among the most popular. Naturally, we have American river cruises with Mississippi River cruises, Ohio River Cruises, Columbia River cruises, Illinois River cruises and Tennessee River cruises. Whether it’s luxury river cruising, premium river cruising, expedition cruising or small ship cruising, we’ve got you covered. Visit our website at www.selectwaterways.com or give us a call at 1-844-SWCRUISE (1-844-792-7847). Be sure to join our Insider Club by clicking here and Like our Facebook page by clicking here.

CORONAVIRUS PROTOCOLS

CORONAVIRUS PROTOCOLS

In this month’s blog, we’re taking a closer look at the coronavirus protocols of Victory Cruise Lines, which many months ago cancelled all its 2020 sailings and is focused on 2021. The information below is pulled from a letter by John W. Waggoner, CEO, and shows what small ship cruising will look like next year.

The COVID-19 pandemic has thrown the world for a loop, and Victory recognize the impact that it has had on plans for travel. Small ship cruising along with many other experiences that we’ve come to know and love are changing – and that can be stressful.

Victory Cruise Lines is staying current with Centers for Disease Control (CDC), United States Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), United States Coast Guard (USCG) and Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) guidance, mandates and public health advancements. Plans are in place to keep guests, crew and ports of call safe.

Victory has implemented multiple processes to identify and combat the risk of COVID-19 which include new steps in pre-cruise screening, crew screening and boarding processes. Both onboard and ground operations will feature enhanced cleaning procedures.

PRE-CRUISE SCREENING

Communication with guests begins before they have committed or booked their experience on Victory vessels. Health and safety information will be communicated to guests and a pre-cruise screening process has been instituted to determine the health eligibility of those who wish to cruise. In accordance with industry standards, Victory will conduct pre-voyage screenings for the protection of all guests, staff and crew at the designated check-in hotel. Before boarding the vessel, all guests will be required to complete a health and safety questionnaire and bring it with them to check-in.

At guest check-in a medical professional will perform health screenings and answer any guest or crew questions. The medical professional will have the authority to deny boarding to anyone that may pose a health risk. All guests and crew will complete a medical travel screening survey and have their temperatures taken. All forms will be reviewed by a medical representative and a member of shipboard staff. Thermal camera technology may be used to conduct noninvasive temperature checks as a supplement to manual temperature screening. Because of changes in check-in and boarding processes, no guests or crew will be allowed to check-in directly on the vessel. Only those who have completed and passed the medical screening will be allowed to board the vessel. Information will be provided to all guests and crew regarding onboard sanitization and safety procedures.

BOARDING PROCEDURES

Victory representatives will greet each visitor at the vessel access point. All procedures will be enforced and will be managed by the Master and a medical representative. One controlled access point will be maintained on the vessel and Victory will require a 24-hour notice for anyone that needs access to the vessel and has not been pre-screened during hotel screening. This includes all guests, crew, visitors and contractors. Onboard medical representative will be used to conduct screening, complete the health and safety survey and provide reports to the Master and each Hotel Director. Also, the vessel will utilize thermometers, supplemented by thermal cameras, to take temperatures of every individual (guest/crew) boarding the vessel.

DURING YOUR CRUISE

Monitoring both guests and crew during the cruise for symptoms and ensuring compliance with written policies and procedures is vital to maintaining a safe and healthy environment. Screening during the cruise will be handled through several methods. 

Trained staff will maintain protocols and observe passengers and crew for symptoms. The ship’s captain and medical representative will respond to medical calls, keep records, practice quarantine procedures and utilize shoreside medical facilities for passenger and crew follow-up.

The vessel access point will be monitored when in port, and controlled access to the vessel will be maintained. All passengers and crew will be passively monitored by thermal imaging when returning to the vessel.

Victory vessels will support random manual screening at the primary vessel access point in addition to passive thermal screening. In the event of a confirmed positive case, the vessel will manually screen 100% of all individuals coming and going from the vessel.

If a guest or crewmember has an elevated temperature, he or she will be evaluated by the medical representative before being allowed to board the vessel. Any guest who has an elevated temperature, shows signs or symptoms of illness or that vessel management feels needs to be further assessed will be sent directly to a local medical care partner for evaluation and testing. Any guest or crew that tests positive for any contagious condition will not be allowed to rejoin the vessel.

SANITATION PROCEDURES

Victory has instituted new training procedures for all housekeeping and sanitation staff. Increased sanitation of all contact surfaces such as handrails, tables, chairs, desks, work surfaces, door handles, telephones and elevator controls in both front and back of house will be conducted hourly with higher concentrated solutions.

MEDICAL SUPPORT

Each Victory vessel carries a certified onboard medical representative to respond to and assist guests with urgent medical care and coordinating shoreside medical assistance as needed. Quarantine procedures are in place for short term separation of potentially ill guests or crew until the next port of call, at which advanced medical care can be accessed. Upon a positive test or elevated response, the Victory response team will determine what additional company resources are required.

Given the nature of Victory’s coastal itineraries, they have the ability to reach shore-based medical facilities very quickly. Victory has established relationships with regional medical treatment facilities in key cities along vessel routes. While in port most days, guests and crew have access to shoreside medical evaluation and treatment if needed. In an emergency, Victory has the ability to quickly transfer passengers and crew to emergency medical services ashore by coordinating pick-up at municipal landings and docking facilities.

GROUND TRANSPORTATION

Victory will feature new protocols for all motor coach sanitation and safety. A reduced number of guests being transported on each motor coach (targeting 52% of capacity) will allow adequate space between individuals.

Contact Select Waterways to begin planning your next river or small ship cruise. Select Waterways are your river and small ship cruise insiders, specializing in European river cruises, including Danube River cruises, Rhine River cruises, wine cruises, Seine River cruises, as well as China river cruises with Yangtze river cruises, Vietnam river cruises with Mekong River cruises, Russia river cruises with Volga river cruises, Nile river cruises, Africa river cruises and Amazon river cruises. We also offer expedition cruises and small ship cruises throughout the world, with polar cruises such as Arctic cruises and Antarctica cruises among the most popular. Naturally, we have American river cruises with Mississippi River cruises, Ohio River Cruises, Columbia River cruises, Illinois River cruises and Tennessee River cruises. Whether it’s luxury river cruising, premium river cruising, expedition cruising or small ship cruising, we’ve got you covered. Visit our website at www.selectwaterways.com or give us a call at 1-844-SWCRUISE (1-844-792-7847). Be sure to join our Insider Club by clicking here and Like our Facebook page by clicking here.

SAFETY FIRST

SAFETY FIRST

In today’s blog, we wanted to answer some of the questions potential travelers have regarding how safe they will be onboard a river or small ship cruise the midst of a pandemic. First of all, there’s a vast difference between sailing with 100 or so other guests on a small ship or river vessel than on a 4,000-passenger ocean-going megaliner. Many people don’t have a comfort level regarding vacationing by large cruise ship but feel better about a smaller ship. Major cruise lines don’t plan to resume service for months, while some smaller companies sailing America’s rivers and coasts plan to ease some ships back into service in the next few weeks. In fact, with international travel borders subject to closure, now is the time to travel within the Untied States. 

Each line with which we do business has their own protocols, of course, but to give you some idea of the extent to which river and small ship operators are going to ensure your safety during these challenging times, we decided to look at what American Cruise Lines is doing. The following information comes straight from their website. We’ve chosen not to edit this list down because we believe it’s important to know how extensive the changes that cruise lines such as American Cruise Lines are making.

SHIP DESIGN & SIZE

  • American Cruise Line (ACL) ships have approximately 350 square feet of passenger space per guest at full capacity. This amount was increased to approximately 450 square feet per guest through capacity reduction measures and compared to approximately 140 square feet per guest on other ships.
  • There are independent HVAC systems in every stateroom and lounge. Air conditioning ducting is cited as a source of virus transmission; ACL ships have no shared ducting between rooms or public spaces.
  • UV-C water filtration systems for all potable water. These filtration systems kill a wide range of bacteria and viruses.
  • ACL has implemented a touchless boarding and check-in process. Medical screenings may require contact between a medical professional and the guest, however proper PPE will be donned and utilized.

NEW OPERATING PROCEDURES

  • Guest capacity has been reduced by 25%. Each cruise will sail with a maximum of 75% of the allotted guest capacity. Capacity reductions increase distancing measures and increase the ability for private crew accommodation.
  • Increased time between cruises to allow for full vessel sanitation.
  • Extensive pre-cruise screening measures and denial of boarding to anyone with flu-like symptoms or other qualifications of concern.
  • Sanitation rounds to be conducted on an hourly schedule, including sanitation of all touchpoints, including railings, doorknobs, elevator buttons, and gangways. 
  • Personal protective equipment (PPE) to be available at all times for guests and crew. PPE includes face shields, gloves, and face masks. PPE may be required during certain events as situations dictate.
  • Public bathrooms will be closed. Guests will be asked to use the restrooms in their stateroom.
  • Hand sanitizing stations placed throughout the ship and at the gangway before each boarding and unboarding.
  • Luggage sanitation prior to loading on the ship. Deckhands performing sanitation will be wearing PPE.
  • Cocktails and hors d’oeuvres will be kept behind transmission barriers and passed to guests individually. American Cruise Lines will not have buffets.

CLEANING & SANITATION

  • PPE will be provided for all housekeepers.
  • Guests will have the same housekeeper for the duration of the cruise.
  • Cleaning chemicals meet EPA and CDC Guidelines. Most cleaning and sanitizing chemicals provided by Ecolab, a company providing hygiene products to more than three million customer locations around the world, including to the foodservice and healthcare industries.
  • Hypochlorous Acid Electrolyzed Water (HOCI) system onboard for sanitation.
  • Daily sanitation of all touchpoints in staterooms, including doorknobs, light switches, sink, balcony railing, thermostat, etc.
  • Disposable cover applied to each TV remote control prior to guest boarding.

MEDICAL SERVICES

  • Onboard medical services provided by Vikand Solutions, a certified global medical company, with long-standing experience in the maritime and cruise industries.
  • Resident nurse or EMT on each ship for the duration of each cruise.
  • Compliance with CDC sanitation guidelines.
  • Medical facility to be provided onboard with supplies.
  • Covid-19 testing in conjunction with facilities ashore.
  • Isolation rooms will be created and made available as necessary. An allotment of staterooms aboard each ship to be sanitized and kept unoccupied unless they become necessary for isolation purposes.
  • Outbreak Management Plan in place to respond to confirmed Covid-19 case onboard.
  • Coordinated care with shoreside medical facilities and evacuation plans in place from every port of call.

EMBARKATION SCREENING

  • Denial of boarding to anyone with flu-like symptoms or who has tested positive for Covid-19 in the past 30 days.
  • Denial of boarding to anyone who has travelled internationally in the past 14 days.
  • Private transportation directly to the ship (or to the arranged pre-cruise hotel, if the hotel has implemented suitable sanitation practices).
  • Medical tent with pre-boarding screening including respirations, oxygen, and temperature check. Covid-19 testing will performed as needed.
  • Touch free boarding and check-in process.

DINING

  • Main dining room capacity reduced with removal of tables and chairs to allow for social distancing.

  • All dining tables to be used only once during each meal service. There will not be multiple seatings at any table during any meal.

  • The Back Porch Café will continue operating as an additional dining option.

  • PPE will be provided for all chefs and galley workers.

  • In-room dining will be available to all guests upon request.

  • Breakfast service to private balconies will remain available.

  • Cocktails and hors d’oeuvres will be kept behind transmission barriers and passed to guests individually.

DINING

  • All tour venues screened for social distancing and sanitation practices.

  • Private coaches travel directly to and from each venue.

  • Coaches sanitized before every boarding.

  • Reduced coach capacity to allow for social distancing during rides.

  • Excursion capacities reduced to allow social distancing at each venue. Additional excursion times will be added as needed for guest enjoyment.

CREW TRAINING AND SCREENING

  • Pre-boarding screening practices will apply to guests and crew members. Additionally, crew members will be screened at the conclusion of every cruise.
  • Reduction of crew movement in public spaces and reduced shore leave. Crew trained to engage in social distancing at all times, including when off-duty.
  • Covid-19 identification training for all crew members. This includes training on how to observe and report symptoms, as well as how to self-identify their potential symptoms.
  • Covid-19 response training for all crew members.
  • PPE training for all crew members, including the purpose, use, and donning of PPE.

Contact Select Waterways to begin planning your next river cruise and anticipate the time when the world of river cruising returns. Select Waterways are your river and small ship cruise insiders, specializing in European river cruises, including Danube River cruises, Rhine River cruises, wine cruises, Seine River cruises, as well as China river cruises with Yangtze river cruises, Vietnam river cruises with Mekong River cruises, Russia river cruises with Volga river cruises, Nile river cruises, Africa river cruises and Amazon river cruises. We also offer expedition cruises and small ship cruises throughout the world, with polar cruises such as Arctic cruises and Antarctica cruises among the most popular. Naturally, we have American river cruises with Mississippi River cruises, Ohio River Cruises, Columbia River cruises, Illinois River cruises and Tennessee River cruises. Whether it’s luxury river cruising, premium river cruising, expedition cruising or small ship cruising, we’ve got you covered. Visit our website at www.selectwaterways.com or give us a call at 1-844-SWCRUISE (1-844-792-7847). Be sure to join our Insider Club by clicking here and Like our Facebook page by clicking here.

VIKING ANNOUNCES MISSISSIPPI RIVER CRUISES

VIKING ANNOUNCES MISSISSIPPI RIVER CRUISES

Viking Cruises has announced it is launching Mississippi River cruises two years from now. The company’s first custom vessel, Viking Mississippi, will debut in August 2022 and will sail voyages on the Lower and Upper Mississippi, between New Orleans and St. Paul. Viking’s arrival will bring modern river cruising to the Mississippi. 

Hosting 386 guests in 193 all outside staterooms, the new state-of-the-art Viking Mississippi is inspired by Viking’s award-winning river and ocean ships and will feature clean Scandinavian design, as well as public spaces that are familiar to Viking guests but that have been reimagined for Mississippi River voyages. Purpose-built for the Mississippi and currently under construction in Louisiana, the five-deck ship’s cutting-edge design, expansive windows and comfortable amenities will make it the largest and most modern cruise ship in the region. Highlights of the new ship include:

All Outside Staterooms: Guests can choose from an unparalleled seven spacious stateroom categories that range from 268 sq. ft to 1,024 sq. ft: Veranda, French Balcony, Deluxe Veranda, Penthouse Veranda, Penthouse Jr. Suite, Terrace Suite and Explorer Suite. All staterooms feature a private veranda or French balcony, king-size bed with luxury linens, large flat-screen interactive TV, mini-bar, large glass-enclosed shower, heated bathroom floor and 24-hour room service.

Viking Suites: Viking Mississippi will have some of the largest true suites on the river, with every suite featuring two rooms and a full-size veranda off the spacious sitting room. Guests in Penthouse Jr. Suites (400 sq. ft.) and Terrace Suites (425 sq. ft.) receive early stateroom access; expanded double-sink bathroom; mini-bar with alcoholic beverages, soft drinks, water and snacks replenished daily; welcome champagne; and laundry, pressing and shoe shine services. Guests in the expansive Explorer Suites (657 sq. ft. to 1,024 sq. ft) also receive a wraparound veranda and complimentary Silver Spirits Beverage Package.

Explorers’ Lounge & The Bow: Familiar to Viking’s ocean guests as one of the most popular onboard public spaces, Viking Mississippi will also feature an Explorers’ Lounge near the bow of the ship. The sun-filled, two-story Explorers’ Lounge has floor-to-ceiling windows that open to The Bow, a unique outdoor seating area at the front of the ship where guests can relax and enjoy ever-changing riverside views.

River Café: From American classics to Mamsen’s® Norwegian specialties, this indoor/outdoor dining venue on the top deck will offer alternative restaurant dining in a casual al fresco setting.

Aquavit Terrace: A public space beloved by many of Viking’s ocean and river guests, Viking Mississippi will also feature a revolutionary Aquavit Terrace on the top deck, providing a casual dining space ideal for an American barbecue experience. Combined with the River Café, the Aquavit Terrace will provide the most al fresco dining on the Mississippi.

Sun Terrace with Infinity Plunge Pool: Similar to Viking’s ocean ships, Viking Mississippi will have a glass-backed pool experience at the aft, allowing guests to take a dip while fully surrounded by their destination.

The Living Room: Clean Scandinavian design paired with American influences, the Living Room on Deck 1 is designed for socializing, relaxing and entertainment. Nearby, the quiet corner of The Library is a perfect place to discover a new book.

The Restaurant: This main dining venue on Deck 1 will serve daily-changing menus featuring delicious regional cuisine and always available classics prepared with fresh, local ingredients.

Full 360-Degree Promenade Deck: Guests can stroll the entire ship outside on Deck 1, stretching their legs while viewing scenic landscape and regional wildlife.

Every Mississippi River cruise fare includes everything guests need, with no surprises or hidden fees. Cruise fares include one complimentary shore excursion in each port of call, all onboard meals, and all port charges and government taxes. Guests also enjoy many complimentary amenities as part of their fare, including beer and wine with lunch and dinner service, lectures, alternative dining at no extra charge, self-service launderettes, 24-hour room service and free Wi-Fi.

2022-2023 Viking Mississippi Inaugural Voyages:

America’s Heartland (8 days; St. Louis to St. Paul)—From pristine farms nestled in rolling terrain to steep bluff rising from tributaries dotted with wooded islands, the Upper Mississippi offers a rich tapestry of beauty upon every turn of the river. This journey introduces you to the unforgettable experience of the locks and dams that control the flow of the heartland rivers. Hear stories of settlers migrating west; learn about Lewis & Clark, Mark Twain, John Deere and the Amish and Norwegian migrations; experience regional music like polka and Norwegian folk; and taste regional cuisine showcasing local beer, produce and Wisconsin cheese. 

Heart of the Delta (8 days; New Orleans to Memphis)—This journey on the Lower Mississippi is infused with American history, culture and heritage. Tour the area where the migrating French and Acadians settled; immerse yourself in the culture and lessons from the American Civil Rights Movement; discover the music of the South—jazz, blues and gospel; and experience the life and food culture of the South, from Cajun and Creole to the famed “dry” Memphis BBQ.

Southern Celebration (8 days; New Orleans–Vicksburg–New Orleans)—On this exploration of the Lower Mississippi, visit the historic homes of Louisiana and Mississippi; learn about Civil War history, touring sites like Vicksburg National Military Park; and discover the excitement and unique flavors of New Orleans and Baton Rouge.

America’s Great River (15 days; New Orleans to St. Paul)—Experience nearly the entire length of the Mississippi River on this incredible journey from the Gulf of Mexico to the northernmost reaches of the U.S. Relax and enjoy the variety of scenery, foliage and wildlife on this leisurely voyage. Absorb southern charm and beautifully preserved homes in Natchez; retrace the steps of Civil Rights leaders in Memphis; ascend the Gateway Arch in St. Louis; and visit “The Norwegian Valley” in La Crosse.

Contact Select Waterways now to be among the first to experience a Mississippi River cruise, Viking-style, in just two years. Select Waterways are your river and small ship cruise insiders, specializing in European river cruises, including Danube River cruises, Rhine River cruises, wine cruises, Seine River cruises, as well as China river cruises with Yangtze river cruises, Vietnam river cruises with Mekong River cruises, Russia river cruises with Volga river cruises, Nile river cruises, Africa river cruises and Amazon river cruises. We also offer expedition cruises and small ship cruises throughout the world, with polar cruises such as Arctic cruises and Antarctica cruises among the most popular. Naturally, we have American river cruises with Mississippi River cruises, Ohio River Cruises, Columbia River cruises, Illinois River cruises and Tennessee River cruises. Whether it’s luxury river cruising, premium river cruising, expedition cruising or small ship cruising, we’ve got you covered. Visit our website at www.selectwaterways.com or give us a call at 1-844-SWCRUISE (1-844-792-7847). Be sure to join our Insider Club by clicking here and Like our Facebook page by clicking here.

VICTORY ADDING FOURTH SHIP

VICTORY ADDING FOURTH SHIP

Victory Cruise Lines recently announced the addition of its fourth small ship, Ocean Discoverer. Currently under construction, the Ocean Discoverer will be delivered in September 2022 and will join Ocean Victory in Alaska in 2023, offering additional small ship cruise options in the 49th state. Ocean Discoverer will make its debut with the Discover Beyond™ Alaska Expedition Adventure Cruise itineraries, which are currently available for booking on board the Ocean Victory.

The aptly named Ocean Discoverer was designed for in-depth destination access and exploration, while promoting responsible and sustainable travel. Providing world-class accommodations and amenities, guests will enjoy immersive shore excursions led by expert marine biologists, scientists and naturalists throughout the 12- to 13-day expedition voyages.

The 8,500-ton, 342-foot and 200-passenger Ocean Discoverer will be identical to the Ocean Victory and feature 93 suites, of which 68 will have balconies, nine French balconies and 16 panoramic windows. The vessel will carry a crew of 100 and boast a 2-to-1 guest to crew ratio. Onboard venues include two restaurants, in addition to an open-deck dining area, observation and lectures lounges, piano bar, library, gym, spa, swimming pool with a pool bar and jacuzzi.

Once complete, Ocean Discoverer will share the same cutting-edge design, technology and operating efficiencies as the Ocean Victory. Signature elements include a patented X-bow design which creates a smoother, more comfortable ride to lower noise and vibration levels and consequently seabed disturbance; Rolls Royce Zero Speed Stabilizers to reduce rolling and therefore make cruising more comfortable for guests; and Dynamic Positioning (aka “virtual anchoring”) – a computer-controlled system that automatically maintains the vessel’s position utilizing its own propellers and thrusters resulting in top-rated ship maneuverability. Lastly, the smaller size and low draft of Ocean Discoverer allows it to dock in many of Alaska’s smaller ports not accessible to larger cruise ships.

The Ocean Discoverer will also utilize Victory Cruise Lines’ partnership with the acclaimed Department of Marine Biology at California Polytechnic State University to feature marine biologists, scientists and naturalists among the ship’s expedition team. This along with the vessel’s fleet of zodiacs and kayaks, will provide guests with endless opportunities for active and responsible adventure and up-close wildlife viewing. Offering the same premier service, dining and accommodations guests have come to expect onboard Victory Cruise Lines and sister company the American Queen Steamboat Company, Ocean Discoverer will feature the finest regional cuisines, top-of-the-line entertainment and immersive shore excursions.

Bookings for Ocean Victory Alaska are currently available and bookings for Ocean Discoverer will be announced at a later date. Victory Cruise Lines also operates Victory I and Victory II, identical 202-passenger ships and offer all-inclusive cruises to Canada, the Great Lakes, New England, Mexico, South America and Alaska.        

Contact Select Waterways to be among the first to experience a small ship cruise, Victory-style, in Alaska. Select Waterways are your river and small ship cruise insiders, specializing in European river cruises, including Danube River cruises, Rhine River cruises, wine cruises, Seine River cruises, as well as China river cruises with Yangtze river cruises, Vietnam river cruises with Mekong River cruises, Russia river cruises with Volga river cruises, Nile river cruises, Africa river cruises and Amazon river cruises. We also offer expedition cruises and small ship cruises throughout the world, with polar cruises such as Arctic cruises and Antarctica cruises among the most popular. Naturally, we have American river cruises with Mississippi River cruises, Ohio River Cruises, Columbia River cruises, Illinois River cruises and Tennessee River cruises. Whether it’s luxury river cruising, premium river cruising, expedition cruising or small ship cruising, we’ve got you covered. Visit our website at www.selectwaterways.com or give us a call at 1-844-SWCRUISE (1-844-792-7847). Be sure to join our Insider Club by clicking here and Like our Facebook page by clicking here.