Viking officially “floated out” the 386-guest Viking Mississippi in Louisiana on March 7, celebrating the first time the new vessel has touched water.
The ship is slated to debut in June, and will sail on the Lower and Upper Mississippi River, between New Orleans and St. Paul. They will be the line’s first river sailings in the USA and scheduled ports of call cover seven U.S. states, including Louisiana, Mississippi, Tennessee, Missouri, Iowa, Wisconsin and Minnesota.
The line’s chairman Torstein Hagen said: “It is a proud moment that this new ship has met an American waterway for the first time. Our guests have long wanted to sail the Mississippi River with Viking, and we very much look forward to welcoming them on board this summer.”
The traditional float out took place at Edison Chouest Offshore’s LaShip shipyard in Houma, Louisiana and is a significant milestone for the build, as it denotes a ship moving into its final stage of construction.
In keeping with maritime tradition, the ship’s ceremonial godmother, Dionne Chouest, general counsel of Edison Chouest Offshore, assisted with the float out.
The new voyages are expected to bring more than 7,500 guests to the region in 2022 and in excess of 17,600 during the first full sailing season in 2023.
It is one of several new vessels for Viking, and in January the line’s Viking Neptune floated out in Italy.