The patented longboat that Viking River Cruises is known for in Europe is set to come to the United States. It has been announced that the company starting in 2015 will bring one of its signature boats to the Mississippi River and in turn will bring a competitor to the paddle wheel boats that now are known for trolling those waters for passenger service and will also bring the same entertainment such as dance cruises and other themed cruises.
The senior vice president of marketing for Viking River Cruises in Richard Marnell states that it will be another way for people to get a nice view of the Mississippi River, just like the patrons of Viking have been able to do in Europe. ‘The Viking vessel on the Mississippi will provide a nice and better way to see and explore and be able to do that in comfort’ said Marnell.
Marnell said that the move to the United States was one that had been in the planning stages for several years and after numerous surveys and interviews with passengers of other ferrying services currently on the Mississippi, it only made sense for Viking to venture into new territory. These new Viking boats will be 443 feet long and will have four decks and will have plenty of entertainment on them as well such as the dance cruises that Viking has over in Europe.
It has been a mixed reaction from the current paddle wheel boat companies that currently ply the Mississippi but in the end, Viking River Cruises believes that they will be able to tap into a market that will be both feasible for the patrons and the company. Marnell says that the main goal is to get the folks from the United States and that have been to Europe and used the Viking ships there to ride them on the Mississippi where they will be closer to home.
‘We know that there are some domestic travelers who may never have the chance to be able to come to Europe and ride on a Viking cruise. The idea here is to let them ride on a European boat but being able to to do it at home and in the Mississippi. It also allows the chance for those who may never get the chance to come to Europe to be able to get the Viking Cruise experience’ added Marnell.