bon voyage Viking Mississippi.

I wasn’t planning to post anything today (I thought I’d give myself the holiday off), but I just had to share this quick post for all of you fellow cruisers out there.

Mr. Q, my sister and I were having dinner on Saturday night, about to start a game night, when I remembered reading that the brand new Viking Mississippi ship was in St. Paul about to set sail on its inaugural voyage.  So on a whim we decided to scrap game night and drive into St. Paul to see if we could catch a glimpse of the ship.

Despite having lived in the Twin Cities for 35 years, I actually had no idea that there was a ‘port’ in downtown St. Paul.  The address was on Shepard Road, so we figured we’d just cruise down Shepard and see what we could see from the street.

Turned out that the ship was pretty easy to spot, and not only that but a parking spot had just opened up at nearby Lower Landing Park.  So we parked the car and got out for a closer look.

That’s Mr. Q and my sister, Debbie.

OK, so Lambert’s Landing isn’t what most of us cruisers would picture as a ‘port’, it’s technically a ‘landing’, an area along the river where ships can tie up to load and unload.  There aren’t any buildings or anything like that.  But it is cool to know that in the 1800’s this was one of the busiest steamboat landings in the U.S.

It was a gorgeous evening, the weather was perfect.  We took a stroll along the river while waiting for the ship to set sail.

You get a nice view of the Comcast building across the river.

We also got to see the brand new Viking Mississippi up close and personal.

This ship was designed specifically for cruising on the Mississippi river and according to Viking it is the biggest vessel currently sailing in this region with 193 staterooms (check out details and photos on the Viking website).  It is also the first Viking ship built in the U.S. (it was built in Louisiana).

You can’t quite see it properly, but that is an infinity plunge pool on the upper deck aft.

I have to admit, at first we found it rather crazy that people would pay $9,000 (and up) per couple to sail along the Mississippi stopping in places like Red Wing, LaCrosse and Dubuque, Iowa.  We joked about whether or not they were serving regional foods (like they do on their European river cruises), and what would that include?  Tater tot hot dish?  Lutefisk?  Walleye?  Spam?  Surely they will serve cheese curds when they get to the Wisconsin portion of the river.

I checked out the shore excursions being offered for Red Wing and they included a trip to the National Eagle Center, a tour of Maiden Rock Winery (we have visited both, check out this post), and a visit to the Red Wing Pottery Museum (we tried to go there during our Great River Road road trip, but it was closed).  I looked at some of the excursions offered at other ports too, and there were quite a few that looked like placed I’d love to see like the Stonefield Historic Site in Wisconsin, and visiting Mark Twain’s hometown.  So maybe it’s not so crazy after all, I think those passengers are going to have an amazing trip.

I’d forgotten what a festive atmosphere there is during a sail away.  There were probably 40 to 50 people on shore to watch the ship depart.  Just as the sun was sinking below the horizon, the ship pushed away from the landing and sounded its horn making us all jump.

As the ship sailed past, the three of us were reminded of how much we loved our Viking cruise on the Danube and we realized we can’t wait to take another cruise!

We waved and shouted bon voyage to the lucky people on board while dreaming of our next cruise (spoiler alert, we’re thinking Norway, next fall).

How about you?  Are you a cruiser?  Or are you in the ‘ugh, how awful to be stuck on a boat’ category?  Leave a comment and let me know.

 

15 thoughts on “bon voyage Viking Mississippi.

  1. Well, this just sounds like a lovely way to spend a beautiful Saturday evening. I know about the European river cruises but had no idea they had anything like that here in the U.S. I’m hoping you and your family have some traveling plans in the works because I always enjoy your travel posts.

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    1. The Viking cruise on the Mississippi is brand new, but there are other cruise lines that do the Mississippi. I do have a couple of trips lined up yet this year, although they might not be to exciting to blog about (Itasca, Disney World & Mexico), but next year we’ll get back to Europe!!

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  2. Linda,
    I have always wanted to go on a Viking cruise. My husband took us on a 30 day cruise for our 25th anniversary. We liked to cruise a bunch. My first cruise after I was a widow was different.
    I loved seeing the Viking ship in Minnesota! No idea!
    Well I hope y’all get to go to Norway. We enjoyed that cruise too!
    Happy sailing 🛳
    Smiles, alice

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    1. Mr. Q and I have done cruises with stops in Norway several times and absolutely loved it. But this time we are planning to have my sister and niece along too, and they have not been to Norway yet. I really hope this one doesn’t fall through!

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      1. Me too! It’s such a disappointment. I was supposed to be in Australia in March! Big mess! So now it’s November or December! Wish us both good luck!

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  3. Oh Miss Quandie I just enjoyed this post so much! It seems to me that this outing with Mr. Q and your sister might be the kind that stays in your memory forever, even though you wouldn’t have thought so at the time……..such a pretty summer night, spontaneous, a little contact high from the excitement of the travelers! These kinds of moments are what REALLY make a happy life 😍 Mr. Q seems so cute and also seems to be your steadfast companion! You like to do the same things which is so nice……I think cruises are sooooo fun but my husband hates them! He’s a major “do-er” (Wait wait! We’ve got just enough time to take the boys to see The Moses statue before they close!!!) while I love time to sit around and absorb some culture by osmosis! I love sitting in cafes smoking cigarettes and just watching people and eavesdropping…….. He gets cabin fever on a ship! Hahahahaha……..Your pictures really captured how pretty the evening was

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    1. You’ve hit the nail on the head Connie. Exactly right, this will be one of those memorable moments for sure! And Mr. Q is with you, he’d like to just sit at a sidewalk cafe, drink coffee and chat with locals for the entire vacation. I tend to drag him to see all of the sights 😉

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  4. I live in the driftless region of NW Illinois in a town of 750. The county is hilly, rural and beautiful.
    We are very excited about the new Viking Mississippi cruise. One of the day trips out of Dubuque is a trip to historic Galena, IL, 20 mins away.
    Galena is a well-preserved 19th century mining town with 85% of the bldgs in the historic district listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Nine Civil War generals lived here, Lincoln gave a speech from the DeSoto House Hotel, and President/General Grant had a home here. Lots of history in this little town of 3,500 residents. There are hotels, B&Bs, restaurants, wineries, art studios, antique shops, hiking, biking, skiing, zip-lining, haunted tours, and over 100 shops on Main St. If you are ever traveling this way it’s a “must see” place. Go to “visitgalena.org” to learn all about it.
    I work at the DeSoto House Hotel in Galena. It’s the oldest, continuosly operating hotel in IL, since 1855, complete with a ghost!
    There are fun things to do in Dubuque but I’m biased toward Galena.
    As I’ve commented before I love your blog! Thanks for all the wonderful information you share.

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    1. Yes! I was going to mention that Galena is one of the optional shore excursions! One of these days I really want to get to Galena myself. It’s about a five hour drive for us, but it sounds like it would totally be worth it. It’s definitely on my bucket list!

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  5. Thanks for sharing the Viking Mississippi adventure! I never knew about the busy port in the 1800’s. I think this may attract foreign travelers who visit Minnesota and want to take an adventure down river. Simpler to what we do when we travel to Europe.

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    1. Someone in the crowd did mention that there were a lot of international travelers on board. I can totally see where this trip would appeal to them, it’s a snapshot of Americana.

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  6. What ?!? Don’t tell me you haven’t been to Hannibal MO? I live about an hour and a half from there and it makes a for a quick fun day trip. The Hannibal Folklife Festival is October 15th and 16th this year, you should load up Mr. Q., your sister and niece in the car and come see! It is wonderful!

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    1. I have not been there, but it’s another location on my list of places to see. Looks like it’s about a 7 hour drive for us. It would probably be a great place to stop if we ever decide to drive to Florida for a few months in the winter.

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