Viking Mississippi Cruise Ship Touches Water for First Time


HOUMA, La. (AP) – A Swiss company’s cruises along the length of the Mississippi River are a step closer to reality – its new 386-passenger ship has touched water for the first time.

Viking River Cruises of Basel celebrated the “float out” of the Viking Mississippi on Monday at Edison Chouest Offshore’s LaShip shipyard in Houma, Louisiana.

Two U.S. companies already offer cruises up and down the river. American Queen Steamboat Co., based in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, has three paddlewheel cruise boats on the river.

American Cruise Lines, based in Guilford, Connecticut, has five boats on the Mississippi and plans to launch a sixth late this year. Viking says its ship will make its first voyage in June.

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