This summer, Viking launched new destination-focused travel experiences on the Mississippi River, and, this week, Vesterheim and Decorah welcomed the first visitors from the Viking Mississippi during the Privileged Access® day trip from the port at La Crosse, Wisconsin! We so enjoyed hosting their tour and seeing them wandering around downtown Decorah and through Vesterheim Heritage Park. Decorah’s Chamber of Commerce, city bus guides, T-Bocks Sports Bar & Grill, and local businesses were fantastic and offered a warm Decorah greeting. In turn, visitors expressed an enthusiast thank you for the hospitality and a wish to return. We look forward to future visits from Viking tour guests.

From pristine farms nestled in rolling terrain to steep bluffs rising from tributaries dotted with wooded islands, the Upper Mississippi offers a rich tapestry of beauty upon every turn of the river. This part of a Viking journey introduces travelers to the unforgettable experience of the locks and dams that control the flow of the heartland rivers. Viking guests hear stories of settlers migrating west; learn about Lewis & Clark, Mark Twain, John Deere, and the Amish and Norwegian migrations; experience the regional music; and taste regional cuisine.

On the day trip visit to Vesterheim and Decorah, Viking guests are invited to relive Norwegian immigrant life and learn about the history of American immigration and its influence on the Midwest. Visitors have the opportunity to experience one-of-a-kind museum tours, take a Vesterheim Folk Art School class, and enjoy the town. Guides from Decorah accompany them on their bus ride, pointing out the Midwest landscape and history along the way. A highlight of the visit is Viking Privileged Access® to the museum’s education center to admire items not available to the public, including Norwegian folk art and hand-carved furniture.

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 constructed in Louisiana, the five-deck ship’s cutting-edge design, expansive windows, and comfortable amenities make it the most modern cruise ship in the region.