For many people who like their vacations to be of the seafaring type, you’re very aware of where to board cruises from depending on your destination. Therefore, if you’re taking a cruise from the United States, the port of call that comes to mind first would be Miami, Florida. A recent announcement looks to change that train of thought.
Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal announced this afternoon that Viking River Cruises has agreed in principal with the state to make the Port Of New Orleans its base of operations for cruises along the Mississippi River. This would make the Crescent City the first North American port for the global cruise company, which currently operates cruises throughout the rivers of countries in Europe and Southeast Asia. In addition, Viking also runs river cruise tours in China and Egypt. This news comes as the Port Of New Orleans has seen tremendous growth over the past few years. This wave of cruise travel growth speaks to the resurgence in river travel within the United States and also marks a more significant investment from foreign travel companies in New Orleans. Governor Jindal stated that this move would means hundreds of new jobs for New Orleans residents in addition to being a shot in the arm for the tourism industry there. This comes as American Cruise Lines has announced that they would plan to add a second riverboat to join one already departing from the port at the end of this month, with eight-day and 22-day itineraries in place.
Viking, with its main headquarters being in Los Angeles, California, looks to build six boats over the next three years, each with the capacity to host 300 passengers. The initial destinations for the cruises will be Memphis, Tennessee and St.Louis, Missouri. St. Paul, Minnesota was also named as a seasonal destination as well. The mayor of New Orleans, Mitch Landrieu, hailed the move as well, stating that ‘New Orleans is on a roll, and this investment is another example of the continued growth across our industries in this city.’ The cruises are set to embark beginning in 2017.