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The upper Mississippi region

America’s Heartland

St. Louis to St. Paul - Example 12 Day Cruise aboard Viking Mississippi
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On this enlightening journey on the Upper Mississippi, hear stories of pioneers and the Lewis and Clark Expedition; walk in the footsteps of Mark Twain; and learn about the Norwegian migration. Enjoy the view as your ship navigates through the river’s intricate lock system. Experience the region’s many cultural treasures—from ragtime, polka, and Norwegian folk music to Wisconsin cheese, craft beer and hearty stews. Explore port cities such as St. Louis, Missouri; Dubuque, Iowa; and Red Wing, Minnesota. All along the way, enjoy learning the history and experiencing the culture of America's heartland. 
 
Visit historic St. LouisSt. Louis' iconic arch at nightVisit the Quad cities, including Davenport, IowaMinneapolis city lights at nightViking MississippiThe upper Mississippi region
Highlights
  • Discover the history of ports of the Upper Mississippi River
  • Explore Dubuque, the roots from which Iowa developed
  • Experience port towns with a long history of life on the river
  • Admire the craftsmanship and creativity of local artisans
Places Visited
Activity Level: Relaxed
Involves minimal physical effort and is typically associated with leisurely activities. Activities are low-intensity or last less than a few hours each day.
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Full Itinerary

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Day 1: St. Louis, Missouri

Arrive and check in to your hotel. During the 19th century, St. Louis was a gateway into the Louisiana Territory. In 1904, the city gained recognition as host of a world’s fair (officially called the Louisiana Purchase Exposition), whereby some accounts the ice-cream cone was introduced. Today, it is home to rich architectural treasures—among them, the Cathedral Basilica of St. Louis, with its 41-million-piece mosaic; the Renaissance Revival City Hall; the 19th-century Old Courthouse; and the Gateway Arch, standing along the Mississippi as a monument to westward expansion.

Day 2: St. Louis, Missouri

  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch
St. Louis was once the gateway to the legendary Wild West, known for its gun-wielding cowboys and law-making sheriffs. Today, the city boasts a world-class cultural scene and one of the leading sporting attractions in the US. The St. Louis Cardinals are one of the most successful baseball clubs, having won 11 World Series championships, second only to the New York Yankees. While the Big Apple is famed for its Central Park, St. Louis has its own green space. Some of St. Louis’ most important cultural sights are located in Forest Park, including the Missouri History Museum.

Day 3: St. Louis, Missouri | Embark

Embark your ship and settle into your stateroom. Alton is the gateway to St. Louis, which was a passageway into the Louisiana Territory during the 19th century. In 1904, St. Louis gained recognition as host of a world’s fair (officially called the Louisiana Purchase Exposition), whereby some accounts the ice cream cone was introduced. Today, it is home to rich architectural treasures—among them, the Cathedral Basilica of St. Louis, with its 41-million-piece mosaic; the Renaissance Revival City Hall; the 19th-century Old Courthouse; and the Gateway Arch, standing along the Mississippi as a monument to westward expansion.

* Ground transfers are included with Viking Air purchase.

Day 4: Hannibal, Missouri

Hannibal is the childhood home of Samuel Langhorne Clemens, or Mark Twain, and the inspiration for his beloved stories of Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn. Prior to the 1803 Louisiana Purchase and arrival of European settlers, a variety of indigenous Native American tribes called the area home. Hannibal grew into the primary port for steamboats and flatboats traveling the Upper Mississippi. “The Unsinkable Molly Brown,” the early 20th-century socialite, philanthropist and survivor of the Titanic tragedy, was also born here.

Day 5: Burlington, Iowa

The US flag was first raised over Iowa in Burlington—in 1805—by Lieutenant Zebulon Pike during his Mississippi explorations. Later, it became an outpost for the American Fur Company, a trading enterprise founded by John Jacob Astor. In 1834, it took its present name after the Vermont birthplace of its first settler, John Gray. During the steamboat era, it was a major port along the river. Today, the city is home to many magnificent buildings on the National Register of Historic Places, including the art deco Capitol Theater and the Gothic Revival St. Paul’s Church.

Day 6: Quad Cities, Iowa & Illinois

  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Straddling the confluence of the Mississippi and Rock Rivers, the Quad Cities area comprises Davenport and Bettendorf, Iowa, and Rock Island, Moline and East Moline, Illinois. As the only section of the Mississippi that flows from east to west, it is geographically unique. Its tightly knit riverside towns thrived due to thoughtful planning and effective leadership. Today, the Quad Cities rest amid the fertile farmland known as “America’s Breadbasket”—the nation’s most expansive and scenic agricultural region—and is home to agribusiness giants including John Deere.

Day 7: Dubuque, Iowa

One of Iowa’s few cities laid out among rolling bluffs, Dubuque is called the “Masterpiece on the Mississippi” for its 19th-century ingenuity and modern-day cultural evolution. Timber and boatbuilding were central to the city’s growth, with wood harvested in Minnesota and Wisconsin. The spirit of this river town lives on in the Cathedral Historic District, dotted with well-preserved buildings and authentic period lampposts. Today, the city is praised for its livability and for its riverside developments, including a museum and aquarium dedicated to the Mississippi River.

Day 8: La Crosse, Wisconsin

La Crosse has a deep connection to the towering bluffs and rolling farmland of the Norskedalen, or “Norwegian Valley.” Here, a Norwegian immigrant population has created a unique culture over generations. Historic immigrant villages dot the valley still, a collection of preserved homesteads reflecting a frontier way of life. Today, La Crosse boasts numerous sites on the National Register of Historic Places. Its important architectural landmarks, along with an array of engaging statues along the riverfront, make La Crosse feel like a vast open-air museum.

Day 9: Red Wing, Minnesota

Red Wing is known for its Red Wing Shoes, which produced footwear for soldiers in both world wars. The city was named after a Sioux chief whose red-dyed swan wing indicated his rank. The first settlers—many from New England—arrived in the mid-1800s. German, Irish and Scandinavian immigrants followed, bringing skills in tanning, shoemaking, pottery and more. The city boasts a diversity of legacies including Red Wing Stoneware and Pottery, founded in 1877 as the nation’s first commercial potter. Today, Red Wing enjoys a place in the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

Day 10: St. Paul, Minnesota | Disembark

  • 1 Breakfast
Located near the confluence of the Mississippi and Minnesota Rivers, St. Paul welcomed its first settler in 1838. And little more than a decade later, the thriving settlement was named the capital of the Minnesota Territory. By 1858, some 1,000 steamboats frequented this “Last City of the East” on the frontier. Today, St. Paul is a modern metropolis and the capital of Minnesota. The city’s historic residential districts invite long strolls, particularly around Irvine Park near the Mississippi, where late 19th- and early 20th-century mansions grace tree-lined streets. After breakfast, disembark your ship and journey home.

* Ground transfers are included with Viking Air purchase.

Day 11: Twin Cities, Minnesota

  • 1 Breakfast
Minneapolis and St. Paul offer a range of outdoor activities, including hiking, biking and bird watching. The Twin Cities is home to more than 500 miles of bike trails, including the scenic Gateway State Trail and the Mississippi River Trail. Hikers can explore the trails in Minnehaha Park or head to more rugged terrain at nearby Lebanon Hills or Afton State Park. Bird watchers can observe a variety of species, including bald eagles, peregrine falcons and great blue herons at the Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge and the Eloise Butler Wildflower Garden.

Day 12: Twin Cities, Minnesota

  • 1 Breakfast
Minneapolis and St. Paul have played a large role in shaping the music industry. The region is home to a vibrant music scene and has given a start to celebrated legends like classical composer Stephen Paulus, genre-spanning Prince and alternative rock band The Replacements. The cities also have a thriving arts community, with numerous galleries, theaters and museums showcasing works from local and international artists. The Walker Art Center, Minneapolis Institute of Art and the Weisman Art Museum are some of the region's most prominent cultural institutions. After breakfast, check out of your hotel and journey home.

Ship/Hotel

Viking Mississippi

Viking River Cruises
Viking River Cruises
Viking River Cruises

Dates & Prices

My Preferred Start Date

Per person starting at
$6,999 2-3 travelers
Rates are dynamic and fluctuate based on capacity. Contact us for a specific quote.

Please confirm embark/disembark locations before reserving flights, as this itinerary operates in reverse on alternating departures.
 
Veranda stateroom
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Veranda Stateroom (V)
Size including private veranda: 268 sq ft. King-size Viking Explorer Bed (with optional twin-bed configuration); luxury linens & pillows. 42" flat-screen, interactive LCD TV with intuitive remote & complimentary Movies On Demand . Large private bathroom with spacious glass-enclosed shower, heated bathroom floor & anti-fog mirror. Premium Freyja® toiletries; plush robes & slippers
French Balcony
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French Balcony Stateroom (FB)
Stateroom Size: 301 sq ft. King-size Viking Explorer Bed (with optional twin-bed configuration); luxury linens & pillows. 42" flat-screen, interactive LCD TV with intuitive remote & complimentary Movies On Demand. Large private bathroom with spacious glass-enclosed shower, heated bathroom floor & anti-fog mirror. Premium Freyja® toiletries; plush robes & slippers.
Deluxe veranda 4
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Deluxe Veranda (DV4)
Size including private veranda: 268 sq ft. King-size Viking Explorer Bed (with optional twin-bed configuration); luxury linens & pillows. 42" flat-screen, interactive LCD TV with intuitive remote & complimentary Movies On Demand. Large private bathroom with spacious glass-enclosed shower, heated bathroom floor & anti-fog mirror. Premium Freyja® toiletries; plush robes & slippers.
Deluxe veranda3
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Deluxe Veranda (DV3)
Size including private veranda: 268 sq ft. King-size Viking Explorer Bed (with optional twin-bed configuration); luxury linens & pillows. 42" flat-screen, interactive LCD TV with intuitive remote & complimentary Movies On Demand. Large private bathroom with spacious glass-enclosed shower, heated bathroom floor & anti-fog mirror. Premium Freyja® toiletries; plush robes & slippers.
Deluxe veranda2
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Deluxe Veranda (DV2)
Size including private veranda: 268 sq ft. King-size Viking Explorer Bed (with optional twin-bed configuration); luxury linens & pillows. 42" flat-screen, interactive LCD TV with intuitive remote & complimentary Movies On Demand. Large private bathroom with spacious glass-enclosed shower, heated bathroom floor & anti-fog mirror. Premium Freyja® toiletries; plush robes & slippers.
Deluxe veranda1
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Deluxe Veranda (DV1)
Size including private veranda: 268 sq ft. King-size Viking Explorer Bed (with optional twin-bed configuration); luxury linens & pillows. 42" flat-screen, interactive LCD TV with intuitive remote & complimentary Movies On Demand. Large private bathroom with spacious glass-enclosed shower, heated bathroom floor & anti-fog mirror. Premium Freyja® toiletries; plush robes & slippers.
penthouse veranda2
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Penthouse Veranda (PV2)
Size including private veranda: 336 sq ft. King-size Viking Explorer Bed (with optional twin-bed configuration); luxury linens & pillows.42" flat-screen, interactive LCD TV with intuitive remote & complimentary Movies On Demand. Large private bathroom with spacious glass-enclosed shower, heated bathroom floor & anti-fog mirror. Premium Freyja® toiletries; plush robes & slippers.
Penthouse veranda1
Select a Date
Penthouse Veranda (PV1)
Size including private veranda: 336 sq ft. King-size Viking Explorer Bed (with optional twin-bed configuration); luxury linens & pillows.42" flat-screen, interactive LCD TV with intuitive remote & complimentary Movies On Demand. Large private bathroom with spacious glass-enclosed shower, heated bathroom floor & anti-fog mirror. Premium Freyja® toiletries; plush robes & slippers.
Penthouse Junior suite1
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Penthouse Junior Suite (PS2)
Size including private veranda: 400 sq ft. King-size Viking Explorer Bed (with optional twin-bed configuration); luxury linens & pillows. Two 42" flat-screen, interactive LCD TVs with intuitive remote & complimentary Movies On Demand. Large private bathroom with spacious glass-enclosed shower, double-sink vanity, heated bathroom floor & anti-fog mirror. Premium Freyja® toiletries.
penthouse junior suite 2
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Penthouse Junior Suite (PS1)
Size including private veranda: 400 sq ft. King-size Viking Explorer Bed (with optional twin-bed configuration); luxury linens & pillows. Two 42" flat-screen, interactive LCD TVs with intuitive remote & complimentary Movies On Demand. Large private bathroom with spacious glass-enclosed shower, double-sink vanity, heated bathroom floor & anti-fog mirror. Premium Freyja® toiletries.
Terrace suite
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Terrace Suite (TS)
Size including private veranda: 425 sq ft. King-size Viking Explorer Bed (with optional twin-bed configuration); luxury linens & pillows. Two 42" flat-screen, interactive LCD TVs with intuitive remote & complimentary Movies On Demand. Large private bathroom with spacious glass-enclosed shower, double-sink vanity, heated bathroom floor & anti-fog mirror Premium Freyja® toiletries.
Explorer suite1
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Explorer Suite (ES2)
Size including private veranda: 657–1,024 sq ft. King-size Viking Explorer Bed (with optional twin-bed configuration); luxury linens & pillows. Large private bathroom. Premium Freyja®. Well-appointed living room & dining area.
Explorer suite2
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Explorer Suite (ES1)
Size including private veranda: 657–1,024 sq ft. King-size Viking Explorer Bed (with optional twin-bed configuration); luxury linens & pillows. Large private bathroom. Premium Freyja®. Well-appointed living room & dining area.

Notes

Stretching for 2,350 miles down the United States, from Minnesota's Lake Itasca to the Gulf of Mexico, our new cruises on the "Mighty Mississippi" offer a different type of cross-country journey for the curious explorer—one that allows you to be immersed in American history and culture.

Step on board the newest and most modern ship on the Mississippi with all outside staterooms, private verandas, spacious public areas and our signature, clean Scandinavian design, reimagined for the Mississippi River.

Hosting 386 guests in 193 all outside staterooms, the new state-of-the-art Viking Mississippi is inspired by our award-winning Viking Longships® 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, the ship’s cutting-edge design, expansive windows and comfortable amenities will make it the first truly modern cruise ship in the region.

Viking Mississippi Features
  • 193 comfortable all outside staterooms (128 Veranda & Deluxe Veranda Staterooms, 8 French Balcony Staterooms, 24 Penthouse Veranda Staterooms, 16 Penthouse Junior Suites, 7 Terrace Suites, 10 Explorer Suites)
  • All suites feature two full-size rooms with large veranda
  • Sun Terrace with Infinity Plunge Pool
  • Aquavit Terrace, a revolutionary indoor/outdoor viewing area for al fresco dining or an American barbecue experience
  • Stroll the full 360-degree promenade deck for views of scenic landscapes and regional wildlife
  • River Café, a new way to dine featuring American classics and Mamsen's Norwegian specialties
  • The Explorers' Lounge and Bar with two-story panoramic views of the Mississippi
  • The Bow, a quiet sitting area at the front of the ship
  • Elevators throughout the ship
  • Free Wi-Fi (connection speed may vary)
  • Self-service launderettes and laundry service
  • Intelligent energy-efficient propulsion systems produce less vibrations for a smoother ride
  • 42" flat-screen, interactive LCD TV with intuitive remote & complimentary Movies On Demand

A Mississippi River cruise offers the rare opportunity to sail through America's heartland on the world’s #1 river cruise line. Explore picturesque towns and boom cities; take in views of pastoral farms and towering bluffs; and immerse yourself in the region's rich history and culture with an included excursion in every port. Here are a few highlights Viking reveals to you:
  • Festive French Quarter and Creole cuisine in New Orleans
  • Cajun heritage in Baton Rouge
  • Civil War history at Vicksburg National Military Park
  • Memphis BBQ, Graceland and appreciation of the Delta Blues
  • Steamboat sailings with diverse wildlife sightings
  • Mark Twain's boyhood home and America’s literary history
  • Up close look at America’s national symbol, the bald eagle
  • Gateway Arch in St. Louis and the pioneering spirit of the Midwest
  • Norwegian cultural experience at Vesterheim
  • Intricate locks and dams of the Upper Mississippi
Included
  • 11 Breakfasts, 7 Lunches, 7 Dinners
  • 11 Nights Accommodations
  • Accommodations as listed
  • Ground transportation as listed
  • Activities as listed
  • Meals as listed
  • Access to a 24-7 Emergency line while traveling
  • Beer, wine & soft drinks with onboard lunch & dinner
  • Port Taxes & Fees
  • 24-hour specialty coffees, teas & bottled water
  • Free Wi-Fi (connection speed may vary)
  • Visits to UNESCO Sites
  • Enrichment lectures & Destination Performances
Excluded
  • Gratuities
  • Travel Insurance
  • Personal Expenses
  • Flight costs (please request a quote)
  • Additional excursions during free time
  • Fuel and transportation surcharges (when applicable)
  • Excess baggage charges
  • Drinks, beverages and meals not included in the package
  • Optional shore excursions/tours/concerts

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