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New Mississippi river cruises will include after-hours visit to Graceland

Sept. 26, 2020
4 min read
Viking Mississippi
New Mississippi river cruises will include after-hours visit to Graceland
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Elvis fans, your ship has come in.

River cruise giant Viking this week announced plans for new Mississippi River sailings that feature a rare treat for Elvis Presley fans: A private, after-hours tour of Graceland.

Scheduled for December 2022, the seven-night Mississippi Holiday Season sailings will bring an entire evening of special access to the king of rock and roll's Memphis home including a private exploration of his mansion and private access to Elvis Presley's Memphis, the Elvis-themed entertainment and exhibit complex located just behind the mansion.

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The evening will be capped by a private dinner at the Presley Motors Automobile Museum, which is part of Elvis Presley's Memphis, and a gospel choir performance.

The sailings will take place on the new, 386-passenger river ship that Viking is building for Mississippi River cruises, Viking Mississippi. They'll be one-way trips between Memphis and New Orleans that include two nights and three days in Memphis and day stops in Vicksburg and Natchez, Mississippi; and Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

Related: How to book a cruise with points and miles

An artist's drawing of Viking Mississippi, which is scheduled to debut on the Mississippi River in 2022. (Image courtesy of Viking).
An artist's drawing of Viking Mississippi, which is scheduled to debut on the Mississippi River in 2022. (Image courtesy of Viking).

Scheduled to debut in August 2022, Viking Mississippi will be Viking's first vessel in North America. Currently under construction at a shipyard in Louisiana, it'll be significantly bigger than the typical Viking river ship with five passenger decks.

It'll also be a modern-style vessel, featuring the same streamlined Scandinavian design that’s found on Viking’s existing ships in other regions of the world. That'll make it different than many river cruise vessels on the Mississippi River, which often have a traditional steamboat design with big paddlewheels, fluted stacks and gingerbread-ornamented wheelhouses.

Mississippi River cruising has been making a comeback over the past decade after years of decline. Connecticut-based American Cruise Lines entered the Mississippi River cruise market in 2012 with one vessel and now has four on the river. Two are modern in design and two are traditional paddlewheelers. The company is in the midst of adding more.

Related: Viking is about to get into expedition cruising, too

The Indiana-based American Queen Steamboat Company has added two traditional Mississippi River paddlewheelers to its fleet since 2017, bringing its total to three. The company operates the best-known Mississippi River vessel, the American Queen.

Viking currently dominates the market for river cruises in Europe aimed at North Americans. It’s also a significant player in river cruises in Asia and on the Nile in Egypt. But it’s never offered voyages on rivers in North America — the home to the majority of its customers.

The company operates more than 70 river vessels across the globe and in recent years also has begun adding ocean ships.

Viking currently has four departures of the new holiday sailings planned, on Dec. 10, 17, 24 and 31 of 2022. Fares for the trips start at $3,999 per person, based on double occupancy.

Related: The best credit cards for booking cruises

In keeping with Viking’s no-nickel-and-diming philosophy, fares include a complimentary shore excursion in every port as well as all onboard meals; port charges and taxes; beer and wine with lunch and dinner; and onboard WiFi access.

For those curious about Viking's new Mississippi cruises, the line plans a week of live-streamed television episodes about Viking Mississippi and the destinations it will visit starting on Monday at its online streaming site, Viking.TV. The episodes will include a Tuesday briefing on the ship's design and inspiration from Viking ship designer Richard Riveire.

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Featured image by Rottet Studios

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  • For a limited time, earn 80,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening
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  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Gas Stations, Air Travel and Hotels
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TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards Rate

3XEarn 3 Points per $1 spent at Restaurants and Supermarkets
3XEarn 3 Points per $1 spent at Gas Stations, Air Travel and Hotels
1XEarn 1 Point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Intro Offer
    For a limited time, earn 80,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening

    Earn 80,000 ThankYou® points
    60,000 points
  • Annual Fee

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  • Recommended Credit
    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

    670-850
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Why We Chose It

The Citi Premier’s 3 points per dollar spent across a wide range of popular categories is one of the more lucrative offerings in the world of points and miles. The Citi Premier comes with a $95 annual fee and is currently offering a solid sign up bonus of 80,000 points after you spend $4,000 on purchases within the first three months. It also has some valuable transfer partners to make the most of your rewards. Add in access to Citi Entertainment plus a $100 hotel credit for any single-stay hotel booking that exceeds $500 or more, excluding taxes and fees, booked through the Citi travel website, there are few reasons why the Citi Premier should not be in every traveler’s wallet.

Pros

  • Earns 3x points on restaurants, supermarkets, gas stations, air travel and hotels.
  • $100 annual hotel savings benefit (on single hotel stay bookings of $500 or more, excluding taxes and fees, booked through thankyou.com)
  • Points transfer to 16 airline programs, from JetBlue to Virgin Atlantic.
  • World Elite Mastercard benefits, extended warranty, damage and theft protection.

Cons

  • $95 annual fee
  • Lacks travel protections that other travel rewards cards come with
  • For a limited time, earn 80,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Restaurants and Supermarkets
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Gas Stations, Air Travel and Hotels
  • Earn 1 Point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Annual Hotel Savings Benefit
  • 80,000 Points are redeemable for $800 in gift cards when redeemed at thankyou.com
  • No expiration and no limit to the amount of points you can earn with this card
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees on purchases