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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.

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.

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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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Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
3 / 5
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10XEarn 10x points on eligible hotels and car rentals booked through the Credit One Bank travel partner site
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    Earn 10,000 bonus points after spending $1,000 on eligible purchases in the first 90 days and redeem for a $100 statement credit, gift cards, or travel

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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.

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Why We Chose It

The revamped Wander Card from Credit One Bank earns cardmembers up to 10 points per dollar spent on eligible travel purchases. With no foreign transaction fees, the card is also great for international travel. However, points earned from this card can only be used at a fixed value, so it may not be the best option for those striving to get maximum value from their rewards.

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Cons

  • While cardholders can earn a significant amount of points on travel purchases, there isn't any way to redeem points from the Wander Card for maximum value (beyond 1 cent per point).
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  • Earn 10x points on eligible hotels and car rentals booked through the Credit One Bank travel site
  • Earn 5x points on eligible travel, dining, and gas
  • Earn 1x points on all other purchases
  • Redeem your reward points for statement credits, gift cards, merchandise, flights, hotels, and more
  • With $0 Fraud Liability, you won’t be responsible for unauthorized charges
  • Free Online Credit Score and Credit Report summary, terms apply
  • If you are a Covered Borrower under the Military Lending Act, you may get a different offer
  • See Rates & Fees