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-   -   Viking River Cruises starts in 2017 (http://www.steamboats.org/forum/river-talk-cruises/5344-viking-river-cruises-starts-2017-a.html)

Carmen 02-25-2015 02:40 AM

Viking River Cruises starts in 2017
 
According to this [URL="http://www.nola.com/business/index.ssf/2015/02/viking_river_cruises_to_come_t.html"]article[/URL] Thorstein Hagen intends to build six river cruise ships with the first two ones starting in 2017 (followed by two more each year for 2018 and 2019).

They will be homeported in New Orleans and carry 300 passengers. Nothing said which shipyard is going to build the ships.

Carmen

Carmen 02-25-2015 03:20 AM

Here´s another article from [URL="http://www.cruisecritic.com/news/news.cfm?ID=6206"]cruisecritic[/URL].

They say the ships will have between 300 and 380 passengers. The ships will dock at Bienville Wharf next to the Natchez...

steamboats

Judy Patsch 02-25-2015 04:47 AM

Traffic jam
 
The part I find interesting is building a bus terminal and service area...there is very little parking now for the NATCHEZ and hopefully they aren't planning to remove what is there. The other option is to tear up the popular Woldenberg Riverfront Park and place them there. That was originally the Upper and Lower Bienville Wharf, and the DQ and MQ docked there prior to Robin Street. But it was then sheds with plenty of parking and loading/unloading space, of which there is none now on the park area. I guess another wonderment is where all the passengers are going to come from for six boats, assuming the rates are similar to what ACL and AQ are charging. I know that is out of my price range...

Carmen 02-25-2015 07:10 AM

Here´s another [URL="http://wgno.com/2015/02/24/landrieu-welcomes-viking-cruises-to-new-orleans/"]article[/URL] stating that the ship owner is Tennenbaum Capital Partners, an LA investment company. Viking is chartering the ships. So it´ll be fully compliant with the Jones Act stuff. See also [URL="http://www.travelpulse.com/news/cruise/its-official-viking-to-start-mississippi-river-operation.html"]here[/URL].

Actually I don´t have a clue how they do fill up their European ships. I´ve lost track about how many they´ve already launched and are still under construction or announced. According to the article they´re up to 60 ships in Europe (within only a couple of years, 10 to 15 new ships per year was sort of the "average" during the last years).

It´ll be also interesting whether they do sell in Europe. By the end of 2013 Viking closed down it´s German branch and stopped selling on the German market. So they´re only on the US market. They´ve started out buying the river cruise ship branch from K-D (who invented river cruising on the Rhine river). This was followed by a long law suit which just recently was won by K-D - the contract didn´t allow K-D to operate river cruise ships anymore. They only had excursion boats including the former sidewheel steamer Goethe. So actually Viking started out on the German market.

Carmen

Jim Reising 02-25-2015 11:39 AM

Perhaps IT CAN HAPPEN HERE
 
As we've discussed on this board many times before, why not here since the European Rivers have dozens of overnight boats. Perhaps with an operator like Viking coming into the market our rivers can. I'm a firm believer that business begets more business, the more boats the bigger the demand. With a modern fleet (thank goodness they are not going to have a stupid fake paddlewheel hanging off the stern), I have always thought that our rivers and our baby boomer population are a large untapped market.
I love our rivers and I'm glad, that before too long, there will be many boats giving people the opportunity to see the beauty and excitement of our American Rivers and river towns.

David Dewey 02-25-2015 08:29 PM

I'd be willing to bet that the Viking marketing is NOT to Americans, but to the Asian and European tourist trade.
Will be interesting, though--that's a LOT of boats!

CJ Meyers 02-26-2015 12:12 AM

Wondering is they know what their in for?
 
So do the rivers in Europe present the same challenges as our mighty Mississippi river does in regards to early season mass floods and late season low water levels? I really hope that Viking does their homework because the mighty Mississippi is a beast and beats to its own drum!

Carmen 02-26-2015 03:00 AM

CJ Meyers,

Yes, as weather is unpredictable we do have the same problems over here too. As they do operate nearly 50 ships on the Rhine/Main/Danube rivers they simply swap ships when there´s let´s say a broken down lock or a low water on the Danube river (when usually an area close to Straubing is not navigable anymore - no lock there).

David,

As I said before, they closed down their German branch completely and do not market their European river cruises on the German market anymore. They are completely marketed in the US. I doubt that they will open up for non US customers again.

Carmen

Judy Patsch 02-26-2015 08:37 AM

Big article in Davenport paper
 
[url]http://qctimes.com/news/local/government-and-politics/gluba-cruise-giant-viking-interested-in-davenport/article_9090d37c-e4e1-51b4-9ae9-ba65d62dac22.html[/url]

This news earned a front page banner headline today in the QuadCityTimes. (They did run a small article last week about the DQ purchase.) Mayor Gluba is standing on the Skywalk, commonly known as the Bridge to Nowhere, because that is where it goes. It connects to absolutely nothing, but is a great viewing area for flood pictures. The one interesting thing I find in the article, besides the AQ being in the drawing, is that Viking might stop 2 times a week during their 19 week cruising season. I presume that would mean there would be 2 different boats on the UMR all season. Wow. I hope they can make this work, but my mind is spinning trying to figure out where all these passengers are going to come from, especially if the rates are similar to ACL or AQ. Last year's AQ trips came through here at roughly 50% filled, and who knows how many of those were 2for1. Their first trip this season in NOLA was also around 50%...I just know that at a minimum of $500 a day, $600 for a single, that I'm not in anyone's passenger range anymore...

Frank X. Prudent 02-28-2015 04:56 PM

I really can't get too excited about these new boats coming to the Mississippi System. The comment that Hagen made a year or two ago about how Viking will show Americans how to run boats on our rivers smacks of the same sort of hubris that Majestic American Line exhibited! Honestly, if the same thing happens to Viking that happened to MAL, I won't cry!

I have no idea where Viking's long boat style of vessels will be able to land other than a few cities. With the elevated flat esplanades of New Orleans' wharves and the long boats' low profile, docking in low water will be problematic. Baton Rouge's paper clips and Memphis' float will work during high and low water, but any other city like Louisville, Cincinnati, Davenport, St. Paul, Wheeling and Pt. Pleasant if the waters is high those low flat landings flood.


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