Viking Cruise Lines are launching new destination-focused travel experiences on the Mississippi River, with its first 386-guests custom vessel, Viking Mississippi. Its maiden voyage for passengers began in St. Paul on Saturday and Viking’s first stop in the Quad Cities will be at noon Wednesday, September 7 at River Heritage Park, 615 E. River Drive, Davenport.

The public is invited to welcome the first Viking passengers to the Quad Cities. An opening ceremony and ribbon-cutting will take place before the passengers disembark on the red carpet to board the buses for their shore excursions.

Adding Viking’s globally-recognized brand to the cruise lines sailing on the Mississippi is important to the visibility of the Quad Cities regional destination, a news release says. Visit Quad Cities, the region’s official destination management and marketing organization (DMMO), assists the national river cruise companies to develop the shore excursion tours for passengers. 

Passengers go on tours visiting our attractions and gain authentic experiences while they are in the QC. Visits from national cruise line companies are an excellent opportunity for people to experience the Quad Cities first-hand and a way to share the remarkable story of the Quad Cities, the release says. These visits are a critical economic driver as hundreds of passengers disembark in the QC during each stop. 

Viking passengers will have the opportunity to visit the John Deere Pavilion & Store, Deere-Wiman House and Butterworth Center, Figge Art Museum, Putnam Museum and Science Center, and Cinnamon Ridge Farms, in addition to biking and kayaking guided tours.

“This is a watershed moment for the Quad Cities regional destination,” said Dave Herrell, president and CEO, Visit Quad Cities. “Viking’s arrival in the Quad Cities is exciting and an important opportunity to activate our world-renowned Mississippi River. We are honored to serve Viking’s customers and are aligned with Viking to deliver an unforgettable Quad Cities experience. Their customers will participate in group tours and we are confident that they will walk away impressed with what the QC has to offer.”

”Our philosophy is that visitors are potential new residents and/or investors so we plan to roll out the red carpet and create memories for Viking’s passengers during their stay. Plus, the world-wide brand visibility our region will receive is immeasurable,” Herrell said. “We are looking forward to providing that unique Midwestern hospitality and are incredibly grateful to the City of Davenport for their strategic riverfront investment to make River Heritage Park the first impression where Viking’s customers will disembark.”

Almost 50 stops from national cruise lines will be welcomed to the Quad Cities this year.  Cruise lines have scheduled visits in the QC until early November. 

“We are thrilled to welcome Viking Tours to the Butterworth Center & Deere-Wiman House,” said Executive Director Stacy Klingler. “We can’t wait to share the Deere Family story that is so central to the development of Moline and the Quad Cities, alongside the story of the corporation that visitors will learn at the John Deere Commons.  These tourism dollars provide financial support to preserve the homes, as well as for our arts and culture programs and our free community center facilities.  We know that our Quad Cities local history is just as important—if not quite as old—as the history shared in Viking Tours in other parts of the world.”

“We have been anticipating this day for a long time and are thrilled to be partnering with Viking Cruise lines to welcome their passengers to the Figge Art Museum,” said Director of Education Melissa Mohr. “We will be providing an exclusive experience for passengers during their time in the Quad Cities and we cannot wait to showcase all of the incredible artwork and traveling exhibitions on view.”    

“The Putnam Museum and Science Center is excited to partner with Visit Quad Cities to welcome Viking Cruise Lines guests to the region,” said Rachael Mullins, president & CEO, The Putnam. “We look forward to celebrating all the best the Quad Cities has to offer, including the rich history and diverse culture of our Native American community.”

About Viking Mississippi

Currently scheduled ports of call on Viking’s new Mississippi River Cruises comprise seven U.S. states: Louisiana (Baton Rouge, Darrow, New Orleans and St. Francisville); Mississippi (Natchez and Vicksburg); Tennessee (Memphis); Missouri (Hannibal, St. Louis); Iowa (Burlington, Dubuque and Quad Cities); Wisconsin (La Crosse); and Minnesota (Red Wing, St. Paul). The new state-of-the-art Viking Mississippi is a five-deck ship with expansive windows and comfortable amenities that will make it the largest and most modern cruise ship in the region.