The Mighty Mississippi is preparing for the arrival of the Viking river ships.
Viking Cruises will place at least six new ships into the iconic U.S. waterway by 2019, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal said this week.
That means the cruise ship presence on the Mississippi is set to more than double in the coming years. Two lines are operating on the Mississippi -- American Cruise Lines (Queen of the Mississippi) and American Queen Steamboat Co. (American Queen) offers voyages.
Viking Cruises, a longtime force in Europe and elsewhere, will use New Orleans as its home base to place its first river ships in the United States.
In The Loop Travel thought it would be fun to speculate what Viking might name these new ships. The line has named all its European vessels with an eye toward Viking heritage. Names like Viking Mani, Viking Delling, Viking Tor and Viking Odin pay homage to gods in mythology.
How about some cool names to recognize the heritage along the Mississippi River.
Viking Mississippi: Simple and elegant, a perfect choice perhaps for the inaugural ship and gives a nod to the importance of the massive river that cuts through America, sourced at its headwaters of Lake Itasca in northern Minnesota and emptying into the Gulf of Mexico near New Orleans. The name Viking Mississippi certainly leaves no doubt as to where you will be sailing.
Viking Whodat: What better way to support the city of New Orleans than to adopt its famed chant, "Who Dat!?" Viking can even work it into the marketing materials, taunting the competition in true New Orleans style: "Who dat say they gonna beat this cruise experience? Who dat!?"
Viking Twain: Legendary author Mark Twain penned "Life on the Mississippi" about his work as a steamboat pilot on the muddy waters before the Civil War. The name Twain is almost synonymous with the river, and his "Adventures of Huckleberry Finn" made the Mississippi a central character.
Viking Armstrong: Speaking of icons. How about honoring the legendary jazz musician and New Orleans native Louis Armstrong. Jazz music is at the heart of the city and region, and Viking Cruises no doubt will feature plenty of music on its voyages. So why not a ship named for Satchmo? (Oooh, maybe Viking Satchmo would be even better.) Heck, the city even named its airport after Armstrong.
Viking Huckleberry: See Viking Twain entry, above. It just has a perfect ring to it, don't ya think?
Viking Tarkenton: In the tradition of honoring great Viking legends, Viking Cruises, of course, would consider the greatest Vikings in American history. With the headwaters of the Mississippi located in Minnesota, it makes perfect sense to look to the Minnesota Vikings for inspiration (full disclosure, I am a diehard fan of the NFL team). Not happy with Hall of Fame QB Fran Tarkenton as the choice? How about Viking Grant for Hall of Fame coach Bud Grant? Maybe Viking Marshall? You guessed it, for another Hall of Famer, defensive end Jim Marshall. OK, I tried.
I'm sure Viking Cruises has its own ideas, but I'd like to think the line will seriously mull over some of these. Ha! Viking plans to debut its first Mississippi ships, which are expected to accommodate about 300 passengers, by late 2017.
Let's see some of your ideas for good names that fit in with Viking Cruises' plans to launch ships on the Mississippi River.
Thanks for reading,
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