SNN707 wrote:msycajun wrote:AirFiero wrote:
Ah, now THIS is how you’d deal with the cruise restrictions. US built (and flagged, I think?) ships. I’ll be watching this, because we love cruises and would love to do river cruises right here in the US.
I sure hope the fares are less expensive than American Cruise Lines. The prices were WAY higher than the major cruise lines. For example, an 8 day lower Mississippi cruise is $4,600 pp. A 7 day Princess cruise LA to Mexico is $900 pp.
I was probably too optimistic when I said fall of this year, but I wouldn't be surprised to see something start in 2021. Everything I've seen indicates upper Mississippi cruises starting in 2022, and the N.O.-Memphis ones should be well before that. I believe the rumor to be very credible that a major announcement is due in the next month or two. The current plan is certainly to have a U.S. company (last I heard was Edison Chouest) build and operate them while Viking does the marketing. I don't have insider knowledge on how far along that is though.
And I wouldn't expect them to be any less expensive than the current river cruises. River crews are paid in some cases several times more than the foreign ones and virtually everything else is going to be more expensive than in Caribbean ports. River travel is significantly more energy intensive than ocean, plus you are spreading the costs over significantly fewer passengers.
Now what would be nice is if Viking decided to add an ocean going ship to complement the river cruises. That would draw in plenty of air traffic as well.
Good comments. I'm wondering how big the river cruise market actually is - we will find out. Viking is the gorilla in the room and has international marketing power. They dont plan to be anything but #1. It also makes perfect sense for 1st time river cruisers to try the domestic product then sell them the European cruise.
Good for MSY as there should be a high percentage of fly-ins for Viking. But I can't see the Viking ocean ship here - the Caribbean is saturated with cruise options. Only if they are extended voyages which reach ports further than the current offerings, such as Colombia, the Canal, Aruba. Costa Rica. That may work.
Disney entered the NO cruise market this year, albeit for a short time frame, the same ship that calls on Galveston and covers the San Diego, Hawaii and Alaska summer season. It comes back for 2021. That is way more family oriented and usually means some kids in tow. Maybe the duration of the service time from NO last a little longer with new ships on the way.
Viking is cranking up Great Lakes cruising as well.