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"Viking Mississippi" to set sail from St. Paul Saturday

ST. PAUL, Minn. — Viking’s ‘Mississippi’ is ready for its maiden voyage of the mighty river.

The ship and its 386 passengers depart St. Paul Saturday, beginning a 15-day trek of the river, passing through more than one dozen cities before ending in New Orleans.

On Friday evening, the ship sat docked in Red Wing while crew members made last-minute preparations.

“I think it enhances what Red Wing is all about. It brings a lot of people [here],” said Dick Back of Red Wing.

“It fascinates me that they’re able to do this – something this big,” said Kirby Berg of Hastings, who admired the boat from the river’s bank. “I really like [boats]. This one is very big – very big.”

Berg isn’t wrong. The Mississippi has 193 rooms, split between five decks. Rooms vary in size from 400 square feet to more than 1,000 for “Explorer Suites”. The ship also features multiple terraces, cafes, an infinity pool, restaurants, and a promenade deck.

St. Paul Hotel General Manager Gerry Goldfarb says the hotel has booked nearly 50 rooms for the cruise, which will take excursions in more than one dozen cities.

In Red Wing, excursions include museums, the Goodhue County Historical Society, the Maiden Rock Winery and Cidery as well as the nearby eagle center.

“I just hope they have a very good impression of Red Wing,” said Barb Brown, co-owner of Roaming Red Wing. “I think there’s a lot for this town to offer, we’re one of the smallest cities that the riverboat will visit on the Mississippi.”

Source: CBS Minnesota

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