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|Industry||Travel and Tourism|
|Headquarters||Woodland Hills, Los Angeles, California|
|Torstein Hagen, Founder and Chairman|
|Products||River cruises and Ocean cruises|
|Subsidiaries||Viking River Cruises
Viking Ocean Cruises
Viking Cruises is a privately owned company offering river and ocean cruises, aimed at more experienced travelers with an interest in geography, culture and history. It is the parent company of Viking River Cruises and Viking Ocean Cruises.
In 2015, the company began offering ocean cruises in Scandinavia, the British Isles, the Baltic Sea and the Mediterranean Sea. Viking has a primary sales office in the United States, with secondary sales offices in the United Kingdom and Australia, and operational offices in Switzerland.
Viking Cruises was initially founded as Viking River Cruises in 1997, and expanded into the American market in 2000, establishing its US headquarters in Los Angeles, California. Over time, the company has acquired and refurbished additional ships and built new ones. As of 2017, it operates a fleet of more than 60 ships. The company employs more than 4,000 staff worldwide and markets its cruises primarily to English-speaking customers in North America, the UK and Australia.
In the mid-1990s, the company's founder and chairman, Torstein Hagen, took a river cruise through Russia. The experience inspired him to create a river cruise company in 1997. Educated at Norwegian Institute of Technology and Harvard Business School, Hagen was formerly CEO of Royal Viking Line, and also served on the boards of Holland America Line and Kloster Cruise Ltd.
The company started with the purchase of four Russian vessels in 1997. The following year, it acquired additional ships and continued to cater to European passengers. In 2000, Viking purchased Europe's KD River Cruises, which was founded in 1827, though KD retained its Rhine Line passenger ferries, scheduled services and day-excursion operations. The acquisition added more ships to Viking's fleet, bringing its total to 26, the largest fleet in the world, and gave the company rights to prime docking locations in key European cities. Since 2000, the company has built nearly all of its own river ships, uniquely designed Longships, adding 6 to the fleet in 2012, 10 of the same in 2013, 18 in 2014, 12 in 2015, 6 in 2016 and 2 in 2017. The number of ships built in 2013 and 2014 represented a world record and was noted in the Guinness Book of World Records.
The company expanded into China in 2004 with Yangtze River "cruisetours," itineraries that combine a river cruise with hotel stays in various cities like Beijing and Shanghai. Since then, the company has adopted this model to other regions, including Europe and Southeast Asia.
In May 2013, the company announced the launch of an ocean cruise division  of small, oceangoing vessels and modified its name to Viking Cruises. In 2015, its first ship, Viking Star, began sailing itineraries in Scandinavia and the Baltic, and on the Mediterranean Sea. With a float out in June 2015, the company launched its second ship, Viking Sea, in 2016. Viking Sky and Viking Sun join the fleet in 2017, with Viking Spirit scheduled to debut in 2018 along with three more by 2022.
A planned expansion into the US along the Mississippi River was announced in February 2015. Viking's home port will be New Orleans, Louisiana, with vessels cruising north to Memphis, Tennessee; St. Louis, Missouri; or St. Paul, Minnesota. Service is expected to begin in late 2017 using two ships, with the fleet expanding to six by 2019. Each vessel will have a capacity of about 300.
Viking River Cruises offers cruising along the rivers of Europe, Russia, China, Southeast Asia and Egypt. Since its 1997 inception, the company has grown to a fleet of more than 60 river vessels. Viking's European ships have a typical capacity of 190 passengers; its Russian ships' capacity averages just over 200 and its China ship carries up to 246.
Viking itineraries range from eight to 23 days along Europe's Rhine, Main, Danube, Seine, Rhône, Elbe and Douro Rivers; Russia's Volga and Svir; Ukraine's Dnieper; China's Yangtze; Egypt's Nile and Lake Nasser; and Cambodia and Vietnam's Mekong. Some voyages, including those in China, Southeast Asia and Egypt and a few in Europe, are "cruisetours," which include both hotel stays and river cruising.
In 2009, Viking launched Viking Legend, the first of its ships to have hybrid diesel-electric engines. According to the company, these engines use an estimated 20% less fuel than conventional engines. Noise-insulated engine rooms reduce noise and vibration and the ship has its own membrane water treatment plant to further reduce environmental impact. Viking's next new vessel, Viking Prestige, launched in 2011 with the same "green" features as Viking Legend.
In 2012, Viking introduced its Viking Longships class designed by Scandinavian naval architects Yran and Storbraaten. Each of these ships has the same environmentally friendly engine system, plus a patented interior design configuration (Corridor configuration designs U.S. Patent No. 1832106-0001 to 1832106-0011) that creates large two-room suites, full-size rooms with full-size verandas and French balcony staterooms. Additional features include an indoor-outdoor Aquavit Terrace for outdoor dining at the prow of the ship, large Explorer Suites at the stern; solar panels and an organic herb garden. The first six Viking Longships that launched in 2012 collectively won Cruise Critic's award for "Best New River Ship." The company launched 10 more in 2013; an additional 16 in 2014, plus 2 smaller vessels purpose-built for Portugal's Douro River; 12 in 2015; 6 in 2016 and 2 in 2017. Each Viking Longship is named for a figure in Norse mythology or history.
The same nautical architects and engineers who helped develop the Viking Longships are designing Viking Ra, the newest addition to the company's Egypt fleet. The refurbished ship will offer a blend of the Scandinavian design the company is recognized for and local inspirations, such as traditional geometric Arabic patterns. The 48-passenger Viking Ra is scheduled to begin sailing in 2018.
Viking River Cruises operates a fleet of more than 60 vessels as of 2017. All of its ships have been custom built or fully renovated since 1999; 100% of the cabins are "outside" staterooms with windows or balconies. The ships also have onboard restaurants, bars, lounges, libraries and sun decks. The company christened 16 ships in a single day in 2014, breaking its own record that it held the previous year (10) and earning it a place in the Guinness Book of World Records. As of 2014, more than two-thirds of the company's European fleet are classed as "Viking Longships." 
Viking Ocean Cruises, the ocean cruise division of Viking Cruises, launched in 2013 to offer the same small ship experience as the company's river division. Specifically designed to provide more time in port than competitors, including late evening stays and overnights, itineraries sail Scandinavia, the Baltic, the Americas, the Caribbean, the Mediterranean, Asia, Australia and New Zealand.
In 2013, Viking Cruises announced the first new cruise line in nearly a decade. Its ocean cruise product line is intended to leverage the company's managerial experience in ocean cruising as well as its success in the river cruise sector. Viking's ocean cruise division began sailing its first vessel, Viking Star, in 2015. It was joined by the fleet's second vessel, Viking Sea, in 2016; and its third and fourth ships, Viking Sky and Viking Sun, in 2017.Viking Spirit is scheduled for 2018 sailings and three more will join them by 2022. Initial ocean cruising destinations included Scandinavia, the Baltic and the Mediterranean, calling on ports such as Bergen, Norway; St. Petersburg, Russia; Gda?sk, Poland; and Barcelona, Spain. With its expansion, Viking is offering itineraries in the Americas, the Caribbean, Asia, Australia and New Zealand, as well as its first World Cruise.
Viking Star is a 930-passenger all-veranda cruise ship, classified by the Cruise Critic trade publication as a "small ship."  The ship, along with its sister ships, was designed by experienced naval architects and designers with features including dual-fuel engines, a hydro-dynamically optimized streamlined hull for maximum fuel efficiency, onboard solar panels and equipment that minimizes exhaust pollution.
They were built by Fincantieri shipyard in Ancona, Italy, and the interior design, rich in Scandinavian influence, was developed by London-based SMC Design and Los Angeles-based Rottet Studio.
Viking Cruises is the first cruise line to launch a new purpose-built ship since Disney Cruise Line introduced Disney Magic in 1998.Viking Star and its identical sister ships have 465 staterooms in five categories, all with private verandas and a square-footage (270) that exceeds that found on most cruise ships. The ships' largest suite, the Owner's Suite, is nearly 1,500 square feet. Multiple lounge and dining venues with several options for dining outdoors on deck. Other onboard areas include a three-story atrium, theater, library, sun deck including two pools, Nordic-inspired spa, gym and yoga area, and onboard boutiques. Their infinity pool is one of the first of its kind at sea, and the floor-to-ceiling windows that bring sunlight into the ship's interior spaces are unique among ships of this class.
Complimentary amenities on all ocean ships in the Viking fleet include Wi-Fi Internet access; beer and wine with lunch and dinner; at least one shore excursion in every port; a Scandinavia-inspired spa, which includes a thermal pool, hot tub, sauna and a chilled Snow Grotto in which snow gently falls from the ceiling; fitness center; library with curated books to reflect the cruise line's destinations; 24-hour room service; meals at all the ship's restaurants; cappuccinos, lattes and other espresso drinks available throughout the ship; self-service laundry; movies on in-room televisions and entertainment, movies and lectures in onboard theaters; and transfers between the arrival airport and the ship. Paid amenities on all ships include several spa and salon services; specialty beer, wine and spirits; and additional shore excursions.
Each sister ship is one-third the size of many cruise ships being built by major cruise lines. This allows it to enter into smaller ports. Its overall length is 745.4 ft. (227.2 m); its beam is 94.5 ft. (28.8 m); the draft is 20.7 ft. (6.3 m); and the gross tonnage (GRT) is 47,800 t.
Viking will be adding four additional ships to its current ocean fleet. Viking Spirit is scheduled to launch in 2018, and three more are scheduled to launch by 2022. They are also being built at Fincantieri's Ancona shipyard.
Viking's river cruise division has received many awards and much recognition from publications and organizations within the travel and cruise industries, as well as from the travel press. A summary of the company's awards follows:
Since the 2015 maiden voyage of Viking Star, the company has received many accolades from cruise industry experts and critics.
Viking River Cruises sponsors programming on the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS), including support for Masterpiece's Downton Abbey, Sherlock and Poldark, among several others. Viking is also a sponsor of National Geographic's Genius.