After first debuting on the European rivers on August 5, 1997, Viking is celebrating its 25th anniversary today.
In a prepared video, the company’s Founder and Chairman Torstein Hagen celebrated the milestone, reflecting on the history and the future of the brand.
“We wanted Viking to be different. We had a vision that travel could be more destination focused and cultural enriching,” he said noting that the company “invented” the category of modern river voyages.
“With the introduction of our small-ship ocean voyages in 2015, we reinvented the category and brought the focus back to the destinations. In the years since, we built an identical fleet of elegant, all-veranda sister ships,” Hagen recalled.
Viking presently operates a fleet of seven ocean cruise ships, with eight additional vessels ordered.
Hagen also mentioned the introduction of the company’s expedition product earlier this year, with the debut of the Viking Octantis in Antarctica.
“We are perfecting expedition voyages and taking guests even further to some of the most pristine destinations of the world,” he said.
With its three products, Viking currently has 10,000 employees and sails to 20 rivers, five oceans, five great lakes and all seven continents, Hagen added.
Looking at the future, he highlighted the addition of a second expedition ship, the Viking Polaris, which is set to enter service this year.
Through the end of the year, Viking is also introducing new river vessels on the Mekong, the Nile and the Mississippi.
“We will bring our modern river voyages to America for the first time with the arrival of the Viking Mississippi,” he explained.
Currently under construction in Louisiana, the new 386-guest vessel will sail on the Lower and Upper Mississippi River, with cruises between New Orleans and St. Paul.
“We have come really far in these 25 years, but I suspect we have much further to go,” Hagen said.