Viking Cruises offers both river cruises and ocean cruises through two product lines. A global corporation headquartered in the United States with main operational headquarters in Basel, Switzerland, the company was established in 1997 by a Scandinavian and Dutch consortium led by Torstein Hagen.
Initially the company purchased four Russian ships and provided a Russian river-cruise product to Europeans. The following year the company purchased additional ships and continued to cater to the European market. In 2000, the company expanded into the American market, establishing U.S. headquarters as Viking River Cruises in Los Angeles, California.
Through rapid expansion, the purchase of KD River Cruise lines, and unprecedented new builds, the river cruise division grew to be the world’s largest river cruise, and currently offers cruises along the rivers of Europe, Russia, Ukraine, China, Southeast Asia, and Egypt. In May of 2013, Viking Cruises announced the launch of a new small-ship ocean cruising division, which began with the maiden season of Viking Star in spring of 2015, and features Baltic and Mediterranean itineraries.
Viking are the most award-winning river cruise line: last year, the public voted Viking as ‘Best River Cruise Line’ at the prestigious British Travel Awards for the fifth year in a row. Cruise Critic UK Editor’s Picks also named Viking as ‘Best River Cruise Line’. And we are thrilled to be honoured by titles such as Food and Travel. With the recent announcement of our new ocean division, we are now Viking Cruises, and as our maiden ocean voyages begun in Spring 2015, we look forward to setting yet more industry standards.