Viking was founded in 1997 with the purchase of four ships in Russia. Since then Viking has grown to be The World’s Leading River Cruise Line, and with the launch of its ocean fleet, it has also become the leader in small ship ocean cruising.
The company currently operates a worldwide fleet of more than 70 vessels, state-of-the-art river and ocean ships that have received numerous accolades since their launch from industry experts and travelers alike. In January 2022, Viking will launch new expedition voyages, sailing to Antarctica, the Arctic and North America’s Great Lakes. Its first vessel, Viking Octantis, will embark on voyages to Antarctica and North America’s Great Lakes starting in January 2022. A second expedition vessel, Viking Polaris, will debut in August 2022, sailing to Antarctica and the Arctic. Also in August 2022, Viking will expand its destination-focused travel experiences with the launch of Mississippi River cruises. Its first custom vessel, Viking Mississippi, will sail voyages on the Lower and Upper Mississippi, between New Orleans and St. Paul.
Designed for experienced travelers with interests in science, history, culture and cuisine, Chairman Torstein Hagen often says Viking offers guests "the thinking person's cruise" in contrast to mainstream cruises. Each destination-focused journey includes a shore excursion in every port, and an exclusive Viking Culture Curriculum program that provides deep immersion in the destination through performances of music and art, cooking demonstrations, informative port talks and carefully selected guest lecturers.