This year, Viking Cruises marks two decades of sailing and innovation on the world's waterways. Founded in 1997, Viking now has the largest fleet of river vessels, including the two new Viking Longships (Viking Herja and Viking Hild) which launched in March. Having debuted its small ship ocean cruises in 2015, Viking now also has three 930-guest sister ships and will add a fourth by the end of the year.
To commemorate its 20th anniversary, Viking has released a new video in which founder and chairman of Viking Cruises, Torstein Hagen reflects on the company’s history, from its start with four river vessels in Russia and the launch of the revolutionary Viking Longships – to the introduction of Viking Ocean Cruises.
In a written release, Hagen said, "twenty years ago, river cruising was unknown to most North American travelers, and today we are proud that Viking is a household name."
Over the past 20 years, Viking has accumulated a variety of awards. Most recently, Viking's accolades include:
- Best Luxury River Cruise Company in Luxury Travel Advisor's 2017 Awards of Excellence
- Town & Country named Viking Ocean Cruises “Best for Design” and “Best Overall, Contemporary Luxury”
- Viking’s two ships won the top two placements in nearly every category where they were eligible in Cruise Critic’s 2017 Cruisers’ Choice Awards, including “Best Overall” and “Best for First-Timers.”
- “Best River Cruise Line” in USA Today’s 10Best Readers’ Choice Awards and earned second-place honors for “Best Ocean Cruise Line.” Viking Star and Viking Sea also took second and third place honors, respectively, in the “Best Cruise Ship for Dining” category
Viking’s 20th anniversary year will also be a year of significant expansion. By the end of 2017, the company will have welcomed two new Viking Longships on Europe’s rivers and will have doubled its ocean fleet with the addition of Viking Sky, which launched in February, and Viking Sun, which debuts in October. Viking’s fifth ship, Viking Spirit, will join the fleet in 2018, and will sail itineraries in Australia, Asia and Alaska. A sixth, yet-to-be-named sister ship will be delivered in 2019 and will mark Viking as the largest small ship ocean cruise line. The company has also placed orders for two additional sister ships to debut in 2020 and 2022, respectively.