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Who Owns Viking Cruise Lines


Modified: December 28, 2023

by Kiri Hulsey



Viking Cruise Lines is known as one of the premier cruise companies in the world, offering luxurious travel experiences to destinations across the globe. With its impeccable service, state-of-the-art ships, and immersive itineraries, Viking has become a popular choice for travelers seeking a high-end cruising experience.


But have you ever wondered who owns Viking Cruise Lines? Who are the masterminds behind this successful cruise company? In this article, we will delve into the ownership and founding of Viking Cruise Lines and shed light on the key players involved in its success.


From humble beginnings to a prominent name in the cruising industry, understanding the ownership structure of Viking Cruise Lines adds a layer of intrigue to the company’s story. Whether you are a cruise enthusiast, a travel aficionado, or simply curious about the inner workings of successful companies, this article will satisfy your curiosity and provide insights into Viking Cruise Lines’ ownership history.


Background of Viking Cruise Lines

Viking Cruise Lines was founded in 1997 by Torstein Hagen, a Norwegian entrepreneur with a vision to create a different kind of cruise experience. Hailing from a rich seafaring heritage, Hagen wanted to combine the exploration of diverse destinations with the comforts and amenities of a luxury resort.


Initially, Viking focused on river cruises, operating voyages along popular European rivers like the Rhine, Danube, and Seine. The company quickly gained a reputation for its elegant ships, personalized service, and enriching itineraries that allowed guests to immerse themselves in the culture and history of each destination.


With the success of its river cruises, Viking expanded its offerings to include ocean cruises in 2015. The launch of Viking Ocean Cruises represented a new chapter for the company, introducing a fleet of modern, mid-sized ships that offered a more intimate and immersive ocean cruising experience.


Today, Viking Cruise Lines is renowned for its focus on destination-centric itineraries, cultural enrichment, and exceptional service. The company continues to innovate and refine its offerings, delivering unforgettable experiences to its guests across both river and ocean cruises.


Ownership and Founders of Viking Cruise Lines

Viking Cruise Lines was founded by Torstein Hagen, a Norwegian entrepreneur with a passion for travel and exploration. Hagen, who previously held executive positions with luxury cruise company Royal Viking Line, saw an opportunity to create a new kind of cruise experience that would combine the intimacy of river cruising with the amenities of a high-end resort.


As the founder and driving force behind Viking Cruise Lines, Hagen played a pivotal role in shaping the company’s vision and direction. His deep understanding of the travel industry and dedication to providing exceptional service have been instrumental in establishing Viking as a leading name in the cruising industry.


Hagen’s entrepreneurial spirit and commitment to innovation have been key factors in Viking Cruise Lines’ success. From designing and building state-of-the-art ships to expanding the company’s offerings beyond river cruises, Hagen has consistently pushed the boundaries of what a cruise experience can be.


While Torstein Hagen is the founder and visionary behind Viking Cruise Lines, the ownership structure of the company has evolved over the years. In 2010, Viking acquired its first outside investor, TPG Capital, which helped to accelerate the company’s growth and expansion.


Since then, Viking has gone through several changes in ownership. In 2013, TPG sold its stake in the company to a consortium led by the China Investment Corporation (CIC), China’s sovereign wealth fund. This move was aimed at expanding Viking’s presence in the growing Chinese cruise market.


Despite the change in ownership, Torstein Hagen continues to play a significant role in the company as Chairman and CEO. His leadership and expertise continue to drive Viking Cruise Lines’ success and contribute to its reputation as a top-rated cruise company.


Current Ownership Structure

The current ownership structure of Viking Cruise Lines reflects its global reach and strategic partnerships. While Torstein Hagen remains the key figure behind the company, there have been notable changes and investments in the ownership structure over the years.


As of now, Viking Cruise Lines is mainly owned by a consortium of investors led by Torstein Hagen himself. Hagen holds the majority stake in the company, allowing him to steer its direction and maintain control over the company’s operations and vision.


In addition to Hagen’s ownership, there are also other key investors involved in Viking Cruise Lines. Viking’s consortium of investors includes TPG Capital and other financial institutions. These investors provide the necessary capital and strategic support to fuel the company’s growth and enhance its offerings.


Furthermore, as part of its expansion efforts, Viking Cruise Lines has also attracted investment from international entities. In 2013, the China Investment Corporation (CIC), China’s sovereign wealth fund, acquired a significant stake in the company. This move aimed to tap into the growing Chinese cruise market and deepen Viking’s presence in Asia.


While Torstein Hagen’s ownership and leadership remain central to Viking Cruise Lines, the involvement of institutional investors and international partners has brought valuable expertise and resources to the company. This shared ownership structure allows for a balance of perspectives and contributes to the continued success and growth of Viking Cruise Lines.


It is worth noting that ownership structures in the cruise industry can change over time as companies adapt to market demands and seize growth opportunities. Therefore, it is important to stay updated on any new developments regarding the ownership structure of Viking Cruise Lines.


Key Investors in Viking Cruise Lines

Viking Cruise Lines has attracted investment from a number of key investors who have played a significant role in the company’s growth and success. These investors bring not only financial support but also valuable expertise and strategic guidance to propel Viking forward in the competitive cruise industry.


One of the notable investors in Viking Cruise Lines is TPG Capital, a global private equity firm with a strong track record in the travel and hospitality sector. TPG’s investment in Viking in 2010 helped fuel the company’s expansion and innovation. With their deep industry knowledge and resources, TPG Capital provided strategic guidance and operational support to further enhance Viking’s offerings.


Another prominent investor in Viking Cruise Lines is the China Investment Corporation (CIC), China’s sovereign wealth fund. In 2013, CIC acquired a significant stake in Viking as part of the company’s efforts to tap into the growing Chinese cruise market. This strategic investment not only provided Viking with access to a new and lucrative customer base but also helped strengthen its presence in the Asia-Pacific region.


These key investors, along with other financial institutions involved in the consortium, have provided Viking Cruise Lines with the necessary capital to fund its expansion plans, including the development of new ships, the opening of new markets, and the enhancement of onboard experiences. Their investments have not only contributed to the financial stability of the company but have also bolstered its reputation as a leading cruise brand.


It is important to highlight that while these key investors have played a role in supporting Viking Cruise Lines, Torstein Hagen, the founder and CEO of the company, remains the driving force behind the brand. Hagen’s vision, leadership, and intimate understanding of the travel industry have been instrumental in the company’s success and continued growth.


As Viking Cruise Lines continues to expand its offering and explore new markets, it is likely that the company will attract further investments from strategic partners who share the vision and values of the brand. Emphasizing innovation, high-quality service, and destination-focused experiences, Viking’s unique business model remains an attractive proposition for potential investors who seek to capitalize on the growing demand for luxury cruise experiences.


Challenges and Controversies Surrounding Ownership

While Viking Cruise Lines has experienced significant success in the cruise industry, like any company, it has faced its share of challenges and controversies surrounding its ownership structure. These challenges have sparked discussions and debates among industry experts and stakeholders. Here are some key issues that have emerged:


One challenge is the involvement of international investors in Viking Cruise Lines. While attracting investment from entities such as the China Investment Corporation (CIC) has provided financial support and opportunities for expansion, it has also raised concerns about the potential influence of foreign entities on the company’s operations and decision-making processes.


Another controversy that has arisen relates to the potential impact of ownership changes on the company’s values and vision. As Viking Cruise Lines has expanded and attracted various investors, there have been speculations about how these changes may affect the company’s commitment to its core principles, including its dedication to providing exceptional service and destination-focused experiences.


The cruise industry, like many other sectors, is also subject to scrutiny regarding environmental and sustainability practices. Some critics argue that by attracting external investors, Viking Cruise Lines may come under pressure to prioritize profits over sustainable operations. This raises concerns about the company’s commitment to minimizing its carbon footprint and protecting the delicate ecosystems it visits.


There have also been discussions around maintaining the company’s identity and unique brand. As Viking Cruise Lines continues to grow and compete with other leading cruise companies, there is a challenge to preserve its distinctive character while meeting the expectations of a broader customer base. Balancing growth and innovation with maintaining the essence of the Viking experience poses an ongoing challenge for the company.


It is important to note that Viking Cruise Lines has taken steps to address these challenges and controversies. The company has committed itself to sustainable practices, implementing measures to reduce environmental impact and promote responsible travel. Additionally, maintaining the core values and vision of the brand remains a priority, with Torstein Hagen’s continued involvement in the company’s leadership


As the industry continues to evolve and new challenges arise, it will be crucial for Viking Cruise Lines to navigate these issues with transparency, open communication, and a steadfast commitment to its customers, employees, and the environment.



Viking Cruise Lines has emerged as a prominent player in the cruise industry, offering luxurious and enriching travel experiences to adventurous travelers around the world. Founded by Torstein Hagen, the company has grown from its roots in river cruising to become an innovative and highly regarded name in both river and ocean cruising.


The ownership structure of Viking Cruise Lines has evolved over the years, with key investors such as TPG Capital and the China Investment Corporation playing significant roles in the company’s growth and expansion. While attracting outside investment has brought its own set of challenges and controversies, Viking Cruise Lines has remained committed to its values of exceptional service, destination-centric experiences, and sustainability.


Through the vision and leadership of Torstein Hagen, Viking Cruise Lines has successfully navigated these challenges while maintaining its reputation as a top-rated cruise company. Hagen’s unwavering commitment to innovation, cultural enrichment, and guest satisfaction has been instrumental in shaping the company’s success.


Looking ahead, Viking Cruise Lines continues to seek opportunities for growth and expansion. With its focus on unique destinations, immersive experiences, and exceptional quality, the company is well-positioned to capture the attention of discerning travelers seeking unforgettable cruise experiences.


While the ownership structure may continue to evolve, it is the dedication to delivering exceptional service and creating unforgettable memories that will remain at the heart of Viking Cruise Lines. As the company sets sail into the future, it will continue to chart new waters, adapt to changing market dynamics, and uphold its commitment to providing extraordinary travel experiences.


Whether exploring the iconic rivers of Europe or setting sail on a breathtaking ocean voyage, Viking Cruise Lines remains a name synonymous with luxury, exploration, and unforgettable journeys. As travelers continue to seek unique and immersive travel experiences, Viking Cruise Lines will undoubtedly continue to shape the future of cruising with its innovative ships, personalized service, and commitment to creating lifelong memories.