Torstein Hagen Biography

Chairman of Viking

Torstein Hagen is Chairman of Viking, the leading small ship travel company offering river, ocean and expedition voyages on all seven continents. Viking was established in 1997 with the purchase of four ships in Russia and the vision that travel could be more destination focused and culturally immersive.

The company expanded into the American market in 2000, establishing a sales and marketing office in Los Angeles, California. Since then, Viking has grown to be the world’s leading river line and in 2022 was voted the #1 River Line by both Condé Nast Traveler and Travel + Leisure

Hagen announced the company’s entry into ocean voyages in 2013, and in 2015 Viking introduced its first ocean ship with the naming of the 930-guest all-veranda Viking Star. Viking has been consistently named the #1 Ocean Line in Travel + Leisure’s World’s Best Awards and in 2022 was also named the #1 Ocean Line in Condé Nast Traveler’s Readers’ Choice Awards. Viking’s award-winning fleet of identical all-veranda sister ships includes the Viking Sea, the Viking Sky, the Viking Orion, the Viking Jupiter, the Viking Venus, the Viking Mars and the Viking Neptune. The Viking Saturn joins the fleet in 2023.

Viking marked its 25th anniversary in 2022; during this milestone year the company launched Viking Expeditions—with the purpose-built Viking Octantis and Viking Polaris sailing voyages in Antarctica and the Great Lakes—as well as two new, identical ocean ships and new purpose-built vessels in Europe and on the Nile, Mekong and Mississippi Rivers.

A Norway native, Hagen has extensive experience in the shipping and cruise industries and from 1980–1984 held the CEO position at Royal Viking Line, the industry-leading cruise line of its time. He also served as a member of the board of directors for Holland America Line and Kloster Cruise Ltd., and was a partner of the management consulting firm McKinsey & Company in Europe. As the recipient of a Fulbright Scholarship, he studied computers at Wesleyan University. He holds a degree in physics from the Norwegian Institute of Technology, where he completed his Master’s Thesis related to artificial intelligence and machine learning. Hagen also holds a Master of Business Administration from Harvard University.