Torstein Hagen Biography

Chairman of Viking

Torstein Hagen is Chairman of Viking, the world’s leading exploration company. Viking was established in 1997 with the purchase of four ships 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 a fleet of more than 90 vessels, offering river, ocean and expedition voyages on all seven continents.   Designed for experienced travelers with interests in science, history, culture and cuisine, Hagen often says Viking offers experiences for The Thinking Person™

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 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 vessels in Europe and on the Nile, Mekong and Mississippi Rivers. In 2023, Viking welcomed its newest ocean ship, the Viking Saturn, as well as the Viking Aton, another new vessel on the Nile River.

Viking has more than 250 awards to its name, including being rated #1 for Rivers, #1 for Oceans and #1 for Expeditions by Condé Nast Traveler and voted at the top of its categories by Travel + Leisure. No other cruise line has ever received these same honors by both publications at the same time.

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.