Torstein Hagen

About Torstein Hagen

Birth Year: 1943
Birth Place: Lucerne, Switzerland, Norway
Residence: Lucerne, Switzerland
Alma mater: Norwegian Institute of Technology Harvard University
Occupation: Founder & chairman, Viking Cruises
Years active: 1974–present
Spouse(s): Ellen-Karine Hagen (div. 2017)
Children: 2

Torstein Hagen

Torstein Hagen was born on 1943 in Lucerne, Switzerland, Norway. Former CEO of now-defunct Royal Viking Line and a former Holland America Line board member, Torstein Hagen started Viking Cruises with four Russian ships in 1997. Today his fleet of 62 vessels brings tourists up and down Europe's major waterways as well as the Nile in Egypt and the Yangtze in China. In 2016, he sold a 17% stake of Viking River to TPG Capital and the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board for $500 million in a deal that valued his company at nearly $3 billion. Hagen holds an MBA from Harvard. He is a former partner at McKinsey & Co.
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Hagen was born and raised in Norway. He earned a degree in physics at the Norwegian Institute of Technology and an MBA from Harvard Business School in 1968.


Hagen was a consultant, and later partner, for McKinsey & Company in Europe, helping to bring Holland America Line back from near-bankruptcy in 1974. In 1976, he became CEO of Bergen Steamship Company (Bergenske Dampskibsselskab), and then became CEO of Royal Viking Line from 1980 to 1984. He joined the board of Holland America Line in 1985, and later served on the board of Kloster Cruise. In the early 1990s, he acquired a 27% stake in Royal Nedlloyd, a Rotterdam-based shipping company, becoming the biggest shareholder. He sold his shares several years later at a loss.


In 1997, Hagen founded Viking River Cruises with the purchase of four river ships, launching the company with four Russian river cruises. In May 2013, the company announced plans to start an ocean cruise division, and changed its name to Viking Cruises. Its first ocean cruise was launched in 2015. As of 2017, the company has a fleet of over 60 vessels, and four ocean going ships.

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