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Hagen leads Viking maiden calls to 5 ports in his homeland, Norway

Torstein Hagen fishes in Bodø with his daughter, Karine Hagen, svp of Viking and Viking Sea's godmother (Photo: Viking Ocean Cruises)
Viking Ocean Cruises founder and chairman Torstein Hagen joined the new Viking Sea for maiden calls at five ports in Norway, his homeland.

Hagen participated in the traditional plaque exchange ceremonies attended by local officials, harbormasters, tourism directors and mayors. He also went on shore excursions available to Viking passengers, including visiting the northernmost brewery in Tromsø and eating freshly caught king crab near Honningsvåg. He fished for lunch in Bodø, too.

This is the first time Viking has sailed into these ports in northern Norway, along with Brønnøysund and Ålesund. All are part of the line's 15-day 'Into the Midnight Sun' itinerary that cruises between London (Greenwich) and Bergen.

Hagen joined Viking Sea Capt. Gulleik Svalastog in presenting and guiding tours of the ship, and discussed how Viking can help support Norway's tourism industry through its sailings and its destination-focused approach.

The participating mayors included Tromsø's Jarle Aarbakke, Nordkapp's Kristina Sigurdsdottir Hansen, Brønnøysund's Johnny Hanssen and Bodø's Ida Maria Pinnerod. Bodø port director Ingvar Mathisen was on hand, too.

Addressing repeat Viking travelers at a Viking Explorer Society cocktail party, Hagen remarked: 'Sir Richard Branson says space is Virgin territory. I say Scandinavia is Viking territory. No other cruise line can show you this part of the world like Viking can.

'I have known for years that there is nothing better than Norway in the summer,' he continued, 'and I am happy to now be able to share the beauty of my native Norway with you, our Viking guests.'

Viking's second ship, the 930-passenger Viking Sea, entered service in the spring.