20 ocean ships?
Expedition ships Viking Octantis and Viking Polaris are due in 2022, and there are options for another pair. Six further ocean vessels are firmly contracted, with options for more. ‘Twenty will not be an unreasonable number, and at least we have options to do 20,’ Hagen said. (Five years back, he'd talked about 10.)
Six additional Viking Longships are set to arrive in 2020 and, several years back, Hagen famously mentioned 100 would be a nice round number.
That’s a lot of ships.
However, the word ‘cruises’ is now gone from the company’s URL, Hagen pointed out. It’s just Viking.com. (There are tabs for rivers, ocean and expeditions.)
Using the Viking umbrella is simpler with the three products. The company started as Viking River Cruises, then evolved into Viking Cruises with the ocean ships’ addition, so Viking is a natural progression.
'We are so different'
Speaking to TheStreet this week, Hagen elaborated further: ‘We try not to use the word “cruise” too often because we are so different from the big guys.’
Hagen calls Viking ‘the thinking person’s cruise,’ with its destination focus, small ships, understated elegance, quiet, no kids, no casinos, no nickel and diming — among a long list of differentiators.
TheStreet asked the Viking chief about going public (not in the cards) and about mergers and acquisitions (a distraction, in his view).
‘We’re very fortunate,’ Hagen said. ‘We offer a full product range under one brand: Viking. To think either about merging into something or merging somebody into us, I think it’s much better to be just a one-brand product line.’