Viking’s Hagen forecasts ‘phenomenal year’ for 2023

Viking Chairman reflects on transition year following COVID

Viking Chairman Torstein Hagen said he believes 2023 will be a “phenomenal year” in terms of sales during an end-of-year address, while referring to 2022 as a “transition year” from the pandemic.

Speaking from aboard Viking Polaris in Antarctica in late last month, Hagen said 2022 had been an “interesting year” for Viking. The cruise line took delivery of its two expedition ships – which he says are “by far the best expedition ships in the industry” – as well as a new vessel on the Nile, a first ship for the Mississippi, accompanied by additional ocean ships.

“We are continuing our expansion after the pandemic, which I consider is finally behind us,” he said in a video to customers.

Torstein Hagen, Chairman of Viking sailed to Antarctica at the end of 2022

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“So 2022 has been a good year for us and looking into 2023 it looks like a phenomenal year. Bookings are very strong. Many of our sailings are sold out. We’ll have a naming ceremony on 8 January of Viking Neptune and we’ll be taking delivery of the Saturn later in the year.

“We’ll have a few more longships for Europe and of course, we now have the Egypt product which is very interesting.”

“So the way it now looks for 2023, bookings are very, very strong on the oceans.”

Hagen said that with Russia and St Petersberg still off limits, Viking continues to substitute Oslo and the brand’s homeland of Norway as an alternative.

“As a matter of a fact, and I shouldn’t say it maybe, but it turned out to be even more popular than St. Petersburg,” he noted.

Sightseeing from a Viking River Cruise

Hagen also added that the Mediterranean continues to prove popular for ocean, in the summer as well as the winter as the weather is cooler and there are less tourist crowds.

“We’ve come quite far. 2022 was a transition year,” Hagen said, adding that he looks back on 2022 with “some satisfaction”, but is looking forward to 2023 with “a lot” of optimism and anticipation.

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