A Journey to England to Meet a Star
Victory awaits him who has everything in order – luck, people call it. Defeat is certain for him who has neglected to take the necessary precautions in time. This is called bad luck.”
Norwegian polar explorer Roald Amundsen
Once upon a time, there was a Norwegian man by the name of Roald Amundsen. Born in the small parish of Borge in 1872, he would go on to become one of the world’s most daring and successful polar explorers of all time.
He also had a great talent for doing what others couldn’t: despite centuries of failed expeditions to the North and South Poles, Amundsen ending up claiming both victories for himself and for Norway in 1926 and 1911, respectively. He also singlehandedly succeeded in discovering the fabled Northwest Passage in 1906. A one-man-wrecking-ball, Amundsen was a huge thorn in the side of contemporaries like Scott, Shackleton, and Mawson simply for his freakish ability to succeed in the face of extreme odds.
Viking Cruises founder Torstein Hagen is a bit like Amundsen – and not just because he’s of Norwegian descent. No. I draw the parallel between Hagen and Amundsen because of both men’s dogged determination to succeed where others have failed, and due to their willingness to challenge conventional thought.
At the helm of one of the most unbelievably successful (river) cruise lines of all time, you’d think that after earning two consecutive Guinness World Records for most ships launched in a single day (Viking Longships, 2013 and 2014) and the fact that the company just can’t build more Longships fast enough to keep up with the demand, that Hagen might feel secure enough to kick back. Relax. Have an aquavit. The man is, after all, in his 70’s.
That assumption would be to underestimate Hagen’s plans for the future. That future includes ocean cruising – Viking style. And that’s where the brand-new, 930-guest Viking Star comes in. Best of all, we’re sailing aboa