Viking was established in 1997 with the purchase of four ships in Russia. In 2000, the company purchased Europe’s KD River Cruises to grow its fleet, to leverage 40 years of river cruising experience and to acquire rights to docking locations in European cities. The company expanded into the American market in 2000, establishing a sales and marketing office in Los Angeles, California. It launched its ocean fleet in 2015. In its first four years of operation, Viking has been rated the leading ocean cruise line in Travel + Leisure’s 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019 World’s Best Awards.