Viking Cruises offers both river cruises and ocean cruises through two product lines, Viking River Cruises and Viking Ocean Cruises. A global corporation headquartered in the United States with main operational headquarters in Basel, Switzerland, the company was established in 1997 by a Scandinavian and Dutch consortium led by Torstein Hagen. Initially the company purchased four Russian ships and provided a Russian river-cruise product to Europeans. The following year the company purchased additional ships and continued to cater to the European market. In 2000, the company expanded into the American market, establishing U.S. headquarters as Viking River Cruises in Los Angeles, California. Through rapid expansion, the purchase of KD River Cruise lines, and unprecedented new builds, the river cruise division grew to be the world’s largest river cruise line, and currently offers cruises along the rivers of Europe, Russia, China, Southeast Asia and Egypt. In May 2013, the company announced the launch of a new small-ship ocean cruising division, Viking Ocean Cruises, which began with the maiden season of Viking Star in spring of 2015, and features Baltic and Mediterranean itineraries. In 2016 and 2017, Viking Star will be joined by two equally elegant sister ships, Viking Sea and Viking Sky.