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Key Facts Behind the Luxury Cruise Operator’s Debut

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Wednesday’s IPO will value Viking, an operator of luxury river and ocean cruises, at roughly $10 billion. Leaders in the luxury travel sector will be eyeing the move closely.

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Viking, an operator of river and ocean cruises, and a group of shareholders were set to raise more than $1 billion in an initial public offering on Wednesday.

When the stock begins trading Wednesday on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol VIK, the Bermuda-based luxury travel company anticipates that the price per share will be between $21 and $25.

The company and its shareholders will offer 53 million shares.

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Examples of Viking’s ocean, river, and expedition ships. Source: Viking.

10 Facts About Viking’s IPO and Strategy

  • The IPO will enrich chairman, CEO, and co-founder Torstein Hagen, 81, who will control a slim majority of Viking shares. The public debut will make Hagen worth roughly $5 billion, according to Bloomberg estimates.
  • Hagen began Viking in 1997 with four river ships. Today, the company sails 80 river vessels, averaging 190 passengers each. It also has nine ocean-sailing ships, which typically hold about 900 passengers, making them relatively smaller than traditional ocean vessels. The company has three other vessels, such as those used to cruise the Nile in Egypt.
  • Viking wasn’t profitable last year. It reported a $1.86 billion loss in its 2023 fiscal year. But it said that was related to one-time losses. The company reported about $1.09 billion in adjusted EBITDA in its SEC filings.
  • The company targets well-off travelers, typically those above age 55. Its average revenue per passenger last year was $7,2501.
  • The company stands apart from traditional ocean cruise lines. Don’t expect to see water slides or casinos on board. Small children are often banned.
  • The company claims it served one out of four luxury cruise-goers on ocean cruises last year out of a market of about 1.1 million. Competitor brands include Oceania, Silversea, Seabourn, and Regent.
  • The company claims to have served one out of two river cruise travelers last year, out of a market of 700,000 passengers. Rivals include Grand Circle.
  • About 90% of Viking’s guests are from North America. Most of its cruise ship itineraries are in Europe and Antarctica, but it has routes worldwide.
  • Viking said it may use some of the capital from the IPO to help expand its offerings to land-based tours and excursions. It will also use some of the capital to pay down its debt, which was $5.4 billion in December.
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