The Royal Viking Line was an upmarket cruise line that operated from 1972 until 1998. Warren S. Titus became the first president of Royal Viking Line, which established its head office in San Francisco, USA.
In 1984 Torstein Hagen arranged a USD 240 million management buyout of the company, with the assistance of venture capital firm J.H. Whitney & Co. After the buyout had been announced, but before it closed, the two companies owning Royal Viking decided to sell the company instead to Norwegian Caribbean Line, then part of the Kloster group. Norwegian Caribbean Line was established in 1966 by the Norwegian Knut Kloster and the Israeli Ted Arison. In 1972 Ted Arison left the company to establish Carnival Cruise Lines. In 1987 Norwegian Caribbean Line changed its name to Norwegian Cruise Lines (NCL).
In 1994, with the Kloster group facing significant financial difficulties it was decided to dissolve Royal Viking Line. The brand was eventually sold to Cunard Line Ltd. Cunard continued to operate the ship under the Royal Viking brand as a special segment of the Cunard fleet.
Following the acquisition of Cunard by the Carnival Corporation in 1998 and a subsequent merger with Seabourn Cruise Line, Cunard’s Royal Viking and Sea Goddess fleets were consolidated with Seabourn Cruise Line, officially ending the use of the brand.