VIKING’s history begins with the Sørensen family

... and the transformation of a small startup company in the port of Esbjerg into a global market leader. All in the space of 55 years.

The story of VIKING begins in a town where people know that the sea gives and the sea takes away. For decades, anxious women have waited through storms for signs of life from their men at sea. Some in vain, others relieved when their loved ones managed to defy nature’s power and rescue themselves.

The fishermen have almost disappeared from Esbjerg, Denmark’s most western town. But VIKING remains – now as a global corporation that has long since conquered the world’s oceans and whose name is synonymous with safety at sea. For fishermen, merchant seafarers, ship passengers, offshore workers, sports and leisure sailors, and everyone who sails the seas.

VIKING is also the story of the Sørensen family, whose generations have made their mark on the town and its harbor. Tage Sørensen (1915-2016) founded Nordisk Gummibådsfabrik, now known as VIKING Life-Saving Equipment A/S, in 1960. He remained the company’s active chairman until 2010, when he retired at the age of 95.

Tage Sørensen was influenced by the Boy Scout movement and its ideals: honesty, responsibility, helpfulness and respect for others. His values still shape the culture of our company and define its character, helping to guide us as we grow.