Viking Ocean Cruises Chairman and CEO Torstein Hagen will be facing corruption charges, along with the mayor of Bergen and the harbor master of the port of Bergen, according to Norwegian news sources.
Viking Ocean released a statement confirming that it has been contacted by the police and said they will cooperate fully.
The company stated that it is confident it has not broken any laws, but followed normal business practices as far as the christening of new ship in Bergen is concerned.
Viking said it was invited to Bergen by the local authorities and therefore chose to christen its new ship there, and said it did not benefit financially.
It went on to say that it plans to christen more ships in Norway and have them sail under Norwegian flag. Its next ship will be delivered in 2016 and will also be christened in Norway, which it said will help strengthen Norwegian maritime traditions and Norwegian seafarers’ organizations.
The mayor of Bergen, Trude Drevland, and the Bergen harbor master, Inge Tangeraas, were served with corruption charges three weeks ago, at which time, the police would not comment on whether Hagen would also be charged.
The mayor has been charged allegedly because she accepted a paid-for-trip by Viking to the shipyard in Venice, a hotel stay in Venice and later a two-day cruise from Bergen to Oslo. The mayor was also offered and accepted a Mediterranean cruise, which she later turned down.
The charges also include that the mayor allegedly tried to influence other government agencies on behalf of the cruise line, including facilitating it sailing under Norwegian flag.
The mayor and the harbor master have both rejected the charges. Drevland was on sick-leave for most of the summer and since on a leave of absence. Tangeraas is on a temporary leave.
The Viking Star, was christened in Bergen on May 17, the Norwegian national holiday.