Royal Caribbean Cruise Line was founded in 1968 by three Norwegian shipping companies: Anders Wilhelmsen & Company, I. M. Skaugen & Company, and Gotaas Larsen. The newly created line put its first ship, the Song of Norway, into service two years later. A year later, the line added the Nordic Prince to the fleet and in 1972 it added the Sun Viking. In 1978, Song of Norway became Royal Caribbean's first passenger ship to be lengthened. This was accomplished via the insertion of an 85-foot (26 m) section to the vessel's severed center. Following the success of this work, Nordic Prince was also stretched in 1980. During the stretching on both ships, their sterns were modified. However the Sun Viking was not stretched or modified and remained the same size and shape. Royal Caribbean received widespread global recognition when in 1982 it launched the Song of America, over twice the size of Sun Viking and at the time the third largest passenger vessel afloat (after the Norway and Queen Elizabeth 2).