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Viking Sky accidents and incidents

Viking Sky cruise ship


Length (LOA)
227 m / 745 ft

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CruiseMapper's Viking Sky cruise ship accidents, incidents and law news reports relate to a 930-passenger vessel owned by Viking Ocean (Viking Cruises). Our Viking Sky accidents page contains reports made by using official data from renown online news media sources, US Coast Guard and Wikipedia.

Here are also reported latest updates on cruise law news related to ashore and shipboard crimes still investigated by the police. Among those could be arrests, filed lawsuits against the shipowner / cruise line company, charges and fines, grievances, settled / withdrawn legal actions, lost cases, Norovirus, etc.

  • propulsion/power lost - 2019 (Norway)
  23 March 2019Propulsion / Power Loss

In the afternoon on March 23, 2019, while en-route from Bodo to Stavanger, the liner suffered an engine failure and started to evacuate passengers via Norwegian rescue helicopters. The operation was conducted in stormy weather (gusts of wind with speeds up to 70 kph / 45 mph, waves up to 26 ft / 8 m high) off Norway's west coast (More Og Romsdal county).

At ~2 pm (March 23) the cruise ship (carrying 915 passengers plus 458 crew) sent out a mayday call after it lost power/propulsion and started drifting towards the land (Hustadvika's offshore rocks). Fortunately, its machinery crew managed to restart one of the four engines and anchor the vessel ~2 km from the coast. Reportedly, the vessel was dangerously close (within 100 m) of running aground and started to list heavily. All passengers were mustered and wearing lifejackets. Due to heavy weather, lifeboats were not lowered.

In the passengers' evacuation participated 6 Norwegian coastguard ships, 5 Redningssentral-dispatched rescue helicopters and 60 Rode Kors (Norwegian Red Cross) volunteers. Before the evacuation was halted, a total of 479 (mostly elderly) passengers were airlifted/hoisted one by one from ship's helideck and in groups of 10-15 people flown to a coastal village north of Molde. With injuries were reported a total of 36 passengers (including 3 with serious injuries and 1 considered critical), all of whom were admitted in hospitals ashore. Viking Cruises' founder and CEO Torstein Hagen arrived in Molde in late-evening.

On March 24, the vessel under its own power (with 3 operating engines) at speed ~4 km (7 kph) and assisted by 2 offshore supply ships and 1 tugboat arrived safely in Port Molde with the remaining 436 passengers and all the crew. The current cruise was officially cancelled, all passengers disembarked and flown back home (from Molde Airport / Aro). At Rica Seilet Hotel (Molde) was established a reception centre where passengers were temporarily accommodated prior to their return flights. The next scheduled cruise (itinerary March 27 - April 6) was cancelled. The cancelled voyage (Amsterdam to Copenhagen) had planned visits to Hamburg, Kiel, Fredericia, Skagen, Oslo, and Goteborg.

On March 25, Sjofartsdirektoratet (Norwegian Maritime Authority) started an investigation of why the vessel was navigating in such weather. A technical study about engines' malfunction and a review of the rescue operation were also conducted. Officially, engines' failure was caused by low oil pressure. Lubricating oil's level in the tanks was within set limits, but relatively low during the Hustadvika crossing. The oil tanks are fitted with level alarms but those didn't trigger at the time. The heavy seas in Hustadvika caused significant movements in the tanks and the supply to the pumps stopped. This triggered an alarm indicating low lubrication oil level, which in turn caused the automatic shutdown of all 4 engines, blackout and propulsion loss.

On March 26, Sjofartsdirektoratet granted Viking Ocean Cruises a permit for Viking Sky to sail to Kristiansund for urgent repairs.

The accident occurred during 12-day "Northern Lights Cruise" (itinerary March 14-26) from Bergen to London-Greenwich, with call ports Narvik, Alta, Tromso, Bodo, and Stavanger (scheduled visit on March 24).

Note: The regularly-scheduled Norwegian coastal ferries (run by Hurtigruten) remained docked in their homeports Bergen and Trondheim due to the stormy weather forecast for March 23.

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