Viking Sky accidents and incidents

Viking Sky cruise ship


Length (LOA)
228 m / 748 ft

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CruiseMapper's Viking Sky cruise ship accidents, incidents and law news reports relate to a 928-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could be arrests, filed lawsuits against the shipowner / cruise line company, charges and fines, grievances, settled / withdrawn legal actions, lost cases, virus outbreaks, etc.

  • propulsion/power lost - 2019 (Norway), 2020 (Caribbean)

12 February 2020Propulsion / Power Loss

(CruiseMapper-emailed accident report from Guy Auxer)

Gulf of Mexico, 7:12 AM, February 12, 2020, aboard the Viking Sky. The Captain apprised us yesterday evening around 6:30 PM that there was a fuel problem, that we would be altering course to Miami, skipping Progreso and Merida Mexico. The Captain stated we would be heading back to Miami.

We are currently 50 miles (~80 km) northwest of Arroyos de Mantua Cuba heading north-northeast. Our speed over the last 12 hours has been approximately 7.5 knots (9 mph / 14 kph). Prior to this we have been making 18+ knots (21 mph / 13 kph) so our pace has slowed considerably.

We made about 110 miles (~180 km) in 12 hours and there are another 340 miles (~550 km) to go so it appears we are going to crawl back for another 36 to 48 hours. The previously scheduled return to Miami was to be Friday at 8:00 AM. Lots of questions. I am very curious to hear what he has to say. His accent (Captain's) was so heavy it was very difficult to hear what he said.

There was a meeting this morning (Feb 12) where the Captain and Chief Engineer explained what is occurring. When mixing fuel from an old supply (purchased in December) with a new supply (purchased in January) the mixture began to clog the filtration system. The reason is still undetermined. The old supply was before a new environmental regulation came to be in January, the new supply has less sulfur than the old.

Captain contacted Port Authorities in Progreso to get fuel but was told it would be three days before they could supply us. The ports in the US have a regulation that an incoming ship must have two days of fuel available when they return. Port of Miami would not allow an early return without requiring that all passengers disembark which would put all of those flying home in need of hotel or airfare.

Thus the Captain determined that the new fuel supply could not be used due to risk to the engines until they could find out what is causing the problem. He also determined to return to Miami at a reduced speed thus arriving on schedule and assuring the two days of reserve fuel. Good decision by the Captain.

The accident occurred during the 7-day Turquoise Caribbean Seas cruise (itinerary Feb 7-14) roundtrip from homeport Miami (Florida USA) with call ports Key West (Florida), Belize City (Belize) and in Mexico Cozumel (Feb 11) and Progreso (Feb 12).

23 March 2019Propulsion / Power Loss

In the afternoon on March 23, 2019, while en route from Bodo to Stavanger, the vessel 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 23rd) the 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, the 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) to 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 six Norwegian coastguard ships, five Redningssentral-dispatched rescue helicopters and sixty 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 the 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 to hospitals ashore.

Torstein Hagen (Viking Cruises' founder and CEO) arrived in Molde in the late evening.

On March 24th, the vessel under its own power (with 3 operating engines) moving at speed ~4 km (7 kph) and assisted by two offshore supply ships and a tugboat arrived safely in Port Molde with the remaining 436 passengers and all the crew.

The current voyage was officially canceled, all passengers disembarked and flown back home from Molde Airport (Aro). At Rica Seilet Hotel (Molde) was established a reception center where passengers were temporarily accommodated before their return flights.

The next scheduled cruise (itinerary March 27 - April 6) was canceled. The canceled voyage (Amsterdam to Copenhagen) had planned visits to Hamburg, Kiel, Fredericia, Skagen, Oslo, and Goteborg.

On March 25th, Sjofartsdirektoratet (Norwegian Maritime Authority) started an investigation into why the ship 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 of the diesel generators 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 a low lubrication oil level, which in turn caused the automatic shutdown of all four engines, blackout and propulsion loss.

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

The accident occurred during the 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 24th).

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 23rd.

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