Viking Cruises has issued a following statement regarding the Viking Sky today as of 10 am Norwegian time:
"We can confirm that as of 10am (Norwegian time) today March 24, the Viking Sky, is safely travelling to Molde under its own power. The ship is being accompanied by two offshore supply ships and one tug assist vessel. The evacuation of passengers has ended and there are currently 436 guests and 458 crew onboard.
The 479 passengers who were airlifted from the vessel are currently on shore and arrangements have been made to fly them home, with the first passengers leaving today. Currently we understand 20 people suffered injuries as a result of this incident, and they are all receiving care at the relevant medical centres in Norway, with some already having been discharged.
Throughout all of this, our first priority was for the safety and wellbeing of our passengers and our crew. We would like to thank the Norwegian Redningssentral and the Norwegian emergency services for their support and skill displayed in managing the situation in very challenging weather conditions. We would also like to thank the local residents who throughout the whole process have been extremely supportive and hospitable. If you have questions or concerns about any guests please call this number for US/AU booked guests 1-888-889-8837, and for UK booked guests 07585 779 853 or 0208 780 7900.
The next sailing, Scandinavia & the Kiel Canal, which was scheduled to embark on March 27th has been cancelled, and guests and their travel agents have been contacted directly. We do not anticipate any additional cancellations at this time."
UPDATE: Viking Sky, which earlier today issued a distress call after it had lost power on the west coast of Norway, is underway at a slow speed.
At 2015 local time, the ship was making 3.8 knots and it is steering at a course of 311 degrees, information on Marinetraffic.com shows. There is a 40 know wind form the west, according to the same source.
The said course is taking the ship further away from the land, a map on MarineTraffic.com shows.
FIRST STORY: Passengers are being evacuated from Viking Sky of Viking Ocean Cruises on the west coast of Norway after the 2017 built cruise ship had lost power on the west coast of Norway, the police in the More and Romsdal County in Norway said.
Media reports say that the total number of persons on board was about 1,300, when the ship lost power, It has been able to restart one of its four main engines that drive generators which again power electric motors and anchor near the coast. About 100 people had been air lifted to land from the 47,800 gross ton ship by late afternoon local time, reports said.
“Just past 14:00 on Saturday 23 March the Norwegian police received information about a cruise ship in distress due to engine problems in Hustadvika off the midwestern coast of Norway. The ship was subsequently identified as the Viking Sky,” the police said in a statement posted on Twitter.
“We urge the public to make room for emergency vehicles, evacuation buses etc. as our response teams are currently (at 17:00 hrs) experiencing difficulties in reaching their destinations due to gathering spectators,” the poice said.
“The ship's passengers are currently evacuated by the police and transported to the indoor sport court Brynhallen in the Fræna municipality. Municipal officers are assisting the police and have provided basic necessities in Brynshallen. The police is registering all passengers arriving at Brynshallen,” it added.
Five helicopters are on the scene and the ship has anchored in Hustadsvika Bay, ITV News in the UK report. There are heavy seas and high winds in the area.
Viking Sky was built by Fincantieri in Italy and it has capacity for 930 passengers and it sailed on its maiden voyage in February 2017. It flies the Norwegian flag.
Viking yesterday welcomed the latest additions to its river fleet, with the naming of seven new river ships during a celebration on the Rhine River in Basel, Switzerland. Of the seven ships, six are Viking Longships – Viking Einar, Viking Sigrun, Viking Sigyn, Viking Tir, Viking Ullur and Viking Vali – which will be deployed on Viking’s most popular itineraries on the Rhine, Main and Danube Rivers. The seventh new ship – Viking Helgrim – was inspired by the Longships design and built specifically for the Douro River, bringing the company’s total number of sister ships in Portugal to four.
This launch of new river ships is Viking’s latest milestone as the company continues to expand and dominate industry awards. Just two weeks ago, Viking swept Cruise Critic’s 2019 Cruisers’ Choice Awards with 11 First Place Wins – including the new “Best for River Cruises” category – and just last month the company took delivery of its sixth ocean ship, Viking Jupiter, which will be named in Oslo on June 6. In addition, Viking was again named the #1 River Cruise Line by Condé Nast Traveler in the publication’s 2018 Readers’ Choice Awards, and Travel + Leisure readers named Viking a #1 Ocean Cruise Line and one of the World’s Best River Cruise Lines in the 2018 World’s Best Awards.
“We began hosting guests on the rivers of Russia 22 years ago, and we have always done things differently. We focus on the destination, and we provide travel experiences that allow our guests to learn, to enrich their lives and to explore the world in comfort. It is ‘The Viking Difference’ that has made us the leading river cruise line in the world – and has helped river cruising become one of the fastest-growing segments of travel,” said Torstein Hagen, Chairman of Viking. “As the leader, it is also important that we recognize those who have helped us achieve success. This year I am especially proud to honor members of the Viking family as godmothers of our newest river ships.”
Viking naming ceremony
In keeping with a maritime tradition that dates back thousands of years, Viking invited seven long-serving employees and important members of the company’s family to serve as honorary godmothers of the new ships.
– Leah Talactac, Godmother of Viking Einar – Natalia Hofmann, Godmother of Viking Helgrim – Wendy Atkin-Smith, Godmother of Viking Sigrun – Rikke Semb Pertile, Godmother of Viking Sigyn – Gisela Rückert, Godmother of Viking Tir – Linh Banh, Godmother of Viking Ullur – Minxuan Zhao, Godmother of Viking Vali
The naming event was executed by connecting the new ships via satellite across four European cities. Viking Einar and Viking Sigrun were docked in Basel and named by in-person by their godmothers. The other five ships were “virtually” named by their godmothers: Viking Sigyn and Viking Ullur in Rostock, Germany; Viking Tir and Viking Vali in Brunsbüttel, Germany; and Viking Helgrim in Porto, Portugal. In keeping with another maritime tradition, a bottle of Gammel Opland aquavit was broken on the bow of each new ship. Gammel Opland hails from the same county in Norway where Chairman Hagen’s mother, Ragnhild – also lovingly known as “Mamsen” – was born and was her favorite brand of aquavit. Following the naming event, guests enjoyed dinner at Basel’s Fondation Beyeler museum, set amidst the museum’s newest and most ambitious exhibition: The Young Picasso. Blue and Rose Periods. Guests were also treated to a performance by Alma Deutscher, the 14-year-old English composer, pianist, violinist, and child prodigy – who is a favorite of Chairman Hagen’s.