When passengers boarded the Viking Sky ship traveling between the Norwegian cities of Tromso and Stavanger, they were hoping for a relaxing and luxurious cruise free from stress and worry. That’s not what they got.
At around 2 p.m. local time on Saturday, the ship “experienced a loss of engine power off the coast of Norway near Molde” causing it to send out a mayday for help, according to the Viking Ocean cruises website.
The loss of engine power happened during a fierce storm at sea, which led the crew to decide to evacuate as many passengers from the ship as possible via helicopter while the engines were fixed.
Of the 1,300 people on board, 479 were airlifted securely from the cruise ship while the remaining crew and passengers waited nearly 20 hours for the engines to be fixed. On Sunday morning, the engines regained power and the Viking Sky sailed into the closest port with the assistance of one tug assist vessel and two supply ships.
American Jan Terbruegen was one of the passengers who had to wait out the storm while the engine was being fixed. In an interview with CNN affliate Dagbladet, he explained his harrowing experience. “Furniture would slide across the room, slide back and with it came people and glass. It was a very dangerous situation frankly.”
“We were trying to stay lower in the ship towards the center just because it was a recipe for seasickness. And then they called muster stations and within half an hour we figured out that we’re getting off here,” said Terbruegen.
“We could see that we were getting blown in towards some rocks. That was the most frightening thing I think. But luckily that wasn’t our destiny.”
Approximately twenty people had sustained injuries and were being treated at medical facilities in Norway. The Viking Sky said it has cancelled its next cruise on March 27 from Scandinavia to the Kiel Canal.