Evacuation of passengers has ended as cruise ship travels to Norway port
All passengers and crew aboard the Viking Sky cruise ship are safe in the port of Molde, in western Norway, and passengers will soon begin flying home, Viking Ocean Cruises said in a statement on Sunday afternoon.
With the safe arrival of the vessel in port, our live coverage has ended. For all of the harrowing details from passengers who were stranded at sea, read our story.
The Viking Sky cruise ship has docked at a quay in Molde harbor, western Norway, after a harrowing day stranded at sea.
Passengers onboard the vessel shouted, "We made it," as the ship arrived on Sunday afternoon, Norwegian state broadcaster NRK reported.
The Viking Sky cruise ship is expected to dock at 4:30 p.m. local time in Molde, a port town in western Norway, the Joint Rescue Coordination Centre of Southern Norway said on Twitter. Local people have been asked to stay away from the center of town as emergency services prepare for the vessel's arrival.
The US Embassy in Oslo has sent a consular team to Molde, a coastal city in western Norway, to assist American citizens being evacuated from the Viking Sky cruise ship.
The embassy said it was in contact with Norwegian authorities leading the rescue effort.
"The safety and security of U.S. citizens is of the utmost importance, and we will provide more information as it becomes available," the embassy said in a statement.
Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg thanked rescue workers and volunteers who had helped respond to what she called a "dramatic day" for passengers aboard the Viking Sky cruise ship.
"It has been a dramatic day for the passengers and rescue personnel on #VikingSky in #Hustadvika. Thank you to the talented rescuers, volunteers and others who have made an invaluable effort in demanding conditions," Soldberg said on Twitter.
The evacuation of passengers from a cruise ship off the western coast of Norway has come to an end as the vessel safely makes its way to Molde harbor, Viking Ocean Cruises said in a statement.
Rescue teams airlifted 479 people from the vessel after it was stranded in stormy seas Saturday with 1,300 passengers and crew on board.
The Viking Sky cruise ship, which regained engine power on Sunday morning, is traveling to Molde accompanied by two supply ships and one tug assist vessel. There are 436 guests and 458 crew still remaining on the ship.
Twenty people sustained injuries on the vessel, which was being tossed about by wind and waves, Viking Ocean Cruises said. All are being treated at medical facilities in Norway, or have already been discharged.
"Throughout all of this, our first priority was for the safety and well-being of our passengers and our crew," Viking Ocean Cruises said in a statement, thanking Norwegian emergency services and local residents for their support.
The next sailing, which was scheduled to embark on March 27, has been canceled.
The Norwegian Red Cross, which was treating passengers from the stricken cruise ship at an evacuation center in Hustadvika, on Norway's western coast, said that they were seeing injuries including bruising, broken bones and cuts.
Rescuers have evacuated 418 people by helicopter from the Viking Sky cruise ship, a day after the vessel was stranded in rough seas off Norway with 1,300 passengers and crew on board.
“There are at least two or three helicopters still rescuing people from the cruise ship but there is only one helicopter in operation at one given time because of the weather,” a spokesperson from Norwegian rescue services (HRS Southern Norway) told CNN.
“They work in rotations because it is not possible to hoist people from two helicopters working at one time.”
Passengers aboard the stricken ship say the vessel is being tossed about by wind and waves as they continue to await rescue.
Three of the ship's four engines are now working, and tug boats are trying to move the ship to shore.
Two American passengers who were airlifted off the Norway cruise ship told CNN affiliate Dagbladet about the frightening scene on board.
"Furniture would slide across the room, slide back and with it came people and glass. It was a very dangerous situation frankly," Jan Terbruegen said.
Speaking at the Scandic Hotel Alexandra, where many of the evacuated passengers are staying, Terbruegen described seeing the ship drifting toward rocks before being evacuated.
"We could see that we were getting blown in toward some rocks. That was the most frightening thing I think. But luckily that wasn't our destiny," Terbruegen said.
Beth Clark, another American passenger, said she was hoisted 100 feet in the air onto a Coast Guard helicopter from the ship. She praised the Norwegian Coast Guard, Viking Sky crew and others for help with the evacuation efforts.