Most cruise passengers enjoy their stay on one of the many cruise ships sailing around the globe without incident. But then there are those few who are the unfortunate souls who must endure an illness outbreak or even an accident while at sea. And in most cases the stories that are heard after the ordeal is over are enough to keep potential vacationers from ever stepping onto any cruise ship. But that is far from the case after the accident involving the Viking Sky off of the coast of Norway.
The massive ship was facing 20-25 foot swells and winds reaching 50 miles per hour. The captain announced mayday over the sound system and requested that all passengers report to their assigned emergency muster stations and don lifejackets. With the ship taking on water at this point, the water doors were sealed as passengers and crew could only wait for more information and finally rescue.
As it turned out, the fortunate passengers were those who were assigned to a muster station below the water line rather than those who were above in the restaurant area where the large windows were shattering and the ice cold water was pouring in. During this time, helicopters scrambled to lift passengers to safety one at a time as the weather permitted. Finally, after the storm passed, two tugboats were able to steady the cruise ship while the rest of the passengers were shuttled to a small Norwegian port city nearby.
But the most amazing part of the entire story is that when asked, passengers had nothing but glowing comments about the crew of the Viking Sky. Words like professional, amazing and dedicated. All of the passengers who have commented publicly or offered interviews have stated that the crew members were always calm and professional while doing anything they could to care for and calm the passengers.
After the inincident, passengers were given a full refund including their airfare. And this occurred just four days after the incident. Passengers again were amazed by the fast and professional action of the corporate staff in handling the full refunds even though the passengers had enjoyed a full week of their trip before the incident. One passenger summed it up by saying that if you are going to have an incident at sea, be sure that you are on a Viking vessel.
In a world of corporations making excuses and trying to avoid taking responsibility for issues, Viking is definitely stepping up and showing the character of their corporation and their crew members as they rise to the challenges presented by this accident.