Sorry about the weather; here's a free cruise on us

There really isn't much cruise ships, or airlines for that matter, can do about the weather.

All those of us who saw the horrific TV footage of the Viking Sky in trouble recently - and watched as passengers were rescued by helicopter after the ship's engines failed, must have felt sympathy for those on board.

Now Torstein Hagen, the chairman of Viking Ocean Cruises, has invited passengers involved in the Viking Sky incident, to try another of the company's cruises.



Some 479 of the 915 passengers, many of whom were elderly, were rescued from the ship by helicopter after a wave smashed through the windows of the ship, knocking them off their feet and leaving them soaked and freezing.

The others were still on the Viking Sky (above) when she limped into Molde in Norway, from where the majority have been flown home.

Around 20 passengers were treated in hospital for injuries after the two-week voyage from Tilbury in Essex.
Rather than making excuses, Viking Cruises is going on a PR charm offensive.

A cruise line spokeswoman said guests had already been informed that all 915 will receive a refund. She added: "In addition, the chairman will extend a personal invitation for another cruise."

Viking Sky is still docked in Molde where repairs are being carried out. She is expected to be back in service in April, said the cruise line.

"The past few days have been stressful and hectic for both guests and crew alike," Hagen said.

"I would like to personally apologise for what our guests experienced. I would also like to say how impressed and grateful I am for the efforts of the national rescue services, rescue personnel and local authorities."

The cruise marked the end of Viking Ocean Cruises' first winter season sailing in Norway.

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