Viking Grace liner safely towed from Åland Islands

A cruise ferry that crashed in the Åland Islands of Finland was safely towed to the dock on Sunday. The 331 passengers and 98 crew had to spend the night from Saturday to Sunday on Viking Line’s ship.

The Viking Grace ship, more than 200 metres long, landed on the ground near the Åland Islands, a Finnish archipelago in the Baltic Sea. This happened only a few hundred meters from the ferry terminal in Mariehamn, the capital of the archipelago.

Tugs dragged the ship from the shallow water to the port. Divers had already checked the ferry on Saturday for any leaks and found that the passengers were not at risk.

The ferry had left Stockholm and was to sail via Mariehamn to the Finnish city of Turku. According to Viking Line-top man Jan Hanses, the ship is believed to have been driven to shore by a strong wind. Saturday it was blowing hard and there was a lot of rain. Several other ferry services had not sailed due to the weather conditions.

Viking Grace was built in 2012 and can carry 2,800 passengers, but due to the coronavirus there were only 331 people on the ship on Saturday. So far, no damage to the ship has been detected. The Viking Grace will be taken to a shipyard for inspection in the next few days.

In September another Viking Line ship crashed. The MS Amorella also stranded near the Åland Islands, a Finnish region consisting of thousands of small islands. That area is notorious for its shallow waters and narrow passages. No one was hurt in that incident.