Jump to content
Cruise Critic Community
kcpvwill

Weather related Itinerary Change in the North Atlantic

Recommended Posts

We have just arrived in Bergen to do ‘In the Wake of the Vikings’ and as we boarded we were told that the ship is sailing tonight directly to Iceland missing out Bergen tomorrow, Shetland and Faroe Islands.  This is to avoid the bad weather predicted for the North Atlantic because of an intense low pressure system developing close to Newfoundland.  They have added 2 extra stops in Iceland instead.  Hope the 2 sea days will be OK.  The Captain wants to get to the relatively sheltered waters near Iceland before the worst of the weather arrives.  

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Found it.  Wow - sorry to hear that you’ll miss these ports.  I hope you have time to experience at least a little bit of Bergen today. It’s a wonderful town!   I know everyone will share your disappointment, but it’s always better to be safe.  No doubt they wouldn’t have changed the itinerary this dramatically without good reason.  We loved our sea days on this trip last year - I hope you find the same to be true.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We leave on this itinerary on Saturday (Viking Sun) and I have been following the weather with increasing concern. Hope all goes well with your trip and wonder what will happen with ours? Fingers crossed!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Flip that frown upside down... or at least try... think of all the wonderful things you will see in Iceland. Maybe even the Northern Lights? They made an apppearence in Canada last month! Its the journey...

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just announced we are extended stay in Bergen, dropping Lerwick due to heavy weather.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
19 minutes ago, Jim Avery said:

Just announced we are extended stay in Bergen, dropping Lerwick due to heavy weather.

Bummer! We are heading to Amsterdam (then Bergen) to join the ship, and had our fingers crossed..guess it is better to be safe than sorry.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
30 minutes ago, Jim Avery said:

Just announced we are extended stay in Bergen, dropping Lerwick due to heavy weather.

 

Jim,  We board tomorrow. Please keep posting if you hear more,. Thank you! Carolyn

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes the weather is heavy swell and force 8 winds now, but not, according to the captain’s announcement, as bad as it would have been had we delayed setting off from Bergen.

Unfortunately I did not take the travel sickness pills soon enough and was very sick this morning, but enough of that, now taking them regularly and under control.  Many of our fellow passengers have, like me, spent most of the day asleep and limited eating.

Looking forward to better weather to come and some great excursions in Iceland on 15th, 16th and 17th.  

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Viking are probably very cautious now with weather related issues and potentially difficult sea conditions.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Help! Jim, can you please clarify the situation? We are planning to board the ship late Saturday evening, but are now very concerned that the Viking Sun may leave Bergen a day early (as did the Viking Sea).

 

We have received no notification from Viking of an itinerary change, and are expecting the Sun to spend Saturday night in Bergen (and leave on Sunday). If this is not the case, it would royally screw up people’s plans. Please advise.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So sad for the folks on the SEA.  I was worried about the weather situation from the Hurrican (Dorian) that never dies....

I agree - Viking will no doubt take the right precautions.  Unfortunately it is always a risk at this time of year (September), even though, for example, it had been 10 years since Nova Scotia had a hurricane.  Part of the aspect of cruising - one has to go with the flow.  If one takes a cruise specifically for one port, you are likely not being realistic unfortunately.  We've had ports cancelled due to bad weather and have always been amazed how Viking handles them (quite well - adjusting on the fly, new schedules, etc, coming up with new shipboard activities and more.  Certainly the staff is trying to make the best of it as well)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, OceanPatter said:

Help! Jim, can you please clarify the situation? We are planning to board the ship late Saturday evening, but are now very concerned that the Viking Sun may leave Bergen a day early (as did the Viking Sea).

 

We have received no notification from Viking of an itinerary change, and are expecting the Sun to spend Saturday night in Bergen (and leave on Sunday). If this is not the case, it would royally screw up people’s plans. Please advise.

 

Hope you mke it aboard and the ship does not leave without you.

 I remember when you were first looking at this cruise.

Enjoy and please post during your cruise.

 And you are sailing Jim Avery, that will be very cool.

Say hi to Jack        

     Patti 💕

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 hours ago, OceanPatter said:

Help! Jim, can you please clarify the situation? We are planning to board the ship late Saturday evening, but are now very concerned that the Viking Sun may leave Bergen a day early (as did the Viking Sea).

 

We have received no notification from Viking of an itinerary change, and are expecting the Sun to spend Saturday night in Bergen (and leave on Sunday). If this is not the case, it would royally screw up people’s plans. Please advise.

Sun is changing over today as scheduled.  We are to delay sailing until 11pm Sunday night.  At least for now.  It should not affect your boarding at all.  We will be skipping Lerwick and supposedly still go to the Faeroes.  Looking forward to meeting you.

Jim & Lois

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you, Jim! We are on the ‘Norway in a Nutshell’ train/bus/boat trip, which will get us back to Bergen at 6pm today. Hope to see you on board, and so appreciate your help and frequent postings.

 

Separately ... so nice to hear from you, Azulann! Wish we were cruising together again. Will try to post regularly on Viking’s superb onboard WiFi.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 9/12/2019 at 2:30 PM, kcpvwill said:

 This is to avoid the bad weather predicted for the North Atlantic because of an intense low pressure system developing close to Newfoundland.  

 

 

Wish our captain from the March Northern Lights sailing would have changed his sailing plans!  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
20 hours ago, Haworth said:

Viking are probably very cautious now with weather related issues and potentially difficult sea conditions.

 

Good things often result from bad.....the Titanic probably being the best example relative to sea travel anyway. 

Edited by OnTheJourney

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you, kcpvwill, for starting this thread and alerting us to changes in the Sea’s itinerary. How were the first few days of the cruise? (I envy all the extra days you’ll be spending in Iceland.)

 

BTW, did anyone miss the ship because it left a day early from Bergen? Just wondering how Viking notified late-arriving passengers.

 

Wishing you a pleasant cruise on the Sea.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi again 

 

Just arrived in Akureyri the first of two extra stops in Iceland after our early dash from Bergen missing out Shetland and Faroes because of hurricane Dorian.  

 

To answer your question about what did Viking do with late arriving passengers,  I’m afraid I don’t know much.  Instead of the Friday in Bergen,  the changed itinerary was to sail Thursday at 11pm, but I know the ship was still docked at 11.30 when I went to sleep, and I was aware of movement at 2am so Viking Sea set off between those times.  Perhaps they were waiting for some passengers or more likely luggage as when we arrived there were three sets of people filling out missing luggage forms.  I’ve not heard anything more.  

As a matter of interest my Fitbit now thinks I’m an insomniac as the ship motion has been excessive and so it thinks I’m active when I’m really asleep!  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 9/12/2019 at 2:30 PM, kcpvwill said:

We have just arrived in Bergen to do ‘In the Wake of the Vikings’ and as we boarded we were told that the ship is sailing tonight directly to Iceland missing out Bergen tomorrow, Shetland and Faroe Islands.  This is to avoid the bad weather predicted for the North Atlantic because of an intense low pressure system developing close to Newfoundland.  They have added 2 extra stops in Iceland instead.  Hope the 2 sea days will be OK.  The Captain wants to get to the relatively sheltered waters near Iceland before the worst of the weather arrives.  

 

 

 

A familiar name!  You are on our Eastern Seaboard, aren’t you?  Are you bringing our ship over 😁?   See you soon!  Fair winds, and following seas!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
10 hours ago, kcpvwill said:

 

 

As a matter of interest my Fitbit now thinks I’m an insomniac as the ship motion has been excessive and so it thinks I’m active when I’m really asleep!  

 

HAHAHA! That is awesome!

Great way to trick fitness apps into letting you enjoy more of the gelato!

That works right? 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 9/14/2019 at 9:35 AM, OnTheJourney said:

Wish our captain from the March Northern Lights sailing would have changed his sailing plans!  

I fully accept your experience was shocking, however hindsight is an amazing tool and had your Captain anticipated a full prime mover shut down, he would most likely have changed plans. The weather was a contributing factor, but it wasn't the root cause, which based on preliminary reports was most likely loss of oil pressure, which on many modern engines is a critical alarm that results in automatic shut-down.

 

If either of the 2 ships currently crossing the N/Atlantic experience a full prime mover shut down, they are in for a wild ride. Without power, ships ride beam to the seas, so the rolling would be extreme and without way, the stabilisers are virtually useless. With the incident you experienced, while proximity to shore was frightening, the shallow water permitted the Captain to use anchors effectively, both bringing the head to a "hove to" orientation and retarding the drift to the lee shore. In open ocean the anchors are useless.

 

Your Captain most likely performed the same due diligence as the 2 Masters currently crossing the N/Atlantic. While they adjusted the schedule, they are still sailing in some rather heavy weather - Gale Force 8 winds with a good fetch are not pleasant and are most likely consistent, even possibly worse than weather experienced on the Northern Lights cruise.

 

When venturing into these less traditional areas, as a passenger you need to be aware of the additional risks. Heavy weather is common in many of the world's oceans & seas, but with a competent crew and no other issues, it is a minor risk. For those with weak sea-legs it is unpleasant, but normally a low risk. However, when additional risks or failures arise, the skills and experience of the Captain & crew are tested and are hugely contingent on the outcome. Personally, in my professional judgement, your Captain did nothing wrong, based on the information provided.

 

If your Captain should not have sailed, then the current 2 Viking ships crossing the Atlantic should also be in port, along with all the hundreds of merchant ships currently at sea in the same region. Having completed numerous heavy weather passages, without incident, provided any of those ships do not experience similar mechanical issues, I fully expect all of them to arrive safely.  

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Your points are all well taken, are most interesting, and it's obvious from many of your posts that you're very well experienced in matters of the sea and ships, but still, the weather authorities in Norway, from what I read, are also very well versed in their forecasting. The storm we sailed into was forecasted days ahead of time, have to have been known by the bridge, so I still don't quite understand taking the unnecessary risks if a safer option was available.

 

Viking has sure paid out huge amounts of money following the Sky incident, though that's certainly not the most important issue.

 

I would suspect that much of what followed could have been averted by changing the itinerary (we had already lost one of our ports anyway). Given a choice between chancing the sail through the storm in such a dangerous area to begin with and waiting it out in whatever manner would have been most convenient and practical, I suspect most of the passengers and crew would have chosen the latter.

 

I am obviously grateful to the captain for the course of action chosen once we were in the situation - I'm sure the positioning of the ship and subsequent deployment of the anchors was a well thought-out plan that was thankfully successful. But, (and this is a huge 'but') had the anchors NOT held and/or at least one engine not have been able to get restarted when it did, it certainly could have turned into an historic maritime disaster, perhaps in a matter of an additional 15-20 minutes only. 

 

I believe you're the one who put forth the 'swiss cheese' model relative to this event?  All the stars aligned, comparatively speaking, to create rather a 'perfect storm' of cascading proportions. I don't know if you're of a religious persuasion, but in my book there was a power at work far beyond that of any one individual onboard the Sky. I will never disbelieve otherwise. I'm sorry if I 'stepped on a raw nerve' here having perhaps treaded unbidden on turf that you're well familiar with and understandably a bit defensive of - especially if you were a bridge officer or similar. Thanks for such a thorough response. 

 

I must say, though - and no offense intended - that your assessment of the experience as being merely "shocking" quite falls short of the mark. I think there is a definite PTSD (or equivalent) associated with it for undoubtedly many of us - myself included. I know I need to get back on a ship - and will be next month - but believe me when I say there is surely some degree of uneasiness - probably always will be. YOU may have had your experience with the type of weather we were in, though I'm betting most if not all of the Sky passengers probably have not. And likely the percentage of cruisers worldwide who have had to actually undergo an emergency evacuation by helicopter is a very small one indeed. Most terrifying thing I've ever had to do, and is one of those moments that is permanently seared into my memory. 

Edited by OnTheJourney

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, Heidi13 said:

I fully accept your experience was shocking, however hindsight is an amazing tool and had your Captain anticipated a full prime mover shut down, he would most likely have changed plans. The weather was a contributing factor, but it wasn't the root cause, which based on preliminary reports was most likely loss of oil pressure, which on many modern engines is a critical alarm that results in automatic shut-down.

 

If either of the 2 ships currently crossing the N/Atlantic experience a full prime mover shut down, they are in for a wild ride. Without power, ships ride beam to the seas, so the rolling would be extreme and without way, the stabilisers are virtually useless. With the incident you experienced, while proximity to shore was frightening, the shallow water permitted the Captain to use anchors effectively, both bringing the head to a "hove to" orientation and retarding the drift to the lee shore. In open ocean the anchors are useless.

 

Your Captain most likely performed the same due diligence as the 2 Masters currently crossing the N/Atlantic. While they adjusted the schedule, they are still sailing in some rather heavy weather - Gale Force 8 winds with a good fetch are not pleasant and are most likely consistent, even possibly worse than weather experienced on the Northern Lights cruise.

 

When venturing into these less traditional areas, as a passenger you need to be aware of the additional risks. Heavy weather is common in many of the world's oceans & seas, but with a competent crew and no other issues, it is a minor risk. For those with weak sea-legs it is unpleasant, but normally a low risk. However, when additional risks or failures arise, the skills and experience of the Captain & crew are tested and are hugely contingent on the outcome. Personally, in my professional judgement, your Captain did nothing wrong, based on the information provided.

 

If your Captain should not have sailed, then the current 2 Viking ships crossing the Atlantic should also be in port, along with all the hundreds of merchant ships currently at sea in the same region. Having completed numerous heavy weather passages, without incident, provided any of those ships do not experience similar mechanical issues, I fully expect all of them to arrive safely.  

 

 

 

4 hours ago, Heidi13 said:

I fully accept your experience was shocking

 

You could say that...and a bit more....never been so frightened in my life. We're coming from slightly different places with regards to the March 23 incident. Your fine forensic analysis of the situation is well taken, but the actual experience as it unfolded was, shall we say, quite unique. You have to keep in mind that while the bridge crew knew what was going on, we had NO idea. It was moment by moment for us...in my case...hours just waiting in the stairwell to see what was going to happen next. I suspect we were among some of the first passengers  off, so of course those who stayed on board got additional information and were likely consoled somewhat once the ship got underway again. We, on the other hand, had no idea - at least on the way up to the helicopter if we'd ever see our belongings again. We only found out how severe the situation was (and how it quickly became worldwide news) when we talked to our daughter later in the day. I'm sorry...I've said too much here...but I don't think you can quite relate to the emotional impact this had on us at the time. You can probably sense the emotions are still quite raw even now, a half-year later. I won't bring it up again. 

Edited by OnTheJourney

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

One more thing....since you mentioned the oil in the tanks...let's talk about that for a second. IF the crew knew the weather was coming, which seems all but certain, AND knew that the sensors in the tanks are of such a design that a high enough degree of roll - if uncovering the low level sensors - will initiate auto engine shutdown, then I have to wonder why the oil level was not increased either during the voyage somewhere along the way? Pretty sure we took on fuel while in Alta. Sounds like a bit of a goof to me to not be aware of the potential for engine shutdown when you're on a voyage in a potentially bad weather (high wind) area that could possibly induce roll or whatever ship motion that would result in what happened.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, OnTheJourney said:

One more thing....since you mentioned the oil in the tanks...let's talk about that for a second. IF the crew knew the weather was coming, which seems all but certain, AND knew that the sensors in the tanks are of such a design that a high enough degree of roll - if uncovering the low level sensors - will initiate auto engine shutdown, then I have to wonder why the oil level was not increased either during the voyage somewhere along the way? Pretty sure we took on fuel while in Alta. Sounds like a bit of a goof to me to not be aware of the potential for engine shutdown when you're on a voyage in a potentially bad weather (high wind) area that could possibly induce roll or whatever ship motion that would result in what happened.  

Again, I've only seen preliminary reports, but with respect to the lubricating oil in the tanks, all levels were within the standard. I have experienced many main engine shut downs, but never experienced low oil pressure due to loss of suction from rolling/pitching. On a couple of the non-passenger ships, I have experience excessive rolling, which on a reefer ship included rolling 40-45 degrees each side continuously for a couple of days. Didn't experience any engine issues. Passenger ships can go that far, but it would be real unpleasant on the upper decks.

 

This really was a freak incident, which will no doubt be used as case studies by upcoming mariners - both the root cause of the issue and the Master's actions on saving both his ship and passengers.

 

Since the Herald of Free Enterprise sinking and the onset of the ISM Code, ship's Masters have written guidelines on how the owner wants the ship operated. While the Master may take any action deemed necessary for the safety of the ship/crew/pax, at other times they must follow the written procedures outlined in the ship's specific manual. Although weather forecasts specified heavy weather, it was well within the capability of a seaworthy ship to handle and should have provided a motion probably no worse than the 2 Viking ships are currently experiencing in the N/Atlantic. I believe the Engineers also complied with operational procedures and lub oil levels were within acceptable levels. If, as I suspect, the ship was operated in accordance with International standards and company written procedures, you can expect Viking has already made some changes - increasing low level alarm levels. The final report may even require design changes in the tanks.

 

Hoping you do board another ship and enjoy a relaxed and smooth sailing.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Forum Jump
    • Categories
      • SAIL-AWAY GIVEAWAY - Enter for a chance to win a $3,000 Norwegian Cruise Line Gift Card
      • Forum Assistance
      • New Cruisers
      • Cruise Lines “A – O”
      • Cruise Lines “P – Z”
      • River Cruising
      • ROLL CALLS
      • Digital Photography & Cruise Technology
      • Member Cruise Reviews
      • Special Interest Cruising
      • Cruise Discussion Topics
      • UK Cruising
      • Australia & New Zealand Cruisers
      • North American Homeports
      • Ports of Call
      • Cruise Conversations
×
×
  • Create New...