October 7, 2013
"As we mentioned last week, these minor incidents are purely coincidental -- and not unprecedented, particularly during the peak season for travel on Europe's waterways," a Viking spokesman told Cruise Critic. "The safety of our passengers and crew is always our first priority."
But the line is not ignoring the incidents. "With any collision involving one of our ships, even with minor incidents, our policy is to thoroughly investigate to determine if there are key learnings that can be applied for the future."
(October 6, 8:45 p.m. EDT) -- Viking Bragi was involved in an accident Saturday on the Rhine near Duisburg, Germany, when the ship collided with a retaining wall along the river's edge and subsequently was bumped by a small cargo ship.
Several passengers reported minor cuts, but none of the injuries required medical attention, according to Viking Cruises.
Viking Bragi was sailing the 13th day of a 14-day itinerary when the accident occurred. Authorities inspected the ship, which then sailed to Amsterdam, where passengers disembarked as scheduled Sunday. According to Viking Cruises, the damage was cosmetic, and repairs will take place while passengers on the current sailing -- from Amsterdam to Budapest -- are on shore excursions.
The accident is the fifth in just over a month and the second in a week. Viking Sun struck a metal pier at a quarry along the edge of the Rhine on October 1. No one was injured.
At the time, Viking Cruises told Cruise Critic the accidents were coincidental.
"With 35 vessels and more than 100 departures in the last month alone, Viking operates the largest river cruise fleet in the industry, and we have complete confidence in our award-winning nautical team," the company said in an email. "Minor collisions on Europe's waterways, while not a regular occurrence, are not unprecedented. The recent incidents involving Viking ships are purely coincidental."
Viking Forseti, which launched this year, was involved in three accidents in September. It ran into the back of another ship when the two were in a lock, then had a second ship run into it. Forseti also damaged a power line near Forchheim, Germany, when a crane used to move the ship's gangway got out of proper position and hit the overhead power line. No one was injured in any of the accidents.
--By Colleen McDaniel, Managing Editor
--Photo courtesy of Vincent Pacifico