Two officers navigating the Viking River Cruises cruise ship Viking Freya were killed overnight when the vessel struck a bridge on Main-Donau-Kanal in Erlangen, Germany.
The incident reportedly occurred at about 1:30 a.m.
The Viking Freya has a retractable wheelhouse that can be lowered when the vessel passes below low bridges (see in the video below).
Photos of the aftermath show the wheelhouse was completely destroyed in the incident.
The vessel had just departed Erlangen bound for Budapest when the incident occurred, the website Cruise Law News reports. The ship was reportedly carrying 181 passengers and 47 crew members at the time, the website said.
No other injuries were reported.
The cruise ship is operated by Viking River Cruises. A representative for the company confirmed the incident to us with the following statement:
The Freya experienced an accident in Erlangen, Germany early Sunday morning. Freya’s wheelhouse collided with the bridge in Erlangen. Two crew members of the ship were in the wheelhouse and died as a result of injuries sustained during the collision.
No other crew members or guests were injured, and all guests have been transported to local hotels.
We are heartbroken, and company executives are on the scene to work closely with local authorities to understand the details of the accident.
The Freya had embarked on a sailing the previous day and will now be moved for repairs. Guests may continue on their journey with a modified itinerary, embarking on the Bestla in Passau. Or, they may return home as soon as possible.
Customer Relations representatives will be in touch with all guests upon their return home to discuss compensation for the disruption to their trip.
No future sailings are expected to be impacted.
Viking Freya Incident Photos:
Video: Lowering the Wheelhouse on Viking Freya