400 Stranded Aboard After Ferry Runs Aground in Aland Islands

viking grace ferry
Western Finland Coast Guard

Published Nov 22, 2020 5:55 PM by The Maritime Executive

More than 400 passengers and crew were stranded aboard the ferry Viking Grace when she ran aground in Finland's Aland Islands on Saturday.

Viking Grace was under way between Stockholm and Turku on Saturday afternoon. She ran aground at about 1549 hours just outside of the harbor at Mariehamn, the capital of the Aland archipelago. Conditions were poor at the time of the grounding, with high winds and rough seas. 

According to the Finnish Coast Guard, a dive inspection showed that the vessel was not leaking fuel or taking on water. No injuries were reported, and the agency made the decision to leave the 331 passengers and 98 crew on board overnight. 

Overnight Saturday, the vessel was successfully towed off the shore and brought into the harbor at Mariehamn. On Sunday morning, after an inspection, Finnish maritime authorities and the vessel's class society determined that the ferry could carry her passengers onward under her own power without risk. Passengers bound for Aland disembarked in Mariehamn, and those bound for Turku - where Viking Grace will enter shipyard for an inspection and repairs - could stay on board. 

Viking Grace arrived in Turku later Sunday. Two of her future sailings have been canceled, and she will be temporarily replaced in service by the Gabriella beginning monday.