Video: Cruise Ship Breaks Away From Moorings at Port of Ravenna

Viking Sea
Viking Sea's trackline on Saturday morning (AIS data courtesy Pole Star Global)

Published Sep 18, 2022 2:21 PM by The Maritime Executive

On Saturday morning, a cruise ship at the Port of Ravenna, Italy broke away from its moorings and went adrift in the harbor, threatening a possible grounding.

Viking Sea moored at the outer harbor of the Port of Ravenna at about 0300 hours on Saturday. According to the Ravenna Port Authority, an exceptionally powerful bora wind event struck the port later that morning. The bora is a powerful katabatic wind pattern found in the northern Adriatic.

The high winds caused the cruise ship's lines to part and she drifted away from her moorings. The crew quickly dropped anchor to control her drift, and a harbor tug operated by towing company Gesmar intervened to slow down her movement. Four other tugs joined in and gradually pushed the cruise vessel back to her berth.

AIS data shows that Viking Sea's movement was swiftly arrested within about 60 meters of travel away from her berth. By the time she halted, her AIS record appears to show that she was just 30 meters away from the next pier to the south. With tug assistance, she was safely back at her original position by early afternoon and moored with additional lines.

The passengers remained on board throughout the evolution and were unaffected, according to the Ravenna Port Authority. 

"A heartfelt thanks to the harbormaster, pilots, tugs and longshoremen for the prompt response given, allowing us to face a totally exceptional situation with safety and speed. Thanks also to the terminal operator and to the whole port community who understood the difficulties caused by these exceptional weather conditions," said the port authority in a statement. 

Viking Sea is a 900-passenger cruise ship built by Fincantieri for Viking in 2016. She has a length of about 750 feet and a height above waterline of approximately 120 feet (to top deck level).