As of 6:30 p.m. local time in Norway, the Viking Sky was being evacuated via five helicopters with an estimated 900 passengers and crew remaining aboard in rough sea conditions.
Each helicopter is taking 10 to 15 people in one trip.
The ship was reported to be stable but without main engine power just two kilometers off shore in heavy weather. One engine is reported to be back online.
The ship has power, according to video posted on social media from passengers and crew aboard.
The wind and sea conditions have put a stop to lifeboats being lowered, and Norwegian authorities have put in a helicopter rescue plan, adding that they would prefer passengers and crew be on land.
Norwegian authorities have already spooled local sources, with multiple helicopters lifting passengers and crew ashore. Some six other vessels are also on their way to assist, but may encounter problems with unfavorable sea conditions.
So far, some 150 have been evacuated with five admitted to local area hospitals, according to reports citing minor injuries.
Some evacuees have already arrived in Molde to local hotels, telling Norwegian news authority NRK that the ship began to list, which was followed by a call to put on life jackets. A 2:00 p.m. call followed from the bridge, announcing an emergency.
The local Red Cross has also set up a center to deal with guests and crew coming ashore.
Just past 2:00 p.m. on Saturday, the Norwegian police received information about a cruise ship in distress due to engine problems in Hustadvika off the midwestern coast of Norway.
The ship was subsequently identified as the Viking Sky with a rescue operation quickly commencing.
The ship’s passengers are currently evacuated by the police and transported to the indoor sport court Brynhallen in the Fræna municipality.
Municipal officers are assisting the police and have provided basic necessities in Brynshallen. The police are registering all passengers arriving at Brynshallen.