Viking Star Arrives Off Rugged Newfoundland, Canada
This morning, Viking Cruises’ Viking Star was late getting into her first North American port of call: L’Anse aux Meadows, Newfoundland. The entry into the harbour is challenging, with undersea mountain ranges that poke above the waves as shallow reefs. Winds from the north meant we had to take two runs at the thing before we got in, dropping anchor two hours after our scheduled arrival time.
Most cruise lines would have given up and skipped the port entirely. But, we are Vikings, and we’d already skipped Torshavn, in the Faroe Islands, a few days ago. So, we pressed on – like true Vikings.
L’Anse aux Meadows is also an important call on our itinerary: it is Viking’s first-ever arrival to a North American port of call; the vessel’s first call on Canada; and the site of a confirmed Viking settlement that is the only known one in North America. And if the original Vikings battled tough conditions to get here, so did we.
Truth be told, we probably should have scrapped our call here today before it even started. Tender services began three hours late, and were still going over four hours later as the tender crew struggled to get all guests ashore for their included Viking Experience in L’Anse aux Meadows.
As we approached our scheduled departure time, tender service was cancelled with two scheduled groups of excursions still remaining onboard. Winds were increasing, making operation of the tenders potentially risky, particularly during the stage where the tenders have to be plucked from the water and hauled back into their individual davits here aboard Viking Star.
I was one of those left onboard Viking Star this afternoon. Despite the fact that I remained personally disappointed to not be able to proceed ashore, I feel the Captain made the appropriate call. He’s the master of the vessel, and responsible for the overall safety of it, his passengers, and his crew. He knows the conditions that are potentially coming his way; we, as guests, do not.