The cruise ship issued a mayday call and many passengers were evacuated from the cruise ship via helicopter as the ship rocked back and forth in stormy weather.
Officials said the crew, fearing that the ship might run aground, managed to anchor about 2 kilometers (1.24 miles) from land in Hustadvika Bay.
By 6:00pm some 100 people had been rescued, with the operation continuing through the night.
Janet Jacob, one of the first passengers rescued, told Norwegian public broadcaster NRK: "I was afraid".
MICHAEL STEWARTPassengers on board the Viking Sky waiting to be evacuated
Passengers were suited up in orange life vests as the waves broke some of the ship's windows and cold water flowed over the floor. It was just chaos.
Instead, a dramatic rescue bid saw 479 people rescued in three helicopters while a crisis area was sectioned off on shore to receive the shocked and injured passengers.
Helicopters airlifted passengers and crew members one by one Saturday. Most of the guests are British and Americans.
The air evacuation of passengers on a stranded cruise ship in Norway has been suspended so the vessel can be towed to a nearby port.
Though there have been no major injuries reported, at least eight people were hospitalized for minor injuries.Читайте также: Thousands of residents evacuated as Cyclone Trevor threatens to batter NT coastline
Helicopters shuttled in a relay effort to transport around 10 passengers to shore per trip as rescuers battled waves as high as 25 feet.
"It is unsafe to encounter engine problems in these waters which hide numerous reefs", said police chief Tor Andre Franck.
"Hustadvika is one of the most notorious maritime areas that we have", Odd Roar Lange, a journalist specialising in tourism, told NRK.
The cruise ship had been en route from Tromso to Stavanger.
The ship belongs to Viking Ocean Cruises, part of the Viking Cruises group founded by Norwegian billionaire Torstein Hagen.При любом использовании материалов сайта и дочерних проектов, гиперссылка на обязательна.
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