Rogue Wave Hits Antarctic Cruise Ship, Killing 1 and Injuring 4

The Viking Polaris was able to reach port after the incident, suffering only minor damage.

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A small cruiser ship at sea just off the coast of Antarctica
A similar Viking ship on an earlier cruise of the Antarctic
Photo: Viking

Viking, a Swiss-based cruise line, has announced that one person died and four people were injured after a massive rogue wave struck one of the company’s ships in the Antarctic. AFP News reports the cruise ship Viking Polaris was hit by the wave during a storm on Tuesday. The ship was headed from Antarctica to Ushuaia in Argentina, the world’s southernmost city.

The Viking Polaris suffered minor damage, including several smashed windows, and is currently anchored in Ushuaia. The 665-foot-long, seven-deck Viking Polaris was only built this year and can accommodate up to 378 guests. Despite the ship being relatively fine, the passengers were unfortunately not. Viking released a statement that reads, “It is with great sadness that we confirmed a guest passed away following the incident. We have notified the guest’s family and shared our deepest sympathies. We will continue to offer our full support to the family in the hours and days ahead.”

According to the U.S. National Ocean Service, rogue waves have been accepted as real by scientists over the past few decades after enduring centuries as maritime legend. These waves are unpredictable and very dangerous. Rogue waves can be twice the size of surrounding waves, travel against the prevailing winds, and appear to be a wall of water.


Viking has canceled this ship’s next scheduled itinerary. The cruise line stated that it’s investigating the incident and will offer support to the relevant authorities.