Nordlys officers and crew said during a press conference today that the ship filled with smoke in a matter of minutes and while passengers were escorted to outer decks there was no time to verify that all cabins were empty, except for two handicapped-equipped cabins. The quick reaction was attributed to training – “as there was not time to think or plan a course of action.”

According to Norwegian authorities, Hurtigruten has had 29 incidents over the past five years, including two fires, four collisions and seven groundings. There was also a fire incident on the Nordlys in March of this year.

Running a daily service along the coast of Norway, between Bergen and Kirkenes, it is unknown if Hurtigruten will be able to maintain full service. For now, the Nordlys' sailings program has been suspended through the middle of October.

With a total of 13 vessels, one, the Fram, is on her way to Antarctica for her season there, and another, Finnmarken, is charted out as a hotel vessel in oil exploration off the coast of Australia.

Hurtigruten has not yet provided the cause of the fire.