Cruise Ship Damaged by Rogue Wave, Loses Power

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The Hurtigruten expedition ship MS Maud was damaged by a rogue wave while sailing in the North Sea between Norway, Denmark, and the UK on Thursday, December 21, 2023.

Windows were broken in the incident and the ship lost power for a brief time and was temporarily adrift. No serious injuries have been reported, and the ship is now receiving navigational assistance.

Hurtigruten Ship Hit By Rogue Wave

MS Maud, finishing a 14-night “Northern Lights” expedition cruise roundtrip from Tilbury, UK, was struck by a rogue wave at approximately 4 p.m. on Thursday, December 21, 2023. The wave broke out several windows on the ship’s bridge, which caused a temporary loss of power and navigational ability, setting the ship briefly adrift.

Authorities were quickly alerted to the emergency, and multiple nearby vessels and rescue personnel responded to the situation.

“In line with our robust operational protocols, the crew immediately carried out thorough safety checks and technical assessments, in addition to making sure that everyone on board is as well as the conditions allow,” a statement from the cruise line read. “Further assessments are now being made for onward sailing.”

No serious injuries have been reported and the ship is considered in stable condition, though unable to navigate independently. The vessel is being steered manually from the engine room. Tow assistance is being arranged as soon as it is safe to do so.

Satellite tracking data shows the 16,151-gross-ton cruise ship moving at just 2-3 knots (2-4 miles per hour / 4-6 kilometers per hour). At the ship’s current location, wind is reported at approximately 35 knots (40 mph / 65 kph).

Hurtigruten MS Maud
Hurtigruten MS Maud (Photo Credit: Bjoern Wylezich)

Guests onboard have shared video of the ship’s extreme rocking motion, though the vessel does remain safe – if not as comfortable as passengers would like.

Read Also: Cruise Ship vs Giant Wave – How Do the Ships Survive?

In situations like this, guests would be asked to remain in their staterooms rather than moving around the corridors or public areas, in case sudden motion would make moving about the ship dangerous. The ship’s captain would provide updates as often as possible.

While MS Maud can welcome 532 passengers, only 266 are onboard at the moment. Also onboard are 131 crew members who will do everything possible to ensure all guests remain comfortable in these challenging conditions.

Impact on the Next Cruise

MS Maud‘s next cruise, a 13-night Christmas Expedition to various ports in Norway, is reported as cancelled so the damage to the vessel can be assessed and repaired.

That holiday sailing was to have departed Tilbury on Saturday, December 23. Now, it is not yet confirmed where MS Maud will be docking, as the ship may be taken directly to an available shipyard in Denmark or Germany for immediate repair work. Those arrangements have not yet been finalized.

Cruise Ship Hurricane
Cruise Ship Hurricane (Photo Credit: PHkorsart)

If this is the case, guests would likely be flown home as soon as possible, depending on what arrangements can be made when the ship is docked. The severe weather in the North Sea is likely to hamper when the ship can return to port, though all efforts will be made for a timely arrival.

Until the damage can be assessed, there is no way to know whether or not only one future sailing is impacted. Guests booked on MS Maud in the next few weeks will want to stay in close contact with the cruise line or their travel agent to stay updated about any changes or cancellations.

Cruise Hive’s thoughts are with all passengers and crew onboard MS Maud for a safe sailing that is as smooth as possible, and with all emergency personnel responding to this tense and challenging situation.

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