Storm-Damaged Cruise Ship Maud Will Resume Sailing in April
The storm-damaged cruise ship Maud, marketed by Hurtigruten’s HX Expeditions, will remain out of service till mid-April as it undergoes repairs. The 16,150 gross ton cruise ship is currently at a shipyard in Bremerhaven, Germany to undergo a survey and planning repairs to its systems.
The cruise ship was making a mid-December crossing of the North Sea from Norway to the UK at the end of a Northern Lights cruise when it encountered a strong storm. The ship was battered by high waves and strong winds before a wave broke windows on the bridge and flooded the area with seawater. The electronics on the bridge were damaged leaving the vessel unable to navigate under its normal controls.
During the incident, the ship briefly blacked out before it was reported the engineers were able to restart one of its engines. Passengers were mustered and instructed on putting on survival suits and their lifejackets. However, once power was restored the crew was able to regain control of the vessel. The initial plan had been to tow it to a port of refuge, but the tow line parted during an attempt by an offshore support vessel to reposition the cruise ship. It was later determined that the Maud could proceed to port under her own power with navigation being performed from the engine control room.
The Maud was escorted to Bremerhaven by the offshore vessel from Esvagt before being handed over to two port tugs which assisted with the vessel’s docking. It took the ship 48 hours to reach port with reports of only a few injuries among the passengers. The crew was praised for the handling of the ordeal.
The planned Christmas-New Year’s cruise from the UK was canceled with initial reports that the ship might be able to resume service by February. Hurtigruten now reports that it is arranging for repairs to the bridge equipment due to saltwater damage. Recent pictures still show the vessel with two bridge windows still covered with wood.
Pictures from the interior of the ship showed disarray and various furnishings, displays, gift shop merchandise, and alike scattered about during the storm. The company confirms that a “small number of guest spaces suffered minor damage.” They will be refreshing the passenger areas but report the structure of the vessel and machinery was not damaged.
The plan now calls for the cruise ship to return to service in mid-April 2024 with two cruises from the UK. For the summer, she will reposition to the Arctic with cruises to Greenland and Iceland. Late in 2024, she will reposition to Antarctica.
Investigations were also planned into the incident. The storm which damaged the cruise ship had been forecasted and resulted in extensive damage on shore. Areas from the Netherlands to Denmark, and Germany, reported heavy winds, rain, and flooding from the storm.