One major expedition cruise line faced a challenging ordeal as its ship, the MS Maud (formerly known as Hurtigruten Expeditions), lost power temporarily after being hit by an uncommon rogue wave at sea on Thursday. The incident occurred during the vessel’s journey from Florø, Norway, to Tilbury, England. Despite the unexpected turn of events, no significant injuries were reported among the 266 passengers and 131 crew members on board.
A spokesperson for the cruise line assured that the MS Maud remains stable, with the crew managing to sail under their own power. As a precautionary measure, the planned sailing route has been adjusted following thorough safety checks and technical assessments due to prevailing weather conditions.
The ship is currently en route to Bremerhaven, Germany, where all passengers will disembark. The cruise line’s team is actively arranging travel accommodations for the guests to facilitate their return home.
The MS Maud was in the midst of a 14-night ‘Northern Lights Expedition Cruise’ roundtrip from London-Tilbury Cruise Port, with the incident occurring towards the conclusion of the trip scheduled to end on December 23.
Rogue waves, scientifically termed “extreme storm waves,” are unpredictable and isolated large-amplitude swells at sea, more than double the size of surrounding waves. The National Ocean Service describes them as steep-sided with unusually deep troughs, often appearing as “walls of water.”
The spokesperson emphasized the cruise line’s commitment to safety, working closely with health and safety experts, maintaining highly trained crew members, and collaborating with third-party suppliers and maritime authorities to prevent and manage potential crises.
This incident echoes a similar occurrence last year when a rogue wave struck the expedition ship Viking Polaris, resulting in one passenger’s death and four others sustaining serious injuries. Industry expert Stewart Chiron, known as “The Cruise Guy,” highlighted the constant monitoring of weather conditions by cruise ships and their home offices to ensure safe and smooth courses, acknowledging the unpredictable nature of Mother Nature that may necessitate swift reactions from the ships.