HX, the Norwegian cruise line formerly known as Hurtigruten Expeditions, revealed that its 532-guest ship MS Maud will return to service in April 2024 following an extended dry dock where repairs are being made to the ship. Her return-to-service cruise will be a British Isles expedition roundtrip from Dover, England.
MS Maud, the HX ship that was seriously damaged by a rogue wave in December 2023, will officially resume operations on April 14, 2024, with a 13-day voyage exploring the British Isles.
Several British Isles departures are scheduled in April and May, along with a summer series that will feature Northern Europe destinations such as Iceland, Greenland, and Scandinavia.
MS Maud was hit by a rogue wave while sailing in the North Sea between Norway, Denmark, and the UK on December 21, 2023. Windows were broken in the incident, including on the bridge, and the ship was temporarily adrift after losing power. No serious injuries were reported, but the ship required navigational assistance.
The ship was operating a 14-night “Northern Lights” expedition cruise roundtrip from Tilbury, England, when the wave hit. Authorities were quickly alerted and multiple nearby vessels and rescue personnel responded to the scene.
MS Maud was ultimately towed to Bremerhaven, Germany, where she is undergoing repairs at Bredo Dry Docks.
The ship’s next scheduled cruise, a 13-night Christmas Expedition to various ports in Norway, was cancelled as damage to the vessel was being assessed. Two cruises slated to depart in January, both Norwegian fjord cruises from Amsterdam, also were cancelled, and now all other published cruises through mid-March 2024 are cancelled.
Several options are being offered to guests booked to sail on the ship through March. Guests can instead sail aboard the line’s MS Spitsbergen, which offers the same Northern Lights itinerary that MS Maud was supposed to sail.
Guests also can rebook on other voyages through mid-April, including select Norway sailings on sister brand, Hurtigruten, including the North Cape Express roundtrip from Bergen, Norway, and select sailings departing from Hamburg, Germany, aboard MS Otto.
The offers are based on availability, and guests can rebook their original cabin category choice where available. Other options include a full refund, or a future cruise voucher that can be applied to a different expedition voyage.
When MS Maud returns to service in April for her British Isles expedition cruises roundtrip from Dover, she will offer guests opportunities to explore destinations such as Wales; Northern Ireland; the Orkney Islands, Stornoway, Islay, Isle of Man, and Isles of Scilly, all in Scotland; and England’s Devon coast, before returning to Dover.
The April 14, 2024 departure will feature a special guest, Scottish weather presenter Carol Kirkwood, who will entertain guests with lectures and Q&A sessions. Several other notable itineraries are coming up in 2024.
On July 18, 2024, the ship will operate her “Cruising Under the Midnight Sun” Arctic voyage. The 20-day cruise visits Greenland and Iceland, including five ports above the Arctic Circle.
In fall of 2024, the ship will reposition to Antarctica and operate a series of expedition cruises to the Patagonian fjords and the White Continent. A 17-day Chilean Patagonia and Antarctica expedition, with departures in November and December 2024, will call at ports in South America, the Falkland Islands, and South Georgia.
Onboard MS Maud, guests will find decor inspired by Norway’s natural wonders and furnishings and fixtures in the art deco style. The ship features a Science Center, where guests can become involved with active research projects.
Three dining venues are offered, including the fine dining Restaurant Lindstrom, the casual Restaurant Fredheim, and the main dining room, Restaurant Aune. The ship also provides a fitness room, a sauna and whirlpool, and one bar/lounge.
MS Maud’s experience with a rogue wave is unusual, but the phenomenon does happen from time to time. In December 2022, Viking’s Viking Polaris expedition ship was hit by a rogue wave in the Drake Passage as the ship was making her way from Antarctica to Ushuaia, Argentina. That sailing ended in tragedy, as one person died in the accident and four were injured.
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