In a dramatic turn of events, the Norwegian cruise ship Maud, owned by Hurtigruten Group and operating for its expedition cruise company HX, issued an emergency call on Thursday afternoon, December 21. The vessel reported losing power and navigational capabilities during a fierce winter storm named Pia in the North Sea.

The 16,151 gross ton cruise ship found itself in distress nearly in the middle of the North Sea, battling strong winds at Force 8, reaching up to approximately 30 knots, with sea conditions running at seven to eight meters (22 to 26 feet). Reports revealed that a massive wave shattered the bridge windows, causing flooding and a brief loss of power. Fortunately, the ship managed to restart its main engine, although navigational systems and radar remain inoperative.

With 266 passengers and 131 crewmembers onboard, the ship, measuring approximately 445 feet (137.75 meters), had initially called passengers to their muster stations, but unconfirmed reports indicate no serious injuries. The vessel was en route from Norway to the UK's Tilbury port, approximately 200 miles east of the UK and 120 miles west of Denmark at the time of the incident.

Danish offshore services company Esvagt dispatched vessels, including Esvagt Server and Esvagt Cornela, to aid the Maud. As of late Thursday night, these vessels were alongside the cruise ship, with preparations underway for towing.

Hurtigruten labeled the incident as a "rogue wave" and assured that everyone on board is safe. The Danish authorities reported a stable situation, indicating no immediate danger for the cruise ship. Nevertheless, rescue services in the region remain on standby, with helicopters ready if needed, as Danish authorities continue to monitor the evolving situation closely. Stay tuned for updates on this unfolding maritime emergency.