Essex

Marco Polo cruise ship grounded off Norway

MS Marco Polo Image copyright Cruise & Maritime Voyages
Image caption Cruises on the Marco Polo depart from Tilbury on the Thames estuary in Essex

A cruise ship, which was hit by a wave which killed an 85-year-old passenger earlier this year, has been freed after becoming grounded off Norway.

The Marco Polo, which sailed from Tilbury in Essex, got stuck with 763 passengers on board in the Lofoten Islands on Saturday.

Owners Cruise & Maritime Voyages (CMV) said it was freed in an operation at high tide at about 19:30 GMT.

James Swinstead died after water crashed through a window in February.

Passengers taken ashore

The 22,000 tonne ship was on a 14-night cruise to Norway when it got stuck in soft mud as it dropped anchor in high winds near Leknes, off northern Norway.

A CMV spokesman said: "There has been no oil pollution arising out of the incident and none of the 763 mainly British passengers or crew have been injured.

"Passengers wishing to go ashore were transferred by tender and the local tour programme continued as scheduled."

The company said divers had inspected the hull and propulsion system and found no damage.

Tickets for the northern cruise can cost up to £2,749 according to the CMV website.

Mr Swinstead, from Colchester, died during a 42-night cruise on a different route on 14 February.

A wave crashed through windows to a restaurant while the boat was heading back to Tilbury.

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