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Ship freed after running aground

A British cruise ship which made headlines when a pensioner on board was killed by a freak wave has restarted an Arctic voyage after running aground off Norway.

The 22,000-tonne MS Marco Polo, with 763 mainly British passengers aboard, was manoeuvring to drop anchor in high winds near Leknes in the northern Lofoten Islands today when it became lodged in soft mud, British owner Cruise & Maritime Voyages (CMV) said.

The ship hit the headlines in February when James Swinstead, 85, was killed and several other people were injured when water crashed through restaurant windows as storms hit the English Channel.

The ship was freed after an operation at high tide at about 7.30pm, a spokesman said, adding: "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."

He added that divers had found no damage upon inspecting the ship's hull and propulsion system.

The ship is currently on a 14-night voyage to Norway and the Land of the Northern Lights, CMV said.

Tickets for the northern cruise can cost up to £2,749 depending on the time of year, according to the company website.

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