The Scandlines ship Mecklenburg-Vorpommern approached Trelleborg at 9pm on Wednesday after a voyage from Rostock, but knocked a fender into the water as it entered the port.
Port authorities ruled that for safety reasons ships could not dock until the fender had been removed.
The decision left the Mecklenberg-Vorpommern stranded at sea for almost twenty hours, until it could dock late on Thursday afternoon. Another Scandlines ship, the Skåne, had been due to dock around 6:30am on Thursday, but was also prevented from entering port thanks to the earlier accident.
The delays took place during high winds in the Baltic, with wind speeds of up to 15 metres per second. Scandlines spokesman Joakim Kenndal said the fact that the ships were so close to the harbour, and therefore partly sheltered, meant passengers were "not too uncomfortable."
Kenndal said staff onboard the ships had done their best to make passengers comfortable.
"Cabins were opened up so that people could get some sleep, and food and drink was provided," he said.
"People were so close to shore, so were understandably frustrated, but I think most people understood the situation."
Claims by passengers for compensation will be treated on a case-by-case basis, Kenndal said.