The 489 passengers above the Sirena Seaways ferry were left stranded for three hours as rescue officials worked to safely re-dock it.
The ferry was damaged upon entering the port at Harwich at 12:00pm today.
Water initially started to seep in but was “quickly stopped” by the master of the ferry, according to a spokeswoman for Thames Coastguard.
The Walton Coastguard Rescue Team, the Harwich RNLI lifeboat, the harbour launch boat, the search and rescue helicopter from RAF Wattisham were sent to the scene, along with a number of other nearby vessels and tugs that went to assist.
The Thames Coastguard spokesperson said: “We got contacted just after midday today. We were told that the Sirena Seaways had struck the quay at Parkeston and was taking on water but that was quickly stopped.”
There are no reported injuries.
DFDS Seaways, the group who own Sirena Seaways said in a statement: “We can confirm that Sirena Seaways sustained some damage on entering the port at Harwich during today's scheduled arrival at 12:00pm.
”This has resulted in the late discharge of the ship. There is no danger to passengers or crew, and we are working hard to disembark the passengers and vehicles from the ferry as quickly as possible.
“We are currently assessing the situation before it is able to resume its service on the Harwich - Esbjerg route.
”We would like to apologise to passengers for any inconvenience caused to their travel plans. We should have further details on the future timings of the service shortly.“
Meanwhile, Terry Jewell, station officer, said: “This is one of the regular ferries that comes into Harwich and as it docked it hit the side of the quay making a hole under the water line.
“The ship is stable now and we are standing by as a precaution while the vessel is moved so that ramps can come down and passengers can leave.
“The ship's crew worked swiftly to put their safety plans into practice immediately after the accident happened."
Additional reporting by PA