The NorthLink boat MV Hrossey was forced to return to Aberdeen on Tuesday night, after windows in the bar were damaged at sea.
The ferry had left at 17:00, bound for Shetland via Orkney.
But less than two hours later it turned round and returned to the harbour, docking just before 21:30.
The incident came just hours after Caledonian MacBrayne said its ferry MV Loch Seaforth encountered a freak wave in the Minch.
CalMac said the ship's master and the vessel's equipment "ably handled" the conditions.
NorthLink confirmed that front facing windows in the Hrossey's bar area were damaged in what it described as extreme weather conditions.
Repairs were carried out overnight and the ferry set off again for Orkney at 05:16 on Wednesday.
It arrived in Kirkwall on Wednesday morning and was due to then set sail for Lerwick in Shetland in the afternoon.
Earlier on Tuesday, the MV Loch Seaforth was struck by a freak wave in the Minch during high winds and swell.
The ferry takes passengers to and from Stornoway on Lewis and Ullapool in the west Highlands.
CalMac said the wave was "unusual" and was ably handled by the ship's master and the vessel's stabiliser equipment.
The ferry company said no harm came to any passengers or crew.
The £42m MV Loch Seaforth was first introduced to CalMac's Stornoway-Ullapool route in February 2015.