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Travel industry news

12 Feb 2019

BY James Chapple

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TRFBLI

Scenic Eclipse launch delayed again to August 2019

The launch of Scenic’s ultra-luxury expedition yacht, Scenic Eclipse, has been put back again to mid-August – nearly a year after it had originally been due to sail for the first time.

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Scenic Eclipse launch delayed again to August 2019

Scenic said ongoing delays at the Uljanik shipyard in Pula, Croatia, where the ship is being built, had once again forced the line to push back Eclipse’s launch date, this time to August 15.


The ship had originally been due to launch on August 31, 2018, sailing itineraries to the Americas, Antarctica, Europe, the Mediterranean, Arctic and Norwegian fjords.


“We are deeply sorry for the inconvenience these delays to the launch of Scenic Eclipse have caused our guests,” said a spokesperson for the line on Tuesday (February 12).


“We have done everything possible to complete the ship within the time limits set previously, but a series of events outside our control have put us in a position where we must delay.”


News of the latest delay come just weeks after Scenic issued on update on Eclipse stating work was “progressing well” despite ongoing issues at the shipyard.


It is reported the shipyard has faced financial troubles, resulting in workers not having been paid in full since last August, triggering strikes and labour shortages.


Scenic said the net result was “months” of lost production. To mitigate the delay, the line says it has drafted in cruise ship specialists from Finland, Italy, the UK and Norway to bring efforts along.


This team, which comprises more than 100 directly-employed specialists and more than 500 contractors, has since taken the lead on production.


Uljanik shipyard, meanwhile, was last week sold to a consortium involving Italian shipyard Fincantieri, which Scenic said would “bring stability and focus” to current and future builds.


“Accordingly, Scenic Group has signed a letter of intent with the new consortium that will lead the shipyard to set up a new discovery yacht division within the restructured Uljanik group,” said the line in a statement.


“This new joint venture will be fully focused on completing Scenic Eclipse and on expediting the build of Scenic Eclipse II, as well as progressing development of the next generations of Scenic’s discovery yachts.


Scenic will refund all guests and “reasonable associated costs” if they are no longer able to sail on Eclipse or no longer wish to. It is also providing guests who rebook a voyage on Eclipse future cruise credit to the value of 25% of their rebooked cruise.


A dedicated hotline for guests has been set up, and the line has started contacting all guests and travel agent partners to update them on the refund and discount procedures.

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