Havila Voyages has said in a press release that its two ships intended for operation on the Norwegian coast – the Havila Castor and the Havila Capella – now won’t be completed in Q1 of 2021 like previously announced.
It is now expected that the ships will start operating the coastal service in summer 2021.
“I’m deeply disappointed that the ships cannot sail sooner and would like to apologize to those guests and employees who were hoping to sail with us before then. Sadly, the ongoing situation with the coronavirus has delayed delivery of some fixtures and fittings and also led to fewer workers being able to work on-site at the Tersan Shipyard,” said the CEO of Havila Voyages, Arild Myrvoll.
“In any other year, a delay of any length would prove very challenging. However, with the current travel restrictions to and within Norway, we do not anticipate strong demand until the summer, by which time we expect to be sailing. It is however important to emphasize that the coronavirus pandemic is still ongoing, and the new delivery schedule is based on the current situation. We will of course continue to monitor the situation. We are incredibly excited about the launch of Havila Voyages and look forward to welcoming guests onboard later this summer,” he added.
This news comes nearly two months after Myrvoll told Cruise Industry News in an interview that they were expecting the first two ships (out of the four intended) to be completed in Q1 of 2020 and start sailing in the spring.
The delays are due to pandemic-related difficulties at the Tersan shipyard in Turkey where the ships are being built, along with the two other ships intended for the Norwegian coastal service.
Myrvoll said back in December that normally 4,000-5,000 employees work at Tersan at the same time, which is impossible to achieve during the pandemic.
The Havila Castor and the Havila Capella are environmentally friendly passenger ships that will be sailing between Bergen and Kirkenes and offer 179 cabins. According to the press release, the ships will operate using the world’s largest battery packs and can sail for several hours both without emissions and noise.
Those whose bookings were affected by the delay will be contacted.