Hurtigruten, Antarctica, cancel, delay, launch, Roald, ship, expedition, shipyard, stake, shares, Kleven

Hurtigurten axes first season for Roald Amundsen

Problems at the shipyard mean a delay in delivery for the expedition vessel until May 2019.

Problems at the shipyard mean that Hurtigruten will not take delivery of the 530-passenger Roald Amundsen until 2019, Cruise Industry News reports. The ship’s first season has been cancelled.

The new ship floated out last week from the Kleven shipyard, which has been beset by financial issues since last year. The yard was bailed out by a consortium of investors led by Hurtigruten, which has since joined forces with other parties to take a 40% stake.

“Let me be the first to complain about the situation,” the adventure cruise and ferry firm’s chief executive Daniel Skjeldam wrote in a letter to travellers already booked on its first season.

“While we are eager to welcome you onboard this truly unique vessel as soon as possible, this delay means that we unfortunately must cancel the voyage that you had booked with us.”

The company said in a statement: “We are sorry to confirm that the delivery and introduction of the world’s most advanced, modern and environmentally friendly expedition ship, MS Roald Amundsen, will be delayed until 2019.”

It continued: “Kleven yard, where the highly advanced vessel is currently under construction, has informed us that due to the complexity of the project, they will need more time to complete the vessel and will not be able to deliver her on schedule.”

Refunds and discounts
Booked guests will get a full refund, including any flight costs, and Hurtigruten is also offering discounts on its other expedition sailings.

Cancelled cruises include around ten voyages to the Antarctic, affecting close to 3,000 passengers. Roald Amundsen’s first commercial sailing is now expected to depart from Lisbon on May 3 next year.

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