SeaDream Innovation Cancelled – Other Cruise News: Bankrupt Shipyard Building Scenic Eclipse II – Ritz-Carlton Yacht To Be Four Months Late – Havila Shipping Delays – More Ex-UK Cruises From Hurtigruten

by Kevin Griffin

With almost forty new small ships and expedition vessels being built in shipyards that are new to building cruise ships, it is not surprising that there have been some serious delays and cost-over-runs. But why SeaDream cancelled the order or its 220-berth SeaDream Innovation is not fully known yet. And while the Scenic Eclipse was delivered a year late, Scenic Eclipse II is being built in a bankrupt shipyard. Elsewhere, two ships ordered in Spain by Havila Shipping have been so badly delayed that the owner is looking to charter two ships from elsewhere to fill in for the new ships on the Norwegian coast. And after a series of winter cruises announced for the Maud from Dover in 2021 comes news that the Fridtjof Nansen will offer a series of ex-UK cruises in 2020 as she’ll be delivered a month before intended.


SeaDream Innovation Cancelled

SeaDream Innovation

SeaDream Innovation

The latest addition to the SeaDream Yacht Club fleet, the SeaDream Innovation, was scheduled to be delivered in September 2021 by Damen shipyards in the Netherlands. Instead, shipyard and shipowner have agreed to annul the contract.

The 220-berth Polar Class 6 expedition ship was planned to be the third unit in SeaDream Yacht Club’s luxury fleet.

The ship had been set to out-rank the existing 95-berth SeaDream I and SeaDream II – in both size and capacity.

Despite the latest move, SeaDream owner and chairman Atle Brynestad is said to be actively pursuing other newbuilding opportunities.

Seadream II out of St.Barts

Seadream II out of St.Barts

“The company has been debt-free for several years and has the equity needed to expand the fleet. We hope to announce a new ship in 2020,” he said.

Damen shipyards is thus left without a project as it was expected that Damen was going to built the fist of Seabourn’s new expedition ships, an order that went instead to Mariotti as Seabourn Venture.


Bankrupt Shipyard Building Scenic Eclipse II

Seabourn Venture (Artist impression, March 2019)

Seabourn Venture (Artist impression, March 2019)

Elsewhere, Croatia’s Uljanik shipyard in Pula is looking to restructure. Earlier this year, the yard completed the 228-berth Polar 6 expedition ship Scenic Eclipse for Scenic Cruises & Tours.

Scenic Eclipse was christened at Manhattan Cruise Terminal, New York City in September by Eclipse Godmother Dame Helen Mirren.

Ritz-Carlton Yacht To Be Four Months Late

Scenic Eclipse (August 2019, Courtesy Scenic Cruises)

Scenic Eclipse (August 2019, Courtesy Scenic Cruises)

Spanish shipyard Hijos de J Barreras, is not going to be able to deliver the first of the new Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection fleet until June 2020. This will mean a four-month delay and the loss of some lucrative charters by Ritz-Carlton. On top of this the cost over-run on the first ship has been estimated at about $5 million.

Media reports indicate that the shipyard has committed serious miscalculations, so the additional costs for the completion of the ships could be 112 million Euros.

Whether the second yacht is built by Barreras shipyard will depend on whether one of the leading shipbuilders in the cruise sector, such as Meyer or Fincantieri, might take over the battered shipyard.

Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection's Evrima

Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection’s Evrima

The 298-berth yachts will measure 26,500 gross tons and have dimensions of 623 x 78 feet, maximum beam for the St Lawrence Seaway (Ritz-Carlton has hotels in Montreal, Toronto, Cleveland and Chicago) and have a crew of 246.

Following submission of an application to the Commercial Court in Pontevedra, Vigo, on October 3, 2019, Oaktree Capital, the new owner of Barrera, has until February to ensure the viability of the company, or otherwise, submit to liquidation.

Havila Shipping Delays

Havila Capella

Havila Capella

For months now, work has been suspended on the two coastal passenger ships ordered from Barreras by Havila Shipping.

Even more serious than the financial difficulties at the yard are design flaws that indicate the ships could be too heavy to operate on the traditional Bergen – Kirkenes route.

Havila Shipping, who were awarded a ten-year contract by Norway’s Ministry of Transport and Communications following bids to operate four coastal ships between Bergen and Kirkenes from January 2021 onwards with Hurtigruten.

The Finnmarken - Hurtigruten

The Finnmarken – Hurtigruten

Of the orders for four ships with hybrid battery propulsion two were ordered in Spain and two from Tersand Shipyard in Turkey, for delivery at the end of 2020. The two ships being built in Spain are already six months behind schedule. In order to meet their contract obligations Havila has been reported as planning to charter two coastal ferries.

Meanwhile, three Hurtigruten ships the Finnmarken, Midnatsol and Trollfjord (to become the Dover-based Maud in 2012), are gradually being outfitted with battery packs from 2020 onwards. Starting in 2021, the ships will offer year-round expedition cruises along the Norwegian coast.

More Ex-UK Cruises From Hurtigruten

Hybrid powered MS Fridtjof Nansen during sea trials in the Norwegian fjords (Photo: MOTION AIR/Hurtigruten)

Hybrid powered MS Fridtjof Nansen during sea trials in the Norwegian fjords (Photo: MOTION AIR/Hurtigruten)

The 530-guest expedition ship Fridtjof Nansen, which uses battery power, is due to be delivered ahead of schedule in 2020, allowing Hurtigruten to add a series of extra sailings before her April 1 maiden voyage.

Departing from London March 7, Liverpool March 12 and Portsmouth March 17, the 5-night voyages will take guests to explore destinations around the British Isles, such as the Isles of Scilly, Fowey, Isle of Man and Dartmouth.

A 4-night voyage to Oslo will also take guests through the Kiel Canal and Aalborg in Denmark. The Nansen has underwent her sea trials off the west coast of Norway last week. Hurtigruten launched the world’s first hybrid battery-powered cruise ship, Road Amundsen this summer.

(Kevin Griffin is managing director of The Cruise People Ltd and a director of specialist cruise operator Culture Cruises Ltd, both of London, England. For further information concerning cruises mentioned in this article readers can visit his blog)

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