Luxury cruise line Scenic, which has been battling to build its first discovery yacht at a strike-hit yard in Croatia, has been forced to concede another delay.
The much-anticipated launch of the high-tech Scenic Eclipse, with two submarines and a helicopter, has been pushed back four months to August 15, 2109 – its second big delay and a year from the date it was to have been carrying passengers.
But there was some good news in Scenic’s statement today. The Uljanik Shipyard, which has been fighting financial problems and striking workers for weeks, is now hopeful of a rescue.
A consortium comprising of the Croatian DIV Group and the Italian shipyard giant, Fincantieri, will become the new owners.
And Scenic, which had been reported to have been looking over the books itself, is to help set up a discovery yacht department in a mark of remarkable confidence.
A statement said: “The 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.
“This new joint venture will be fully focused on completing Scenic Eclipse and on expediting the build of the second Scenic Eclipse, as well as progressing development of the next generations of Scenic’s Discovery Yachts.
Of those who had booked aboard the first vessel, the company said: “We are deeply sorry for the inconvenience these delays to the launch of Scenic Eclipse have caused our guests.
“As a company we have done everything possible to complete the ship within the time limits that were set previously, but a series of events that are outside our control have put us in a position where we must delay.”
Scenic founder Glen Moroney has personally been on site for months battling to complete the ship. To help alleviate the problems, Scenic employed 115 specialists of its own to help the remaining management team and 500 subcontractors.
The line has a big investment in Uljanik. A second discovery yacht is also under construction, together representing some $700 million..
Scenic said will be providing guests with a full refund of the costs of their Scenic Eclipse cruise and will consider other reasonable costs incurred with their travel plans.
In addition, Scenic said it will provide all guests who rebook a Scenic Eclipse voyage a future cruise credit to the value of 25% of the cost of their rebooked cruise.
Scenic has established a dedicated phone number for guests and has begun reaching out to all guests and travel agents to provide details of the process of refunding.