Scenic, the Australian river cruise line, is delaying its move into expedition ocean cruising until 2019 after running into construction problems.

Owner Glen Moroney told US site Travel Agent the $250 million Scenic Eclipse, which has been heavily advertised in Australia and has two helicopters and a mini sub for its luxury guests, won’t now put to sea until late January 2019 – a delay of six months.

The “discovery yacht”, accompanied by amazing imagery, has been in magazines and newspapers for well over a year as the line sought high net worth passengers for its luxury adventure journeys. The delay will be extremely unwelcome.

The Eclipse is a Polar Class 6 ice rated ship which was designed to take its 228 wealthy guests to the Russian Arctic, the Northwest Passage, Southern Greenland, Alaska and more.

It is the first of two new “discovery yachts”. The second is due in 2020.

Mr Moroney blamed “construction issues within the shipyard” for the delays and told the site: “Despite the best efforts of our Scenic Eclipse Build Supervision Team to make up construction time, we are not prepared to compromise the quality of the vessel and potentially impact guest experiences to meet the original late August 2018 launch date.

“We have apologized to affected guests for the inconvenience caused and confirmed that Scenic will provide a full refund for the cost of their Scenic Eclipse cruise and consideration of any other reasonable associated costs incurred with their travel plans.”

The company is working to reschedule cruises over the next two years. According to the site, guests who rebook a Scenic Eclipse cruise will receive a 25 per cent future cruise credit.