The troubled construction of the Scenic Eclipse, Australia’s first ultra-luxe expedition yacht, appeared yesterday to be in the hands of another Croatian shipyard.
The financially-challenged Uljanik, where the $250 million yacht is nearing completion with a deadline of some six weeks, has chosen Brodosplit over Italian shipbuilder Fincantieri Group.
There are reports Fincantieri, one of the world’s leading cruise ship producers, may stay on as an adviser.
At one point, local media speculated that Scenic itself had looked over the yard’s books for possible investment with Fincantieri. This has not been confirmed.
There was no word yesterday as to whether the news will have implications for Scenic Eclipse and a second similar Scenic yacht slated for construction at the yard.
Scenic chair and founder Glen Moroney has spent weeks with his own team of workers at the yard to ensure guests get aboard for the first sailing this year, after a set back meant delays in 2018.
Croatian Minister of Economy Darko Horvat said according to the documents from the bidding phase, Brodosplit is solvent. He noted that it would be a serious problem if it turns out that the selected partner has no financial capacity for the restructuring of Uljanik.
Uljanik is Croatia’s largest shipbuilder with two shipyards in Pula and Rijeka in the northern Adriatic. The company has financial troubles and for months it has been searching for a strategic partner that would invest in it.
Uljanik’s workers went on strike several times due to unpaid wages last year.
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