Hybrid ships delayed by Hurtigruten

Hurtigruten has scuppered the debut of a ship due to make its bow this year while Victory Cruise Lines suffers a setback to a major relaunch.

Hurtigruten’s 530-passenger Roald Amundsen will now not set sail before 2019, and Victory, which is upgrading a ship, has shelved a raft of early-season Great Lakes cruises until late July.

“The Victory II is going through a complete remodelling this spring and, due to the amount of work, we decided to delay our start by eliminating a few voyages planned for June and early July,” Victory Cruise Lines president Bruce Nierenberg said.

Passengers on cancelled cruises had been re-accommodated on other voyages or fully refunded.

“We’re totally confident by moving the first cruise to July 27 we’ll have no problems starting on time for the first cruise departing from Montreal,” Nierenberg added.

The Hurtigruten ship, meanwhile, is the first in a new class of bigger expedition craft with hybrid propulsion allowing cruising for short stints solely on battery power.

Hurtigruten said the Kleven Verft shipyard in Norway “will need more time to complete the vessel and will not be able to deliver her on schedule”. Work stopped briefly last year before Kleven’s coffers were boosted with a cash injection from Hurtigruten.

The Roald Amundsen was slated to launch in July. Passengers booked on the cancelled cruises will be refunded and offered discounts on other Hurtigruten vessels.

“Please accept my sincerest apologies, and rest assured we’ll do everything within our power to make your Hurtigruten adventure happen,” Hurtigruten CEO Daniel Skjeldam told affected guests.