The revolutionary Scenic Eclipse, the discovery yacht currently under construction in a strike-hit yard in Croatia, has again been delayed – this time until after April 13, 2019.
Scenic was expected to put out a statement on the state of construction, but a letter purportedly received by those who have booked on the luxury vessel says strikers at the Uljanik yard are to blame for the further delays.
But the line has promised full refunds for fares and other incidental expenses – presumably referring to flights and hotels that may have been booked in advance.
In a letter from Scenic Chairman Glen Moroney, who has personally been battling to keep the project on schedule with weekly visits to the yard and specially-hired shipbuilders, Scenic tells one passenger: “We are writing to inform you that the launch of Scenic Eclipse, the World’s First Discovery Yacht, has been amended to 13 April 2019.
“This means your Scenic Eclipse sailing departing on 22 March 2019, South America to the Canary Islands, will not proceed as planned. We sincerely apologise for this delay and share your disappointment.
“Due to the continuing financial issues at Uljanik shipyard and the resultant strike by specialist engine and systems commissioning workers, this stage of the ships completion has been delayed.
“Scenic has been in constant contact with the shipyard, workers representatives and the Government to ensure the completion of the ship as soon as possible.
“Due to those efforts over 600 workers are still on board each weekday. Progress on interior and other areas of completion have seen far less impact and continue to progress at good pace.
“The specialist commissioning team returned to work progressively last week however it will not be possible to catch up the six weeks lost due to workers strikes.
“Scenic has committed to providing you with a full refund for the cost of your Scenic Eclipse cruise and consideration of any other reasonable associated costs incurred with travel plans. Our priority is to ensure that you are provided with every possible assistance.
“We recognise the inconvenience this will cause you and in addition to the full refund, the Scenic team are committed to working closely with you to reschedule your voyage to another departure.
“Scenic will also provide you a future cruise credit of 25% of the cost of your rebooked cruise.
“We will be in contact with you or your travel agent as a matter of priority to assist in amending your travel arrangements.
“We have set up a dedicated phone number with a highly efficient and well trained team to handle all enquiries (1300 569 2589). We do ask for your patience with call volume on this line.
“Yours sincerely, Mr Glen Moroney, Founder and Chairman.”
On many cruise sites, passengers who have booked expressed concern. One on Cruise Critic simply said: “One day after final, payment – Shame on you Scenic.”
The Eclipse was due to be launched last August, but was then delayed until January.
It has been hit, however, with strikes and financial crisis at the yard, which were beyond Scenic’s control.
A second Eclipse yacht is also being built at the same yard.