Norway’s popular coastal voyage line Hurtigruten has had to cancel several cruises on its new flagship, the MS Roald Amundsen, because its delivery from the shipyard has been delayed. Hurtigruten also has to refund thousands of tickets already sold and compensate would-be passengers who won’t be able to cruise this fall after all.
The new vessel, specially designed for so-called “expedition” cruises to polar areas like Antarctica, was supposed to be delivered from the Kleven Verft shipyard in Ulsteinvik later this year. Five lengthy cruises from Chile to Antarctica costing up to NOK 67,000 in the Norwegian market were due to begin in October.
Newspapers Avisa Nordland and Dagens Næringsliv (DN) reported that as many as 3,000 passengers have had their cruise plans foiled. Hurtigruten wouldn’t reveal the total costs of refunded tickets and other compensation. “Right now it’s most important to take care of the guests affected by this unfortunate situation,” spokesman Rune Thomas Ege told DN.
It was created by reported “complexities” in the construction of the vessel, which will be equipped with large battery packs and is billed as the world’s first hybrid expedition ship. The vessel is now due for delivery sometime in 2019.