Scenic Luxury Cruises & Tours has just confirmed the first sailing date for Scenic Eclipse has been pushed back until 15 August 2019. Cumulatively, the delays have put the ship nearly 12 months behind its original launch date of 31 August 2018.
“We are deeply sorry for the inconvenience these delays to the launch of Scenic Eclipse have caused our guests. As a company we have done everything possible to complete the ship within the time limits that were set previously, but a series of events that are outside our control have put us in a position where we must delay,” stated a company spokesperson.
Ongoing financial challenges faced by Uljanik Shipyard, where Scenic Eclipse is being built, have caused a range of ongoing impacts, the Australian company said.
“Shipyard workers have not been paid full salaries since August 2018, which has led to strikes and manpower shortages as well as several other shipyard disruptions, resulting in months of lost production. To keep the build moving as quickly as possible in these challenging circumstances Scenic has expanded the team within the shipyard by employing Cruise Ship specialists from Finland, Italy, the UK and Norway.
“The expanded Scenic team took over the lead role in completing the ship, with in excess of 115 directly employed specialists in cooperation with the shipyard’s remaining management team and more than 500 subcontractors,” Scenic added.
There is, however, a silver lining. Scenic has said a “very positive development” for the Scenic Eclipse build – and the Uljanik Group – was a partnership between the Croatian DIV Group and Italian shipyard Fincantieri. This consortium was confirmed as the new owner of Uljanik on 7 February 2019.
Scenic said it is now “confident that these new owners will bring stability and focus to current and future ship builds.”
Accordingly, the Scenic Group has signed a letter of intent with the new consortium that will lead the shipyard to set up a new Discovery Yacht division within the restructured Uljanik group. This new joint venture will be fully focused on completing Scenic Eclipse and on expediting the build of the second Scenic Eclipse, as well as progressing development of the next generations of Scenic’s Discovery Yachts.
Guests impacted by the latest delay are being offered a full refund for the cost of their Scenic Eclipse cruise and consideration of any other reasonable associated costs incurred with their travel plans. In addition, Scenic will provide all guests who rebook a Scenic Eclipse voyage a future cruise credit to the value of 25% of the cost of their rebooked cruise.
Scenic has established a dedicated phone number for guests and has begun reaching out to all guests and travel agents to provide details on the process of refunding and offering an opportunity to apply the 25% discount to other voyages.
Lead image: Scenic Eclipse as of January 2019 at the Uljanik Shipyard.