The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection has pushed back the launch date of its first ship, Azora, by four months due to shipyard “delivery and project cost issues”. Originally earmarked to enter service in February 2020, the ultra-luxury yacht’s launch has been delayed until 14 June 2020.
In a statement, The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection said: “With additional challenges around the former shipyard management, both the new board of Hijos de J. Barreras and the board of The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection are working cooperatively towards a long-term solution for the shipyard. As a result, we have been forced to reschedule the debut of the yacht’s first voyage and subsequent voyages through June 13, 2020.”
“We sincerely apologise to all guests who were ready to sail with us in the beginning of 2020.
“While we are eager to welcome guests aboard, our focus remains on ensuring a seamless delivery of the standards of quality and service that The Ritz-Carlton is known for,” the startup five-star cruise line said.
“Our team is deeply committed to delivering a highly customised, state-of-the-art build that will make our inaugural yacht the most distinctive of its kind.”
Pre-booked passengers on Azora affected by the delay have been offered a full refund, including cruise fare, airfares and hotel change fees. Or they have the opportunity to rebook on a later voyage in 2020, or any of The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection’s newly release 2021 itineraries.
For travel advisors, commissions will be “fully preserved” for those who had clients booked on impacted departures between 5 February and 13 June, 2020.
Azora’s delay is a similar situation to what Australian company Scenic Luxury River Cruises & Tours went through with the delivery of its ultra-luxury yacht, Scenic Eclipse. The Uljanik shipyard in Croatia where Eclipse was constructed suffered financial issues, causing multiple strikes and nearly a 12-month delivery delay. Scenic Eclipse entered service in mid-August 2019.