Electromotor Glitch Delays Havila Voyages' Castor Vessel Delivery
Norwegian coastal cruise shipping company Havila Voyages said Thursday that the first trip with its Havila Castor newbuild vessel would be delayed due to a technical problem with its electric motor. Havila Polaris and Havila Pollux start-ups are also expected to experience delays.
"The [Havila Castor] ship, which was due to start operating on April 7, is being built at the Tersan shipyard in Turkey, where it is currently unable to carry out sea trials due to challenges with an electric motor," Havila Voyages said.
Havila had expected for the vessel to start sailing from April 7 on Norway’s Bergen - Kirkenes historical coastal route, however, technical challenges have now arisen with an electromotor on board, resulting in delayed conduct of sea trials.
"Through the media, it is known that the yard has challenges related to the performance from one of their subcontractors. The yard has today informed the company that the yard has terminated the contract with the supplier. It is the yard’s responsibility to find a new supplier to be approved by the company," Havila Voyages said.
The company said that the issues entailed "some uncertainty, but the company plans the first sailing with Havila Castor to be from Bergen on May 10."
The CEO of Havila Kystruten, Bent Martini said: "I apologize to those passengers who have been looking forward to exploring the Norwegian coast on Havila Castor. We very much look forward to welcoming them on board in the future and are contacting them to discuss an alternative voyage.”
Martini said that Havila’s first ship, Capella, has been well received and that both Havila Capella and Havila Castor are now almost fully booked throughout the summer season.
“We have had a lot of feedback from satisfied guests who are enjoying the good food and large cabins and appreciate the ship’s large windows showcasing the regions she sails through. They are also giving us positive comments about the high standard of service and comfortable accommodation onboard.”
Havila Polaris and Havila Pollux delays
Havila has also informed that its third and fourth ships, Havila Polaris and Havila Polluxm, also being built by Tersan, are likely to be impacted.
Martini said: "We assume that Havila Polaris will start operating in the third quarter and Havila Pollux in the fourth quarter of this year. At this stage, we are unable to confirm the exact dates but are doing everything we can to ensure we can put these ships into operation as quickly as possible, for the benefit of all who will travel and work onboard.”
A new agreement has been made with the Norwegian Ministry of Transport and Communications, responsible for Havila’s coastal contract, who have confirmed they are not demanding replacement ships are put in place during these delays, Havila said.
The Norwegian Ministry of Transport has previously exempted the company from supplying replacement ships for Havila Polaris and Havila Pollux if the company could, by end of 2021, prove that these ships were ready for sailing by May 1, 2022.
"Based on updated information from Havila Kystruten on the delivery of ships from the yard, the Ministry has confirmed that it currently will not require replacement ships from the company. The progress at the yard in Turkey has not been as expected, which the company deeply regrets," Havila Voyages said.
"Based on the experiences, there is uncertainty linked to the time of delivery for the remaining ships. The company implements measures to ensure and improve the progress. Havila Kystruten regrets the consequences the postponements have for the passengers, the population along the coast, the company’s employees, and investors. The company will do its utmost to deliver the agreed capacity as soon as possible, but now assumes that Havila Polaris will be ready for sailing during the third quarter and Havila Pollux during the fourth quarter of 2022," Havila Voyages added.
The company said it would contact the affected passengers to rebook the trips that cannot be made.