RCI-Royal Caribbean International is delaying the inauguration of its newest ship Odyssey of the Seas for 6 months. Currently under construction at Meyer Werft Shipyard (Papenburg Germany), the newbuild had been due for delivery in 2020, with the maiden voyage was scheduled for November 5th, out of Port Everglades (Fort Lauderdale, Florida USA).
The assembly of RCI's second Quantum-Ultra Class liner is proceeding at the German shipyard but has been slowed by the Coronavirus (COVID-19) as well as a couple of minor fires during the fitting out process.
This week, Meyer Werft released photos showing they were preparing to reposition the cruise ship close to the doors of the drydock building hall, which is the last step before Odyssey OTS leaves the drydock for final fitting out and conveyance on Ems River.
RCI announced the delay to guests booked on the ship’s fall-winter North America cruises pointing to the impact of the worldwide shipyard and port closures that created delays in the construction schedule and delivery.
The company added that "based on adjusted plans and timelines created in partnership with the Meyer Werft shipyard in Germany, delivery of Royal Caribbean’s newest ship is now scheduled for April 2021.”
The shipbuilding delays put financial pressures on Meyer Werft. In a message to employees, the company said it had been forced to seek short-term financial support until the cruise liners are delivered.
The rescheduled delivery for RCI Odyssey of the Seas comes as Meyer Werft continues discussions with other cruise shipping companies/clients including AIDA, P&O UK and Disney, over the timeline for the delivery of their vessels.