Havila Voyages confirmed that the first 2 ships in its fleet - Havila Castor and Havila Capella, had been delayed and would be setting sail in Summer 2021. The vessels were due to start operations in 2021-Q1.
Both vessels are now expected to be delivered from Tersan Shipyard (Yalova, Turkey) in late-May or early-June 2021. It will then take a number of weeks to prepare for sailing.
Havila's Castor and Capella are Norwegian coastal cruiseferries operated by the Norwegian shipping company HAVILA KYSTRUTEN (part of Havila Group). The sisterships are with max passenger capacity 640, 179 staterooms, cargo capacity 9 cars and 190 pallets (40 of which can be transported by freezing or cooling), 9 decks (4 with cabins). The vessels will operate on the Norway ferry route Bergen-Kirkenes (crossing time 7 days) stopping at 34 ports along the full itinerary. This route is served by a total of 11 ships (7x by Hurtigruten, 4x by Havila) and the ferry service is government-subsidized.
Arild Myrvoll (Havila Voyages' CEO) said he was deeply disappointed that the cruise ships couldn't sail sooner and apologized to those passengers and employees who were hoping to sail with them before then.
"Sadly, the on-going situation with Coronavirus has delayed delivery of some fixtures and fittings and also led to fewer workers being able to work on-site at the Tersan Shipyard.
“In any other year, a delay of any length would prove very challenging. However, with the current travel restrictions to and within Norway, we do not anticipate strong demand until the Summer, by which time we expect to be sailing. It is however important to emphasise that the Coronavirus pandemic is still ongoing, and the new delivery schedule is based on the current situation. We will of course continue to monitor the situation. We are incredibly excited about the launch of Havila Voyages and look forward to welcoming guests on-board later this summer.”
The company is currently contacting all booked customers on the affected cruises.