Scenic Luxury Cruises & Tours has announced yet another delay in the first sailing date for Scenic Eclipse, which has been pushed back from April to August 15. Previously, Scenic had announced August 2018 as the debut but pushed that date back to January 2019, before settling on April 13, 2019 as the launch date.
As reported by The Medi Telegraph in December 2018, the ongoing financial challenges faced by the Uljanik Shipyard, where Scenic Eclipse is being built, have caused a range of ongoing impacts. Most notably, 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. Scenic says, to keep the build moving as quickly as possible, it has expanded the team within the shipyard by employing cruise ship specialists from Finland, Italy, the U.K. and Norway. The expanded Scenic team took over the lead role in completing the ship, with 115 directly employed specialists working in cooperation with the shipyard’s remaining management team and more than 500 subcontractors.
“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.
One positive development for the Scenic Eclipse build, Italian Shipyard Fincantieri was announced last week (February 7) as the new owners of the Uljanik Group. Scenic says it is confident that the 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 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 Scenic Eclipse II, as well as progressing development of the next generations of Scenic’s Discovery Yachts.
There have been constant interruptions to the build process and late deliveries of equipment and other supplies, which has pushed the launch date back several times, according to the cruise line.
Scenic says it will provide guests 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 percent of the cost of their rebooked cruise. Scenic has established a dedicated phone number for such guests and has begun reaching out to all guests and travel agents to provide details on the process.
Note: The strike at Uljanik Shipyard has since been settled and no other work stoppages have occurred since.