Are the big players interested in buying smaller agencies? Well, it depends on who you ask.
VANCOUVER — The Scenic Eclipse has hit yet another road bump on its journey to launch, announcing a third delay due to issues at the Uljanik Shipyard.
The amended launch date of the ship’s inaugural cruise is now Aug. 15, 2019, changed from April 13, 2019. It was originally set to launch on Aug. 31, 2018, but due to construction issues Scenic Luxury Cruises & Tours was forced to announce last July a five-month delay.
Following its most recent delay, a company spokesperson issued an apology to its 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.”
At Uljanik Shipyard, where the Scenic Eclipse is being built, shipyard workers have not been paid full salaries since August 2018, which has led to strikes and manpower shortages, resulting in months of lost production. To keep the build moving as quick as possible, Scenic has expanded the team within the shipyard by employing Cruise Ship specialists from Finland, Italy, the U.K. and Norway.
In a recent positive development, a consortium comprised of the Croatian DIV group and Italian Shipyard Fincantieri was confirmed on Feb. 7 as the new owner of Uljanik. Scenic is confident that the new owners will bring stability to current and future ship builds, said the company.
Accordingly, the Scenic Group has signed a letter of intent with the new consortium that will result in 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 the second Scenic Eclipse, as well as progressing development of the next generations of Scenic’s Discovery Yachts.
To minimize disruption to guests’ travel plans, Scenic is providing a full refund for the cost of their Scenic Eclipse cruise and consideration of any other reasonable associated costs incurred. In addition, it will provide all guests who rebook a Scenic Eclipse voyage a future cruise credit to the value of 25% of the cost of their rebooked cruise.
Scenic has created a dedicated phone number for guests and has begun reaching out to all guests and travel agents regarding the process of refunding and applying the 25% discount to other voyages.