The Ritz-Carlton luxury hotel chain's new cruise division announced on Tuesday June 21 that it is postponing the launch of its long-awaited maiden vessel Evrima for the seventh timefor 298 passengers.
The company explained the situation to those that the ongoing strike of metallurgists in the Spanish region of Cantabria has actually stalled the process of building the ship.
Recall that the ship is almost ready at the Astander shipyard in the port city of Santander, which is located in the Spanish region of Cantabria.
“After making significant progress on Evrima and having recently completed a series of successful sea trials, we are disappointed that we are experiencing outages that are beyond our control,” — said Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection CEO Douglas Protheroe.
The statement says the company is now postponing Evrima's debut to August 31, almost four weeks later than planned. after the sixth launch delay was announced three months ago.
The statement notes that the workers of the Astander shipyard and its subcontractors are not involved in the strike of metallurgists in the Cantabria region. However, protesters repeatedly gather at the gates of the shipyard, making it difficult for workers and subcontractors to safely access the facilities.
Work disruptions due to strikes by metallurgists — this is just the latest excuse offered by the Ritz-Carlton to explain Evrima's repeated delays. Let us recall that they have been dragging on for the third year already.
The ship was originally scheduled to embark on a cruise with passengers in February 2020. But problems on Hijos de J. Barreras — shipyards in Spanish Vigo, where Evrima was originally built, — led to two significant delays in its construction, which immediately pushed back the delivery date by 14 months.
Another four delays announced in 2021 and early 2022 were due to the COVID-19 pandemic, as a result of which the debut was postponed for another 16 months.
And now, the last announcement of the delay. 31 months behind schedule — an unprecedented event in the history of cruise shipbuilding.
To be fair, supply issues and staff shortages related to the COVID-19 pandemic have caused delays for a number of vessels ordered for other companies. However, in most cases, they were only a few weeks behind schedule.
Most major cruise lines ordering new cruise ships do so from well-known cruise ship manufacturers such as Germany's Meyer Werft and Italy's Fincantieri. These shipyards have years of experience building cruise ships and a wide network of suppliers who specialize in building components.
In March, the Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection announced that the next two ships after Evrima will be built by Chantiers de l 'Atlantique in Saint-Nazaire, France. They will be larger than the Evrima and are scheduled to enter service in 2024 and 2025 respectively.
If Evrima finally debuts on 31 August, it will be a 10-day voyage from the port of Athens in Greece to Venice, with stops at Parga and Corfu — Greece, Dubrovnik, Korcula and Rovinj — Croatia, and Koper — Slovenia.
The upscale Evrima looks like a luxury yacht. The company promises spacious cabins, a stylish spa, plenty of sunbathing space on deck and five separate dining options. Restaurants in particular will include an à la carte restaurant designed by Sven Elverfeld — Michelin-starred Chef at the Aqua Restaurant at the Ritz-Carlton in Wolfsburg, Germany.