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ritz launch oct. 10, 2018
The Ritz-Carlton newbuild is depicted after its traditional launch down the slipway on Oct. 10, 2018

Ritz-Carlton launch is set back to June on shipyard issues

The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection confirmed its first vessel will be delayed, with the inaugural voyage set back to mid-June from early February 2020.

The company said it was recently informed by Hijos de J. Barreras shipyard that it is facing delivery and project cost issues.

‘With additional challenges around the former shipyard management, both the new board of Hijos de J. Barreras and the board of The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection are working cooperatively towards a long-term solution for the shipyard. As a result, we have been forced to re-schedule the debut of the yacht’s first voyage and subsequent voyages through June 13, 2020,’ the company said.

 

June 14 inaugural voyage

 

The first sailing is now scheduled for June 14.

The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection apologized to impacted passengers. ‘While we are eager to welcome guests aboard, our focus remains on ensuring a seamless delivery of the standards of quality and service that The Ritz-Carlton is known for,’ the statement said. ‘Our team is deeply committed to delivering a highly customized, state-of-the-art build that will make our inaugural yacht the most distinctive of its kind.’

Passengers are invited to rebook on other voyages in 2020 or on newly announced 2021 itineraries.

 

Follows denial of delay

 

In August, amid reports from Spain about a delay and problems at the shipyard, Ritz-Carlton spokespersons had downplayed those stories and assured Seatrade Cruise News the yacht would be ready for its Feb. 5 inaugural in Fort Lauderdale.

Those reports had said the yard was seeking a six-month delay from the last reference delivery date, Dec. 5, 2019, and that such a delay could cause a penalty for the yard estimated at €25m.

Today a Ritz-Carlton spokesman declined to address a possible penalty.

'We are working closely with the new leadership team at Barreras to agree on a structure that works for all parties and are focused on a timely delivery of the vessel,' he said. 'We cannot comment on specifics at this time.'

The keel was laid for the 24,000gt, 298-passenger yacht on Jan. 11, 2018. A traditional launch down the slipway followed Oct. 10 last year.

The order for an identical sister ship, to be delivered in 2021, was confirmed on May 30.