SCENIC is weathering turmoil in the construction of its expedition vessel Scenic Eclipse, with striking workers and a financial crisis forcing a change of board at the vessel’s Croatian shipbuilder and the delay of the vessel’s inaugural voyage by a further three months.

After industrial action and allegations that workers had not been paid, the Pula-based Uljanik Group appointed a new chairman and three-member management board in a bid to avoid financial collapse.

Local media report that talks are now underway with creditors and government over a restructure.

Originally planned to debut last August, the company had earlier announced that due to construction delays the vessel would debut on 28 January 2019, however the company has since revised the first sailing date to 13 April next year.

According to Scenic’s founder Glen Moroney, the cruise line has taken full ownership of Eclipse “given the yard’s challenges” and is now contracting suppliers directly to ensure the build continues.

“The Uljanik Group is working with the Croatian Government and the European Union’s Competition Authority to develop a restructuring plan and we hope this process will be completed soon,” Moroney said.

“Despite the difficult environment, Scenic’s supervisory team, along with Uljanik’s management and production workers, are totally focused on the ship’s completion”.

Under the new schedule the first Scenic Eclipse sailing will now be a “Great Civilisations Mediterranean Cruise” from Barcelona to Athens.

In the wake of the delay, Scenic has stated it is committed to providing full refunds for any cancelled voyages, along with “consideration of any other reasonable associated costs”.

Guests who rebook a Scenic Eclipse voyage before 31 March 2019 will also receive a future cruise credit to the value of 25% of their rebooked cruise.

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