Oceania Cruises has delayed the 2012 maiden voyage of new ship Riviera by 10 days.

The luxury vessel will now depart from the port of Athens on April 24 next year.

“The company is rescheduling Riviera’s first revenue cruise to allow additional time for the staff to familiarise themselves with the ship’s facilities and fine-tune the countless details required to deliver the acclaimed Oceania Cruises’ experience,” a statement said.

The revised maiden voyage is a 12-day itinerary visiting Alexandria and Port Said, Haifa and Ashdod  for Jerusalem, Alanya, Rhodes, Patmos and Kusadasi before ending with an overnight stay onboard ship in Istanbul.

Passengers booked on the original 10-night maiden voyage will be moved to the new, longer sailing at no additional cost and will receive a $250 per person shipboard credit “as a gesture of goodwill”.

Those wanting to cancel will be offered a full refund while a $250 per person future cruise credit will apply to passengers opting for a different itinerary.