Ambassador Cruise Line has delayed the launch of its first ship, Ambience, as the war in Ukraine takes its toll on a supply chain that was already seeing problems.
The maiden voyage to Hamburg, originally planned for April 6, has been re-scheduled to depart on April 20, and the first two sailings to the Norwegian fjords have been cancelled.
A travel trade event in Tilbury on April 4-5 is also cancelled.
Christian Verhounig, chief executive, said: “Whilst we were able to mitigate several delays impacting our extensive programme of works during the period Ambience was in dry dock, everyone is aware that there is, at present, extensive supply chain disruption and delays in many commercial areas.
“Most recently these have been worsened by the crisis in Ukraine.”
While in dry-dock in Croatia, engineering work on the ship was affected by delays in supplies, which also led to a temporary lack of availability of marine gas oil in the country, said Ambassador.
Passengers on the three affected sailings are being contacted by Ambassador to discuss “highly attractive alternatives” or a full refund.
Verhounig said: “It is incredibly disappointing news to the guests booked on these sailings and we apologise for the disruption to their holiday plans that this news will cause.
“We are hopeful that most of them will be able to enjoy our ship and service on the revised dates and the alternatives we put together for them.
“The good news is that despite the delay, the ship has completed her refurbishment; she is now operating to a higher level of environmental responsibility, the captain and crew are on board, and she is looking wonderful.
“We’re making more staff available today and opening our phone lines tomorrow to offer peace of mind and help with booking alternative sailings.”