Ambassador Cruise Line forced to postpone maiden voyage due to series of delays


Britain’s first cruise line to launch in the UK in over a decade has been delayed until after the Easter holidays. Ambassador Cruise Line, which was due to depart on its maiden voyage on April 6, is not expected to depart until April 25.

The first ship of the line, capacity of 1,400 Atmosphere, underwent extensive engineering and other work while in drydock in Croatia. The process has recently suffered significant delays on the supply side, which has also resulted in a temporary lack of availability of marine gas oil in this country.

While these have now been resolved, her maiden voyage to Hamburg, originally scheduled for April 6, has been rescheduled to depart now on April 20. Her first two crossings to the Norwegian fjords were later cancelled.

Managing Director Christian Verhounig said: “We have made the difficult decision to delay the launch of our first ship Atmosphere . It was not a decision that was made in haste, but something that we have worked tirelessly to try to avoid.

“While we were able to mitigate several delays affecting our extensive works program during the period Atmosphere was in dry dock, everyone is aware that there is currently a major supply chain disruption and delays in many trading areas. More recently, these problems have been compounded by the crisis in Ukraine.

“It was therefore not possible to depart for London Tilbury on the date originally planned. This had a ripple effect on our maiden sailing schedule which we managed to limit to the initial three departures.”

He added: “This is incredibly disappointing news for guests booked on these sailings and we apologize for the disruption to their holiday plans this news will cause. We hope that most of them will be able to enjoy our ship and our service on the revised dates and alternatives we have in place for them.

“The good news is that despite the delay, the ship has completed its refurbishment, it is now operating at a higher level of environmental responsibility, the captain and crew are on board, and it looks stunning. All of us at Ambassador can’t wait to welcome our first guests on board.”

From London Tilbury, Ambassador will operate flightless routes on 31 sailings calling at more than 90 different ports. Itineraries will include the British Isles, Norwegian Fjords, Nordics, Greenland, Arctic and Iceland, as well as several short cruises.

During the winter months, a range of exploration-style voyages will sail to the Canaries, Cuba, the Caribbean, Cape Verde and Scandinavia.

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