Scenic, Uljanik’s New Owner Form Discovery Yacht Joint Venture

UK-based company Scenic Luxury Cruises & Tours has signed a letter of intent (LOI) with a consortium of DIV/Fincantieri to collaborate on building ultra-luxury discovery yachts at the Croatian Uljanik shipyard.

Signed on January 11, 2019, the LOI between Scenic and Uljanik’s newly selected strategic partner will lead the shipyard to set up a new discovery yacht division within the restructured shipbuilding group.

This new joint venture will be focused on completing Scenic Eclipse, expediting the build of the second Scenic Eclipse, as well as progressing development of the next generations of Scenic’s discovery yachts, Scenic said.

Scenic also revealed that the first sailing date for Scenic Eclipse, the world’s first discovery yacht, is being amended to August 15, 2019.

“We are deeply sorry for the inconvenience these delays to the launch of Scenic Eclipse have caused our guests. As a company we have done everything possible to complete the ship within the time limits that were set previously, but a series of events that are outside our control have put us in a position where we must delay,” a spokesperson of Scenic stated.

Launched in Pula in January 2018, the 22,498 gross ton newbuilding will be able to accommodate 237 passengers and 172 crew members. It will feature a length of 165.7 meters and a width of 21.4 meters and fly the flag of Malta.

The delivery of the ship has been delayed due to ongoing financial challenges faced by Uljanik. Shipyard workers have not been paid full salaries since August 2018, which has led to strikes and manpower shortages as well as several other shipyard disruptions, resulting in months of lost production.

To keep the build moving as quickly as possible, Scenic has expanded the team within the shipyard by employing cruise ship specialists from Finland, Italy, the UK and Norway. The expanded Scenic team took over the lead role in completing the ship in cooperation with the shipyard’s remaining management team.

On the occasion of the LOI signing, Glen Moroney, founder and chairman of Scenic, said he believes Uljanik will soon solve financial problems the shipbuilder has been facing. What is more, Moroney said that the construction of the second discovery yacht, Scenic Eclipse II, will start following the approval of the shipbuilder’s restructuring program.

The parties have commenced works on designing a new series of Scenic’s ultra-luxury expedition cruise ships to be built at Uljanik.