Cruise Industry

New cruise ship deliveries and refits delayed due to Coronavirus shutdowns

The Coronavirus pandemic caused a global shutdown of the cruise industry, but also forced work to stop at cruise shipyards across Europe, where the world’s new cruise ships are being built.

The delivery of Disney Wish may be delayed, according to Walt Disney Company’s CEO

RELATED: European shipyards get back to work building Dubai-bound mega cruise ships

RELATED: Carnival forced to cancel Mardi Gras’ first eight cruises due to shipyard delay

Eight cruise ship deliveries have been delayed due to shutdowns across Europe, impacting shipyard’s building schedules, while a ninth (Disney Cruise Line’s Disney Wish) may be delayed in the coming weeks.

While European shipyards have now resumed operations, they aren’t able to work at full capacity due to slowdowns, supplier issues and social distancing practices from the COVID-19 pandemic.

As a result, many of the most anticipated new cruise ship deliveries of the year will be delayed, including large newbuilds like Enchanted Princess and Celebrity Beyond, as well as smaller niche, luxury and expedition vessels.

In addition, several refit and refurbishment projects, such as those to Carnival Radiance, Allure of the Seas and Explorer of the Seas have been delayed for the same reason.

Carnival Radiance

Carnival Radiance – now due November, 2020

The former Carnival Victory is being transformed into Carnival Radiance at a shipyard in Cadiz, Spain. She was meant to leave dry-dock in May this year, but will now sail her first cruises in November, 2020, according to Carnival Cruise Line.

Click here for more details about the refurbishment of Carnival Radiance.

Allure of the Seas

Allure of the Seas – revised refit schedule unconfirmed

Allure of the Seas was to go into drydock for 58 days this spring to receive new enhancements like the Ultimate Abyss and Perfect Storm slides, a Music Hall, expanded Giovanni’s specialty dining venue, and all-new Adventure Ocean spaces for kids and teens.

Royal Caribbean said in a statement that work stoppages at shipyards in Europe and the global shut down of the cruise industry due to the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic had forced them to delay those plans.

Click here for more details about the refurbishment of Allure of the Seas.

Explorer of the Seas

Explorer of the Seas – revised refit schedule unconfirmed

Explorer of the Seas was meant to go into drydock around the same time as Allure of the Seas for a US $100-million refurbishment that would see The Perfect Storm racer waterslides and a redesigned pool deck with The Lime & Coconut installed, as well as other enhancements to the vessel. She too has had that schedule disrupted. Royal Caribbean hasn’t said when the revised dry-dock is planned.

Celebrity Beyond will be a larger sister ship to Celebrity Edge

Celebrity Beyond – revised delivery unconfirmed

Celebrity Beyond was meant to enter service in late 2021, but has now been delayed indefinitely. The building of the third Edge-class cruise ship for Celebrity was delayed due to work disruptions at the Chantiers de l’Atlantique shipyard in Saint-Nazaire, France.

Celebrity Cruises said that it is still assessing the exact timeline for the vessel’s final construction. Celebrity Beyond will be larger sister ship to Celebrity Edge and Celebrity Apex at 140,600 gross tons.

Carnival’s largest ever ship, Mardi Gras

Carnival Mardi Gras – now due November, 2020

Carnival Cruise Line has been hit with shipyard delays, forcing them to cancel the first eight sailings aboard Mardi Gras.

The new LNG-powered cruise ship for Carnival Cruise Line, the largest the line has ever built, will now depart on its first cruise in November, 2020.

No reason has been given for the delay, but Carnival Cruise Line has indicated that it is because of a revised delivery schedule from the Meyer Turku shipyard in Finland where the ship is being built.

For more on Mardi Gras, see our full preview here.

Crystal Endeavor

Crystal Endeavor – now due November, 2020

The new hybrid luxury expedition ship for Crystal Cruises, Crystal Endeavor, was meant to debut in August. Due to work stoppages at the MV Werften shipyard in Germany, the ship will now only be delivered in November this year.

The 19,800-gross ton, 200-guest expedition cruise ship, the first oceangoing newbuild for Crystal since Crystal Serenity debuted in 2003, will sail her maiden voyage on November 14th, 2020. She’ll sail a 14-night Tasmania and Fjords of New Zealand cruise, which might still be possible after New Zealand and Australia announced talks to create a ‘travel bubble’ between the two countries.

Enchanted Princess

Enchanted Princess – now due August, 2020

Princess Cruises’ new Royal-class cruise ship Enchanted Princess was scheduled to debut on June 30 with a naming ceremony in Southampton, England. Work restrictions across Italy, however, have forced the Fincantieri shipyard to revise its building schedule and Princess has said that she will now debut in August at the earliest. Voyages on the vessel through July 31, 2020 have since been cancelled.

Click here for more details about Enchanted Princess.


Evrima – now due April, 2021

Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection announced last month that it was delaying the debut of its first ship, Evrima, to April 2021 due to the coronavirus pandemic. Work on the 25,000-gross ton, 298-guest luxury cruise ship was delayed by the social distancing measures put in place in Spain.

Before that, Ritz-Carlton had delayed the ship’s debut from February 2020 to June due to the Coronavirus pandemic’s affect on the cruise sector. She is now scheduled to embark on her maiden voyage on April 22nd, 2021, sailing from Lisbon to Palma de Mallorca.

MSC Virtuosa under construction

MSC Virtuosa – now due early 2021

MSC Cruises’ second Meraviglia-Plus-class ship, MSC Virtuosa, has had her delivery delayed from November, 2020, until at least 2021 due to delays and shutdowns caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

The 177,100-gross ton cruise ship is under construction at the Chantiers de l’Atlantique shipyard in Saint-Nazaire, France, and will homeport in Dubai during the 2021/22 cruise season. She will be the largest cruise ship ever to homeport in the Arabian Gulf.

Sea Cloud Spirit under construction

Sea Cloud Spirit – revised delivery unconfirmed

Sea Cloud Cruises‘ newest and largest sailing cruise ship was meant to be delivered in August this year, but has now been delayed, with a revised schedule to be announced. The ship, the first newbuild for the cruise line in 19 years, is being built at the Metalships shipyard in Vigo, Spain.

Work stoppages and border restrictions have prevented European subcontractors and suppliers from accessing the yard. The ship’s three masts have been completed in Poland and are awaiting installation, and interior outfitting has progressed but not finished.

Her August 29th, 2020 maiden voyage has been cancelled, and when she is delivered, Sea Cloud Spirit will no longer sail a trans-Atlantic to the Caribbean, but will instead cruise the Canary Islands until April, 2021.

Norwegian’s Project Leonardo

Norwegian Cruise Line – revised delivery unconfirmed

Norwegian Cruise Line has six Leonardo-class cruise ships on order with Fincantieri, while Regent Seven Seas has one ship on order with the same shipyard and Oceania has two. In an SEC filing on May 5th, Norwegian Cruise Line Holding’s (NCLH) – the parent company of all three cruise lines – said that it fully expects delays to impact its newbuild schedule.

Norwegian Cruise Line’s six Leonardo-class cruise ships are due to enter service between 2022 and 2027, while Regent’s newbuild is due in 2023 and Oceania’s two new builds are due in 2022 and 2025. It’s most likely that those vessels scheduled for a 2022 delivery will be impacted.

The delivery of Disney Wish may be delayed, according to Walt Disney Company’s CEO

Disney Wish – revised delivery unconfirmed

Disney Cruise Line will likely have to delay the introduction of its new cruise ship Disney Wish, according to parent company Walt Disney. Speaking on the company’s second quarter earnings call this week, Walt Disney Company CEO Bob Chapek said that he was anticipating delays to the schedule.

“The company has credit facilities to finance three new cruise ships, which were to be delivered in 2021, 2022 and 2023, although delays are now expected as a result of the COVID-19 impact on the shipyard,” he said, but didn’t elaborate.

P&O Cruises’ new LNG mega ship Iona

P&O’s Iona – revised delivery unconfirmed

P&O Cruises‘ new ship Iona, its largest ever, and the largest cruise ship purpose built for the British cruise market was due for delivery in May, 2020. She made it as far as a conveyance down the Ems river for her sea trials before the cruise industry was shut down globally.

Soon after that, the Meyer-Werft shipyard in Papenburg was forced to delay some work to the vessel due to lockdowns across Europe, impacting its supply chain, while social distancing at the yard made work slower. All of this means that the final fitting out of P&O’s first LNG-fuelled ship has not progressed as planned. Even if it had, P&O would likely have been forced to delay delivery due to the global shutdown of the cruise industry. The cruise line plans to resume sailing in July, but its unclear when Iona will debut in the UK.

Silver Moon under construction

Silver Moon – October, 2020

Silversea’s new ship Silver Moon, a sister ship to Silver Muse, was scheduled to debut in August in Trieste, but the shutdown and subsequent social distancing at the Fincantieri shipyard has delayed her delivery until October 2nd.

Silver Origin underway during sea trials

Silver Origin – June, 2020

Silversea’s luxury expedition cruise ship, purpose-built for the Galapagos, was meant to be delivered at the end of April, but will now make its debut in early June. She recently completed her sea trials and is due to cruise to Ecuador in June. Her maiden voyage will now be August 22nd.

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