P&O Cruises will not take delivery of its latest newbuild, Iona, until at least August.
In a video update from the Meyer Werft shipyard in Papenburg, Germany, Bernard Meyer revealed the delivery of Iona had been postponed and said they hope they can deliver the ship at the end of August, although could not rule out further delays. The shipyard has already missed two delivery dates of May and July.
Originally due to embark on her maiden voyage to Norway in May, Iona has undergone sea trials and the ship is essentially finished.
The ship successfully transited the Ems river from the Papenburg shipyard to the outfitting facility at Bremerhaven. Initial sea trials were undertaken, which was followed by Iona sailing to Rotterdam to undergo a dry dock inspection. It is unclear what work was carried out during this period. Iona recently embarked on a second round of sea trials off the coast of Norway, and has since returned to Bremerhaven.
The new delay is not good news for Meyer Werft. They only receive the remaining 80% payment after the delivery of the ship has been completed. In the meantime, they are liable for the enormous cost of upkeep, docking and maintenance involved on Iona during the interim, and there is still no guarantee P&O Cruises will accept delivery, until they, themselves, are ready to welcome the ship into their fleet. The shipyard workers also have an interest in the delivery of Iona. Meyer Werft has promised holiday payment totalling 14 million euros, which will only get paid out upon handover of the vessel.
P&O Cruises has currently cancelled all sailings up to 15 October.