Oceania Riviera will now set sail on her maiden voyage 10 days later than planned on 24 April 2012.
The line released the news in a statement overnight and has based their decision on a desire to allow crew additional time to familiarise themselves with the ship “to deliver the acclaimed Oceania Cruises Experience.”
Whether or not this is the real reason, it surprises me that the crew would need to familiarise themselves with a ship that is the twin sister to already launched, Marina.
Surely the Riviera crew could spend time on board her twin to learn all of her ‘ins and outs’ rather than delaying a maiden voyage that guests have already booked on.
Regardless, the line has offered a range of options to those already booked as as a gesture of goodwill.
Passengers booked on the original 10-day maiden voyage have the option to sail on the new and longer ‘Ancient Grandeur’ itinerary scheduled to visit ports including Alexandria, Port Said, Haifa and Istanbul, at no extra cost. They will also receive shipboard credit of $250 per person from the line.
Oceania Cruises has also committed to offering passengers wishing to book a different voyage, a credit of $250 per passenger on future cruise bookings with the line while those wishing to cancel will receive a full refund.