The coastal cruise ships, Havila Castor and Havila Capella, were launched at the Tersan shipyard in Turkey on 5 September 2020.

Arild Myrvoll, CEO of Havila Kystruten, was present as the ships’ keels came into contact with salt water for the first time.

He is happy now to see the ships afloat and is looking forward to putting them in operation.

“It will be good to start providing people living along the coast, and tourists, with safe transport and environmentally friendly sailing on the world’s most beautiful coastal voyage.”

Over the last six months, the coronavirus pandemic has affected the shipyard in Turkey and construction of the new coastal ships meaning that the first two ships will not be ready for the new year as originally planned.

But Arild Myrvoll says that based on current knowledge, it looks like delivery may take place during the first quarter of 2021.

In order to expedite the construction process as much as possible, despite the challenges of the coronavirus pandemic, the ships have been on land for longer than usual. Because of this, several tasks have been streamlined.

As is the Turkish way, the ships are also not painted until last. That is why construction is further on than it might seem.

In anticipation of the new ships, Havila Voyages has received approval for two replacement vessels, but the demand for the coastal route between Bergen and Kirkenes is currently very uncertain, and the need for capacity at the start of the new contract on 1 January 2021 is under evaluation.