Havila has been forced to cancel its next sailing from Bergen to Kirkenes and back to Bergen that was scheduled to start on April 12.
The company cited an unresolved situation related to the ship’s insurance coverage, as the ship’s financing has been brought into question due to sanctions against Russia.
The company said that passengers onboard will receive assistance for their return trip home as soon as possible, and all travelers will get a refund for their voyage with Havila Capella.
The Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs confirmed late Wednesday night that the sanction provision did not preclude normal operation and thus also insurance for Havila Capella. After reviewing the case one more time, a counter-message was received from the authorities on Thursday afternoon.
“First and foremost, we are very disappointed that there was no solution, and that the authorities made a counter decision this afternoon. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has concluded that a liability insurance is not compatible with the sanction provisions,” said CEO Bent Martini.
“We must accept that, and we think it’s terribly sad for all our passengers who had been looking forward to a nice Easter trip onboard Havila Capella. When the Ministry of Foreign Affairs came with its confirmation yesterday, we thought we would be allowed to sail again, but unfortunately this is not a reality now.”
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs stated in its original reply letter that Havila Voyages is responsible for the operation and financing of the ship and that the ship should thus not be affected by adopted sanctions.
“We will now continue the dialogue with the authorities, insurance companies and finally refinancing of Havila Capella. We will sail again,” Martini said.
“Now we are looking forward to the takeover of Havila Castor, with which we plan to start sailing from Bergen on May 10. With a solution for Capella and Castor in operation, we will be well equipped for a glorious summer along the Norwegian coast. Despite the challenges we have encountered along the way, I choose to look positively going forward. We look forward to showing our fantastic ships to even more passengers in the time to come.”