The Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs has rejected an application for an exemption in order to insure Havila Kystruten’s first vessel ‘Havila Capella’.
The Ministry had made a decision on 26th April 2022 to grant Havila an exemption from the sanctions regulations, which were aimed at the vessel’s finance company which has Russian connections, to operate ‘Havila Capella’ for six months.
However, this exemption did not give the right to insure the ship and on Monday, the Ministry rejected the shipping company’s application to take out insurance on the grounds that this, in itself, would mean that a property would be made available to the registered owner.
“This is very disappointing and means that we still have an unresolved situation for ‘Havila Capella’. Based on this, we have no choice but to cancel ‘Havila Capella’s’ next roundtrip along the Norwegian coast, which was scheduled to start in Bergen on 15th May,” CEO Bent Martini explained.
“We are very sorry for the situation that has arisen beyond our control, and for the consequences this means for the coastal population, our passengers, employees and suppliers,” he said.
Martini also said that Havila was confused by the Ministry’s assessment.
“As the sanctions are set up, any insurance payment will not benefit the ship’s registered owner. In the event of a total loss, other parties will receive the insurance payment. We can do nothing but accept the authorities’ assessment, but disagree with the decision,” he explained.
He also said that Havila will continue to work to find a solution to return ‘Havila Capella’ to service.
“We will not give up and will strive to find a possible way out of a very demanding situation. Until we have clarified the room for manoeuvre we are facing, it is difficult to provide any more information at this time,” he stressed.
Passengers who were booked on the next round trip will be offered a sailing with the second ship, ‘Havila Castor’, or a full refund.
‘Havila Castor’ sailed as planned from Bergen on 10th May, as she had temporary finance in place.
“Everyone on board the ‘Havila Castor’, our own employees and suppliers, as well as the crew from ‘Havila Capella’ who have assisted, have worked night and day to prepare for the maiden voyage. I am impressed by the willingness to make an effort, and I am happy that ‘Havila Castor’ is on schedule,” Martini concluded.
She will make history on 2nd June when she is due to visit Geirangerfjord using her battery power only.
Havila’s vessels are fitted with hybrid power solutions, operating with batteries and LNG.