Havila Voyages has received a license from the Central Bank of Ireland, which will allow the financing and delivery of the Norwegian coastal cruise ships, ‘Havila Polaris’ and ‘Havila Pollux’, to proceed.
The license also allows the company to settle its debts with the original lenders.
“The situation we are in is very complex and demanding. The licenses are required for us to legally implement our financing solutions. Despite good assistance from the Norwegian authorities, the process has taken longer than we would like. Fortunately, the license from Ireland is now in place, which enables us to legally finance our ships,” CEO Bent Martini explained.
Havila Voyages has also applied for licenses in the UK and the US, to ensure both British and American investors can participate in the financing.
The Irish license and a previously received license from the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs now ensures legal financing from EU countries and Scandinavia.
Havila Voyages had appointed Arctic Securities and Fearnley Securities as facilitators to assist in the financing process.
“The licenses are crucial for our facilitators to be able to work freely in relevant markets for us to settle our debts to the original lender to a frozen account according to the sanction regulations and releasing the security in the vessels.
“The ships will be ready for delivery as soon as we have completed the financing process, and we apologise to all affected parties for having to postpone once again,” Martini added.
Due to the time-consuming processes, ‘Havila Polaris’ and ‘Havila Pollux’ entry into service will be further delayed. The start-up date for ‘Havila Polaris’ is set for 12th June, while ‘Havila Pollux’ will commence operations on 18th June.
Despite the uncertainty that Havila Voyages is experiencing, the company claimed significant interest in the latest additions to the coastal route Bergen/Kirkenes/Bergen and has reported strong sales figures.
“We have a high volume of traffic, both to our customer centre and via our website, and had close to 70% occupancy in the first quarter, with 50% of all capacity for all four ships sold out for the year. This is ahead of what we expected for the year,” Martini said.
“For us, it will be crucial to capitalise on the interest and get all four ships in operation. We have a societal mission to deliver, and we depend on running the company in an economically sustainable way.
“It is challenging when we constantly face setbacks and situations far beyond our control, but we look forward to soon being able to focus on delivering a top quality, modern product along the Norwegian coast in accordance with the agreement with Norwegian authorities,” he concluded.