Two Last Ships Finally Delivered to Havila Kystruten

Published: 02.08.2023 kl. 09.24
CEO Bent Martin celebrating the delivery of Havila Polaris and Havila Pollux, the last two ships of Havila Voyages. Right: captein Kurt Harald Nærbø  (Photo: Martin Giskegjerde/Oclin)
CEO Bent Martin celebrating the delivery of Havila Polaris and Havila Pollux, the last two ships of Havila Voyages. Right: captein Kurt Harald Nærbø (Photo: Martin Giskegjerde/Oclin)
“On this day, as we finally possess our own beautiful and state-of-the-art coastal cruise ships, with spacious cabins and providing a high level of comfort for everyone on board, it marks a significant milestone for the shipping company”, said CEO Bent Martini, celebrating the delivery of Havila Polaris and Havila Pollux, the last two ships of Havila Voyages.

The official ceremony took place at the Tersan shipyard in Turkey on 1 August, marking the end of a challenging journey. The company faced significant obstacles since the original lender was sanctioned on 24 February last year, requiring lots of time, resources, and patience to find legal solutions.

"But despite facing unexpected challenges at every turn, we never lost hope of finding a solution," sayd Martini.

The breakthrough came with a groundbreaking financing method as the company successfully raised EUR 305 million from HPS Investment Partners to refinance its fleet, with an additional EUR 65 million contributed by the company's largest owners and investors in a private placement. The holding company, Havila Holding AS, chipped in with an unsecured and subsidized loan of EUR 20 million.

We are very satisfied with this. As far as we know, no one else has come up with a similar solution. This is the outcome of pioneering work that provides us with the required flexibility and room to maneuver, enabling us to fulfill our assignment along the Norwegian coast as expected," the CEO explained.

Afterwards, there is an official ceremony and flag raising. The crew is, of course, part of the celebration. Now they are looking forward to bringing the ship home!

Havila Voyages' fleet comprises four coastal cruise ships, which set new standards for environmental friendliness and adaptability to the Norwegian coast's varied conditions. At the same time, these ships maintain top-notch comfort for passengers. The Havila Capella and Havila Castor ships, already operational on along the coastal route (Bergen-Kirkenes-Bergen), have received overwhelmingly positive feedback, with an impressive Net Promoter Score (NPS) of almost 80 on both vessels, surpassing the world-class benchmark of 70.
In recent years, many employees of Havila Voyages have made contributions during the shipbuilding process in Turkey, and Martini highlights the excellent cooperation with the Tersan Shipyard.

"We want to thank the Tersan Shipyard for their understanding and patience regarding our challenges, especially in relation to the entire sanctions issue. They have built four fantastic ships, and without Tersan and our numerous Norwegian suppliers and partners, we would never be standing here today".

Osman Nurettin Paksu, Chairman of the Board at Tersan Shipyard, states, "It is a fantastic day for us, celebrating the delivery of these beautiful coastal passenger ships to Havila Voyages. They are the most modern and environmentally friendly ones on the Norwegian coastal route, and we are proud that they bear the Tersan Shipyard name”.

 Martini also extends his commendation to the company's own employees, both at sea and on land, who have persevered through uncertainty, prolonged waiting, and even heatwaves in Turkey.

"It has been absolutely crucial for us to have our own people close by through the whole process, and I thank everyone for their efforts," he said.

As the anticipation builds, Havila Polaris is gearing up to set sail from Turkey in time for its maiden voyage departing from Bergen on the 17th of August. Not far behind, Havila Pollux is scheduled to follow the same route and embark on its journey from Bergen on August 23rd.

"Our crews will move on board very soon. We must now clear the necessary equipment through customs before conducting the final check, and then, depending on weather conditions, the ships' voyage back to Norway will take between ten and twelve days”, shared CEO Bent Martini.

With the maiden voyages on the horizon, the company is facing hectic days, ensuring the ships are well-prepared and undergo the final touches before embarking on their exciting new journeys.

"The crew of Havila Pollux will join Havila Polaris upon their arrival in Bergen, and even the organization on shore will play a role in ensuring that we’ll finish the preparations in time. This collaborative effort is something I eagerly look forward to, and I truly believe that the time spent in Bergen will fortify us as a unified team, regardless of our individual roles within the company. Staying united has been instrumental throughout this journey, and we are all thrilled to warmly welcome the first guests on board our two newest coastal route ships very soon," concludes CEO Bent Martini.
formation meeting for sailing crew before the departure from Turkey.

John Inge Vikan


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