The debut sailing of Royal Caribbean’s Quantum Ultra Class ship, Odyssey of the Seas has been pushed back by several months due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The ship currently under construction at an estimated cost of close to $1 billion had been scheduled to debut from Fort Lauderdale, Florida in November, 2020, but its inaugural sailing has now been delayed until April 2021.
Odyssey of the Seas debut delayed – cancellation of all sailings between Nov. 5, 2020, and April 17, 2021
“In the wake of COVID-19, our initial global suspension and its subsequent extensions, we understand the uneasiness all of this has caused both for you as a travel advisor and, of course, your clients whose vacations have been regrettably disrupted,” the company said in a letter sent out to travel advisors June 30. “The health crisis has unfortunately also impacted shipyard operations, as well as our supply chain. As a result, the debut of our newest fleet member, Odyssey of the Seas, will be delayed, resulting in the unfortunate cancellation of all sailings between Nov. 5, 2020, and April 17, 2021.”
“We are saddened to share this news,” the company added. “There’s nothing we wanted more than to launch this revolutionary ship this fall–but trust us when we say that Odyssey will be well worth the wait!”
Royal Caribbean said it would be offering refunds, Future Cruise Credit, Lift & Shift and the options to book on another ship sailing 7 nights in the Caribbean within a week of the original sale date at the original cruise fare rate or the current cruise fare rate, whichever is lower.
The company said Royal Caribbean refunds are now taking between 45-60 days. The company has previously apologized for delays in providing refunds due to the large volume of requests resulting from the COVID-19 no-sail order.
Just a few days earlier, the Meyer Werft shipyard in Germany said its ability to deliver on time had also been impacted by the coronavirus and that a fire onboard the Odyssey of the Seas had led to “extensive property damage and expensive delays.”