Havila Voyages takes delivery of Havila Castor

Havila Voyages takes delivery of Havila Castor

Havila Voyages

Havila Castor will make her debut on the coastal Bergen to Kirkenes route on 10 May

Havila Voyages has taken delivery of its second ship, Havila Castor, from Tersan Shipyard in Turkey.

Chairman of the board Per Sævik and CEO Bent Martini attended the official handover at the shipyard.

“This is a big day for our shipping company, and we are now ready to get Havila Castor home to Norway to be put into service on Tuesday 10 May,” said Martini. “The ship is going to Bergen for preparation for the first roundtrip, and even though time is short, we will be ready for the first voyage.”

Havila Castor is identical to her sister ship, Havila Capella, which joined the fleet in November 2021. The battery pack onboard the ship has an output of 6.1 megawatts, allowing it to sail up to four hours on battery power alone. In addition, the ship runs on LNG fuel, which reduces carbon dioxide emissions by around 25 per cent and nitrogen oxide emissions by up to 90 per cent. Both ships are also built to run on liquid biogas fuel if available and will be able to use hydrogen or ammonia as fuel in the future.

“At Tersan Shipyard, we are so proud to deliver the second vessel of the series, Havila Castor, to Havila Voyages,” said Mehmet Gazioğlu, CEO of Tersan Shipyard. “It is also a great pleasure for Tersan Shipyard to share our valuable partner Havila Voyages’ excitement in introducing the ship to passengers travelling on the historical route between Bergen and Kirkenes with top quality service.”

Havila Castor has a value of approximately NOK 1.2 billion ($131 million) and was initially planned to be financed by Russian lease company GTLK Asia. However, this could not be carried out due to GTLK Asia being sanctioned. Havila Voyages has now taken full ownership of the vessel with alternative financing, using equity and a loan of €46 million ($49.1 million) from Tersan Shipyard and the shipyard’s bank. .

“This solution gives us time to find a proper refinancing of the ship, while at the same time meaning that our company owns the ship from this date,” said Martini.

The cruise line has also been granted a dispensation from the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs to continue operating Havila Capella, which has been leased from GLTK Asia. The cruise line will be able to continue sailing the ship for up to six months while it secures refinancing and a change in its ownership.

“We thank our partners who have actively assisted us in this matter,” said Martini. The Ministry of Transport and Communications in particular has been a great support to us, and the assistance we have received from the Norwegian Shipowners' Association has also been very useful to us. There are many who have turned around quickly and worked around the clock with this complex case related to the sanctions issue.”

Havla Castor is now sailing to Norway with a crew of 60 people, who will prepare her for guests. She is expected to arrive in the city of Bergen on 5 May ahead of her maiden voyage between Bergen and Kirkenes, Norway, on 10 May.

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Alex Smith
By Alex Smith
26 April 2022

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