Norway Fines Coastal Cruise Company Havila Over Delayed Operations
The Norwegian Ministry of Transport has fined the coastal cruise company Havila Kystruten $752,000 over delay in starting operations of its third cruise ship and providing coastal service between Bergen and Kirkenes. Havila was scheduled to commence the service of its third vessel, the HAVILA POLARIS, in January of this year.
In its defense, Havila has claimed that the delay was due to its focus on resolving issues related to freeing its other cruise ships, which have become the target of financial sanctions placed on Russia.
The HAVILA POLARIS has been impacted by the financial sanctions placed on Russia. The ship's construction was originally financed by the Russian company GTLK. After the financial sanctions came into effect, Havila was unable to make the required down payments to acquire the ship. The company sought and obtained orders from courts in the UK and Ireland, allowing it to acquire the ship and settle its financing with GTLK. Havila recently had to cancel two planned sailings in February as the company failed to obtain a license from the Irish central bank in time to complete the transfer of HAVILA POLARIS.
The fine from the Norwegian government is the latest problem for Havila, which has been battling challenges since April 2022, when the financial sanctions started affecting the company.