May 8, 2001
The delay of delivery of Royal Olympic's Olympic Explorer – sister ship to the line's Olympic Voyager, which is currently the industry's speediest vessel – is getting curioser and curioser. Or just plain weird. To recap: the just-built ship, due to be released from its shipyard in late April, was refused by Royal Olympic for reasons they wouldn't specify. The company canceled voyages in May and June and offered displaced passengers the usual reimbursements, rescheduling and/or future discounts.
But now Bloom + Voss, the shipyard, is defending the ship, saying it was finished and ready-for-release on the promised date. As proof, the company, in a news release, announced the ship had successfully completed sea trials in mid-April and had received positive reviews from an 800-pax trial run after that. The shipyard says it has not even received a request for whatever improvements Royal Olympic felt were needed.
We offered Royal Olympic's spokesperson an opportunity to respond and she had none as yet. We'll keep you posted.
In the meantime, if this whole imbroglio is not confusing enough, Royal Olympic has just changed the name of the ship to Olympia Explorer because it suddenly discovered that there was another ship, from another line, that already was called Olympic Explorer.