(9:46 a.m. EDT) -- The late November launch of Costa Smeralda, the first LNG (liquefied natural gas)-powered ship for Costa Cruises, has been delayed by three weeks after delays at the Finnish shipyard where it's being built.

As a result of the delay, the first Costa Smeralda cruise will depart from Savona, Italy on December 21, 2019 rather than November 30.

"Costa Cruises is sincerely sorry for what has happened and is informing the travel agencies and guests booked on the Costa Smeralda cruises from November 30 to December 20, 2019, which can no longer take place," the line said.

Costa Smeralda, which means Emerald in Italian, is the second LNG-powered cruise ship for Carnival Corp. The company's Germany-based brand AIDA was the first and UK-based P&O Cruises will debut an LNG-powered ship in 2020. LNG is the world's cleanest burning fossil fuel.

When it debuts, the 6,518-passenger (at maximum capacity) Costa Smeralda will sail one-week Mediterranean cruises visiting Marseilles, Barcelona, Palma de Majorca, Civitavecchia (Rome) and La Spezia (Cinque Terre).