(3:30 p.m. GMT) -- Ambassador Cruise Line has been forced to delay the launch of its new ship, Ambience, due to supply chain issues, exacerbated by the conflict in Ukraine.
The Tilbury-based ship, which was due to launch on April 6, will now depart on April 20, and its first two sailings to the Norwegian Fjords have been cancelled.
All passengers booked on the cancelled Ambassador cruises from Tilbury are being contacted by the line to discuss alternatives cruises or a full refund.
CEO, Christian Verhounig said: "We have taken the difficult decision today to delay the launch of our first ship Ambience.
"Whilst we were able to mitigate several delays impacting our extensive programme of works during the period Ambience was in dry dock, everyone is aware that there is at present, extensive supply chain disruption and delays in many commercial areas. Most recently these have been worsened by the crisis in Ukraine.
"It has therefore not been possible to depart for London Tilbury on the original date we had planned. This has had a knock-on effect to our inaugural sailing programme which we have managed to limit to the three initial sailings."
Supply Side Issues Have Caused Delays to the Launch of Ambassador Cruise Line's Ambience
Verhounig explained the ship had undergone extensive engineering and other works whilst in dry-dock in Croatia. The process had been subjected to "some significant recent supply-side delays which also led to a temporary lack of availability of marine gas oil in Croatia"
He added: "It is incredibly disappointing news to the guests booked on these sailings and we apologise for the disruption to their holiday plans that this news will cause."
Ambience Will Be Based in Tilbury And Sail to the Baltic and the Arctic
The 1,400 passenger Ambience will be based in Tilbury and offer cruises to the Baltics, Greenland, the Arctic, and Iceland; whilst for the winter months a range of expedition style voyages will sail to the Canaries, Cuba, the Caribbean, Cape Verde and Scandinavia.
The ship began life as Regal Princess before joining the P&O Australia fleet and sailing as Pacific Dawn.
It has undergone extensive refurbishment work, including being fitted with the latest emission reducing technologies.
Ambience will have five restaurants including specialty dining options; two cafes, nine lounges, a swimming pool, spa, day and evening entertainment, fitness and leisure facilities.