(9:45 a.m. EST) -- Shipyard delays caused by striking workers have scuttled the April 24 maiden voyage of Oceania's new Riviera. Instead, the 1,250-passenger ship will launch on May 16.
Genoa-based Fincantieri notified the line last week about the delays. "We know that ... travelers are anxious to welcome Riviera and we regret that labor strikes have caused this delay," Giuseppe Bono, the shipyard's CEO, said in a statement.
Two cruises are affected -- a 12-night Athens-to-Istanbul run and a 10-night Istanbul-to-Venice sojourn. Passengers on those voyages can rebook on another cruise and receive a future cruise credit that will range from $250 to $1,000 per guest, depending on the cabin category. Full refunds will be offered to those who don't want to rebook. An Oceania spokesman told Cruise Critic that the line is also assisting travelers with airline change fees.
The new inaugural is a 10-night "Pearls of the Aegean" cruise, which includes an overnight aboard ship in Venice before visiting Dubrovnik, Corfu and Crete, among other ports.
--by John Deiner, Managing Editor