Hurtigruten 2nd Ship Delayed

(6:30 a.m. EDT) -- Hurtigruten has pushed back the launch of its second planned hybrid ship after being forced to delay the launch of its first by nearly a year.

Fridtjof Nansen was due to launch at some point in 2019 -- following the delivery of sister ship Roald Amundsen -- but it is now unclear when the second ship will launch.

Roald Amundsen was due to launch in July this year, but in February the line announced it would be delayed until May 2019 -- having a knock on effect on the build of Fridjtof Nansen.

Both ships are being built at the Kleven shipyard in Norway, which faced financial difficulties in 2017 and had to be bailed out by a consortium of investors, including Hurtigruten.

A statement from Hurtigruten read: "Earlier this year, the yard informed us that due to the complexity of the construction of the Roald Amundsen, they will not be able to deliver the ship as scheduled.

"Unfortunately, we have just been informed by the yard that this delay will also affect the construction of the Fridtjof Nansen, and the yard will not be able to deliver her as scheduled. This delay is linked to the yard's challenges with the delivery of the Road Amundsen."

MS Midnatsol will replace MS Fridtjof Nansen on the scheduled voyages in Antarctica in the 2019/2020 season.

All passengers affected will receive a full refund, including flight cancellation costs. In addition, they are offered a number of discounts on alternative Hurtigruten expedition sailings.

Roald Amundsen's is now due to launch on May 3, 2019 from Lisbon.

--by Adam Coulter, Managing Editor, UK