The Pearl Mist is at Chesapeake Shipbuilding in Maryland to be completed for service starting in 2014, Charles Robertson, CEO, told Cruise Industry News.
Built at Irving Shipyard in Halifax, the 210-passenger Pearl Mist was originally slated to start service in 2009 for a new brand, Pearl Cruises, sister company to American Cruise Line.
However, Pearl refused to accept delivery, citing a series of construction deficiencies.
Thus, the dispute ended up in court where it languished for about four years, before the parties were able to reach a settlement, allowing Pearl to take the ship and complete it at its company-owned shipyard.
“We settled; we agreed to take the unfinished ship and will correct the deficiencies,” said Robertson. “It is doable and will only take a few months. She will be top-notch when we are finished.
“We settled for an amount that we feel was acceptable. Obviously, we were disappointed that were not able to take delivery as planned.”
The Mist was towed to Chesapeake where she arrived two weeks ago, and Robertson said the work should be completed “by September-October or sooner.”
Despite the delay and the assumed added cost (Robertson would not reveal details), he said: “she will absolutely be profitable. We are planning to build more ships (like this).”
He added: “We (Chesapeake) have a history of finishing ships early. The Queen of the Mississippi was delivered three months ahead of schedule. Don’t be surprised if we start service earlier than expected.”
Meanwhile, Pearl has started to sell tickets and accepted bookings already, according to Robertson.
Robertson is also owner and CEO of American Cruise Line, which he said has been posting larger profits each year.
For now, the first cruise is slated for June 28, 2014. The Mist will operate seven-, 10- and 11-night cruises on the Great Lakes and the Saint Lawrence Seaway, in the Canadian Maritimes and New England.
According to a company statement, the ship will define a new style of luxury adventure for small-ship cruising, featuring over-sized staterooms, many with private balconies, a glass-enclosed dining room, and various spacious lounges.