Saevik family-controlled Havila Kystruten has won a big payout in the English High Court in a row over the cancellation of two delayed cruise ships in Spain.

The 15,500-gt, 640-berth coastal vessels Havila Pollux and Havila Polaris were left unfinished at Astilleros Hijos de J Barreras in 2019 and had to be towed to Turkey for completion.

They were finally handed over from Tersan Shipyard in 2022.

Oslo-listed Havila Kystruten said: “The judgment rules in favour of Havila with regards to the cancellation of the shipbuilding contracts, and that Havila’s claim against the guarantor for repayment of instalments paid should be honoured.”

This amounts to NOK 450m ($45.6m).

The court also cleared the shipowner of any liability for damages claimed by Barreras.

Work ground to a halt in summer 2019 due to financial and managerial problems at Spain’s largest privately owned shipyard.

The orders were officially cancelled by the yard in November that year, leaving Havila Kystruten to look for an alternative.

The rights and obligations relating to the terminated contract with Barreras had previously been transferred to Havila Holding.

In 2020, Oaktree-backed US owner Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection took over Barreras to ensure one of its own vessels could be delivered.

Second ruling

Havila said it had received another High Court ruling in London relating to rights and securities that subsidiaries of sanctioned Russian leasing company GTLK had attached to the two vessels.

“The ruling is a significant clarification for the company and states that in return for settlement of the debt, all collateral established in connection with the construction financing and the planned leasing financing of completed ships will be released,” the owner added.

Settlement of debts to GTLK will take place by payment to frozen accounts in accordance with sanctions, as soon as a $370m refinancing deal is signed off.

Delivery of the Havila Polaris had been postponed pending the hearing in London.

This could still have consequences for the first round-trip from Bergen on 29 December, the company said.