The delayed delivery of Hurtigruten’s environmentally-friendly expedition ship has forced the line to cancel the vessel’s inaugural season.

Kleven shipyard in Norway informed Hurtigruten that due to the project’s “complexity” more time was needed to finish building the 530-passenger vessel.

The ship had been scheduled for delivery in July, but will now be handed over to Hurtigruten in 2019.

Daniel Skjeldam, Hurtigruten’s chief executive, wrote to affected passengers, offering them a full refund, including flight cancellation costs.

The line has also offered passengers “a number of discounts” on alternative Hurtigruten expedition sailings.

In the letter, Skeldam wrote: “While we are eager to welcome you on board this truly unique vessel as soon as possible, this delay means that we unfortunately must cancel the voyage that you had booked with us.

“Please accept my sincerest apologies, and rest assured that we will do everything within our power to make your Hurtigruten adventure happen.”

The new hybrid expedition ship touched water for the first time last week.