Emerald Waterways today confirmed that new riverboat Emerald Belle was damaged in a blaze in the Dutch shipyard where it is being built.
The company described the damage caused as being ”significant” and “may well delay any launch” as originally planned for April.
Although construction of the Emerald Belle was well underway, the firefighting system onboard was not yet operational.
There is no confirmed cause of the fire but a full investigation by the yard and firefighting authorities is being carried out, according to the company.
Sister line, Scenic, also had a ship under construction nearby but it was quickly moved away so damage was contained to some exterior paint.
Glen Moroney, chairman of the Scenic Group - owner of Emerald Waterways – said: “At 12:30 am Sunday morning, the owner of the Den Breejen Shipyard was alerted to a fire on the Emerald Belle.
“Despite the efforts of firefighters, who were quickly at the scene, the damage is significant.
“We are grateful and relieved that nobody was onboard at the time and most importantly, there were no injuries to any shipyard worker or firefighters to our knowledge.”
Emerald Waterways operations and reservations teams are reviewing all bookings to see how best to accommodate guests on similar departures on other Emerald ships or with Scenic.
Guests and agents with bookings will be contacted by the company’s Manchester call centre team in the next few days to discuss options.
They may also call the Emerald Waterways’ reservations line on 0800 270 7017.
A dedicated web page – emeraldwaterways.co.uk/emeraldbelle – will provide ongoing updates on affected sailings. This page is due to be live from 11am today (Monday).
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