Emerald Waterways’ Emerald Belle has sustained “signifiant damage” after a fire broke out at the Den Breejen Shipyard in the Netherlands where it is under construction.
Sister line Scenic also had a ship nearby but it was quickly moved away and damage was contained to some exterior paint.
Glen Moroney, chairman of the Scenic Group, owners of the Emerald Waterways line, said: “At 12:30 am (UTC+1:00) 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.”
At this point there is no confirmed cause of the fire but a full investigation by the yard and firefighting authorities is being carried out.
The line said that the damage may affect the launch of Emerald Belle, which is due in April. It said it is reviewing all bookings to see how best to accommodate guests on similar departures on other Emerald ships or possibly on sister company, Scenic.
Guests and agents with bookings will be contacted by the 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 be launched this morning to provide ongoing updates on affected sailings.
Emerald Belle is the company’s fifth ship following the Emerald Dawn, Sun, Sky (pictured above) and Star.