DESIGN is not to blame for the week-long delay hitting the Oriana this week, according to P&O Cruises, owner of the new Ãº200m luxury liner.
Concepts for the troubled liner have been designed and implemented by Swedish architect Robert Tillberg, Norwegian Petter Yran and London consultancy McNeece.
Currently docked in Germany, the 68 000-tonne Oriana was due to arrive in Southampton on Saturday, in time for a series of planned celebrations. But on Monday, P&O admitted the ship would be unable to sail on schedule.
Testing of the liner’s electronic systems had not been completed and some damaged highech propellers needed repair and modification.
P&O says the Oriana will dock at Southampton in time for its official naming by the Queen on 6 April, and will be ready for its maiden cruise three days later.
A McNeece spokesman confirms “all design work has been completed”. He adds that there is no possibility of the delay causing the chaos that surrounded the launch of the QE2 after its refit last December.
All three design groups worked to a brief stipulating that the Oriana was to be custom-built for UK passengers. Tillberg is responsible for overall design co-ordination and the exterior profile of the Oriana. Yran designed passenger and officer cabins and corridors, while McNeece designed public rooms and the graphics for the liner.