Due to new, more stringent rules from Chinese authorities regarding currency exports it takes an unexpectedly long time for our Chinese partners to get approved to transfer parts of the main funding for the expedition, to SOIC. However, the company expects the situation will be resolved within the next few weeks. In addition, SOIC have been forced to cancel the stop over during the Cannes Film Festival due to the fact that the stakeholders who wanted the ship in place have been unable to obtain the finances required for the stop over in Cannes.
To ensure that 100% of the funding is in place and that the expedition to China can be performed, the Board of SOIC AB has today taken the decision to postpone the departure from Gothenburg to 4 May 2014 and to cancel the stop over in Cannes. In order to reach China in time, stopovers in Kristiansand, London and Genoa will also be cancelled. More information will be sent out to those of you who have been accepted to the sailing legs it affects.
This means, unfortunately, that sailing legs 1 and 2 is cancelled and replaced with Leg 2b and Leg 3b. SOIC understand that this causes big changes for those who have been admitted to any of these sailing legs, and we apologize for any inconvenience caused by this decision. Deckhands who have been admitted to these sailing legs have been contacted today. Our hope is that everyone understands that unexpected things can happen and that SOIC does everything possible to make these changes as easy as possible for all deckhands and crew.
The new expedition plan means that the ship will sail directly from Gothenburg to Cadiz. After a stop in Valletta and Alexandria we sail according to the ordinary expedition plan on to Djibouti. After that there are no adjustments in the port stops and hopefully Götheborg will have a nice voyage with fair winds to China and sail into Quanzhou October 1st 2014 to celebrate the Chinese National Day with an eight gun salute.