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Swan Hellenic’s first bespoke expedition cruise ship SH Minerva floated out


Helsinki Shipyard floats out first of three next-generation ships under construction for cultural expedition cruise pioneer.

NICOSIA, CYPRUS - On Wednesday the 23rd of June 2021, Swan Hellenic announced that Helsinki Shipyard had floated SH Minerva out of dry dock. Her twin ship, SH Vega, was floated in dry dock on the same day. Moreover, a few days earlier, steelwork production started for the third and largest vessel commissioned from Helsinki, which currently has the project name Vega 3. The Swan Hellenic fleet is thus coming together on schedule to take adventurous and discerning voyagers on a wide range of distinctive cruises, some already entirely sold out.

All three ships are designed for minimal environmental impact and comply with the latest emission standards, while also being battery-ready for future emission-free silent sailing in port as well as wildlife and marine reserves. 

SH Minerva features a 5-megawatt diesel-electric hybrid propulsion system with selective catalytic reduction and PC5 ice-strengthened hull that is fully Safe Return to Port certified. At 115 m, the 10,500 GRT vessel has been specially designed for worldwide cruising to explore the most inspiring and inaccessible places on earth.

Providing elegant and spacious 5-star accommodation for 152 guests in 76 spacious cabins and suites, the vast majority with large balconies, SH Minerva will be operated by an onboard team of 120 to provide the highest levels of personal service, priding itself on one of the highest GRT-to-passenger ratios in its category. The very latest hygiene technology will protect the health of all on board to the highest standards and includes air conditioning with HEPA filters and UV sanitisation systems.

Designed for immersive experiences from extensive open views, SH Minerva features an expedition laboratory, marine life library and observation lounge for lectures by expert expedition leaders and specialists from a wide range of disciplines. Expedition day trips by zodiac are a central feature of the programmes that will be offered, along with kayaking, trekking and other activities. The on-board amenities include a gym, spa, sauna, panoramic restaurant and club lounge serving world-class cuisine, as well as a pool deck with bar.

SH Minerva will be delivered to Swan Hellenic in October 2021, SH Vega in Spring 2022 and the third ship, temporarily named Vega 3, in Autumn 2022.

“SH Minerva is very much a next-generation expedition ship and we are very proud of our contribution to everything she represents,” commented Esko Karvonen, CEO of Helsinki Shipyard. “The construction of her ice-strengthened hull, for example, benefits from Helsinki Shipyard's solid experience in building ice class vessels." 

“We are delighted with the quality of Helsinki’s work,” added Swan Hellenic CEO Andrea Zito. “It’s wonderful to see our vision realised so well. We know guests will be wowed from the moment they step aboard, but even more so after they become familiar with the unique lifestyle experience.”

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