Helsinki Shipyard has delivered the first of three Vega-class ships under construction in Helsinki for Swan Hellenic’s heritage brand. The vessel, named SH Minerva, will start the cruise operations of the iconic Swan Hellenic shipping company, and on December 3 she left Helsinki towards Ushuaia, from where the vessel’s maiden cruise will take off.
Soon after the naming ceremony on 23. November SH Minerva headed to the sea trials where it was ensured that the built next-generation polar expedition vessel complies with what has been agreed with the customer and that it meets the international criteria, which are inspected and approved by the classification society. Sea trials went according to the plan and were completed within a demanding schedule. The performance and the quality of the ship were proven to be good and in accordance with the agreed measurements.
Installation and commissioning works continued in the pier at the shipyard and the delivery readiness was reached on Friday, December 3rd. The project has not been easy in the middle of the pandemic and related logistic challenges. Despite these obstacles, the vessel has been completed after only 26 months from the signing of the contract which is a remarkable achievement. The elegant new ship sailed through the Kiel Canal on the 6th of December.
The elegant new purpose-designed ship is the first in a series of 3 next-generation polar expedition vessels, all designed for worldwide cruising with a strong focus on high-latitude areas. SH Minerva features a 5-megawatt diesel-electric propulsion system with selective catalytic reduction and a PC5 ice-strengthened hull with extra-large stabilizers for exceptional passenger comfort. At 113 m, the 10,500-ton vessel has been specially designed to explore the most inspiring and inaccessible places on the planet.
Providing spacious 5-star accommodation for 152 guests in 76 spacious cabins and suites, the vast majority with large balconies, SH Minerva is operated by an onboard team of 120 to provide the highest levels of personal service.
“Today we all celebrate SH Minerva’s delivery to the customer. This is a proud day for us all. The vessel is even more beautiful and elegant than we dared hope! We wish fair winds and following seas for SH Minerva and her crew, with special thanks to everyone involved in the project for their uncompromising approach and great persistence at the end of the project!”, commented Jonas Packalén, Project Manager of NB 516-517.
Swan Hellenic CEO Andrea Zito added: “I, too, would like to congratulate everyone at Helsinki for their superb work in creating this wonderful new ship. We are delighted with the quality of their work, underlined by the superb performance SH Minerva achieved in her sea trials. With Swan Hellenic now a unique presence on the waves again, we very much look forward to taking our guests to see what others don’t, exploring the Antarctic in exceptional comfort and style.”
Minerva will be followed by her sister ship SH Vega (NB517) and the slightly larger NB518, which are both already under construction at Helsinki Shipyard.
NB516 SH Minerva
Tonnage – 10 500
Propulsion – 5 MW
Length – 113 m
Breadth – 20,2 m
Draught – 5,7 m
Cruising speed – 14 knots
Ice class – PC5
Number of passenger cabins – 76
Number of crew cabins – 73
Classification – Lloyd’s Register
Customer – Swan Hellenic