The Finnish shipbuilding company recently announced that it would auction off the newbuild, which was ordered by and constructed for Swan Hellenic.
In a statement, Swan Hellenic said:
"As consequence of the (Russian) sanctions in April, the leasing company GTLK Europe defaulted on the payments as per newbuilding contract of NB 517 SH Vega. Moreover, as all assets belonging to GTLK should be frozen in EU, GTLK will not be able to take the delivery of the ship.
"In view of GTLK default, Helsinki Shipyard has started the due legal process of auctioning the newbuild, envisaged by the shipbuilding contract. While the tender process is in progress and will be officially completed soon, SH as a priority buyer has already submitted the bid and is at advanced stage of preparing the documents for transfer of the title on SH Vega and is ready to take full control over the vessel at the completion of the tender."
Swan Hellenic said it didn't expect any change in plans for the inaugural season and planned to start sailing the 152-passenger ship SH Vega on July 20 from Tromso (Norway).
In March 2022, Swan Hellenic exercised the buyout/irrevocable purchase option for its two vessels - Minerva (March 13) and Vega (March 31) - from GTLK (ГТЛК-Государственная транспортная лизинговая компания/State Transport Leasing Company). JSC GTLK (Russia's largest leasing company) and its subsidiaries were included in the UK's and EU's sanctions list due to Russia's invasion of Ukraine. Both vessels' ownership was officially changed on March 13 (SH Minerva) and on March 31 (SH Vega).
On June 13, 2022, the shipbuilder Helsinki Shipyard Oy (still being the owner of the vessel/referred to as "Expedition Cruise Ship Hull No 517") published on its website that the newbuild was auctioned and would be sold to the highest bidder on July 19.