The keel-laying for the first of Swan Hellenic’s 2 new ice-class expedition cruise ships took place in Helsinki Finland on Thursday, September 24. The ceremony saw the first 347-ton block of the vessel, newly arrived from Klaipeda Lithuania, where it had been outfitted and painted, being put on the keel over coins to bring good luck in accordance with maritime custom.
During the ceremony, Swan Hellenic announced that the vessel would be named SH Minerva in honour of the company’s first purpose-built ship, named after the Roman goddess of wisdom.
The stylish newbuild represents the next generation of polar expedition ships, designed for worldwide sailing with a focus on high-latitude areas. Swan Hellenic’s SH Minerva will boast a PC5 ice-strengthened hull, 4,6-megawatt diesel-electric hybrid propulsion system with selective catalytic reduction, and 3-megawatt max battery package. At 113 metres, the 10,500-ton ship has been specially designed to explore the most inaccessible spots on the planet.
Providing 5-star accommodation for a total of 152 passengers in 76 spacious staterooms and suites, the majority with large balconies, SH Minerva is to be operated by an onboard team of 120 in order to provide the highest level of personal service.