On November 23, 2021, Swan Hellenic revealed the christening of its newest cruise ship at the Helsinki Shipyard during a private ceremony with godmother Johanna Makela, wife of Helsinki City's Mayor Juhana Vartiainen and Finland’s first professor of food culture.
The christening celebration followed global supply chain disruptions and spikes in COVID cases in Finland, which caused Swan Hellenic to take the decision to delay the start of SH Minerva’s inaugural season, preferring to cancel her first 2 voyages rather than the risk in any way compromising the standards of quality and safety.
Soon after the naming ceremony, SH Minerva headed to the sea trials where it was ensured the built next-generation polar expedition ship complied with what had been agreed with the customer and that she met the international criteria, which were inspected and approved by the classification society.
Despite the obstacles, the vessel was completed 26 months after the signing of the contract. The stylish boat transitted Germany's Kiel Canal on December 6.
The 2021-built SH Minerva is the first of three newbuilds of Swan Hellenic's fleet. The second boat (SH Vega) is planned for 2022 (launch in January, inauguration in April). The third vessel (TBN) was ordered in October 2020 and scheduled for completion in 2022-Q4.