Swan Hellenic announced that its new 5-star ice-class expedition SH Minerva had given assistance to evacuate the "Antarctic Quest 2021" expedition team from Portal Point, sailing into Charlotte Bay on January 16 during her 2nd voyage exploring the Antarctic Peninsula.
The expedition team had spent 5 weeks engaged in educational and science outreach, traveling in untrodden regions over and along the spine of the peninsula when it became clear they would have to return early.
COVID restrictions introduced in Argentina led many Polar operators to cancel their programs, so the expedition team couldn't be picked up as planned.
When SH Minerva arranged to come to assistance there was a strong risk they might have been stuck on the peninsula.
A Commemoration of Sir Ernest Henry Shackleton, the expedition collected various samples providing information for its science collaborators on the amount of UV reaching the Peninsula, the ozone hole, the levels of metals and microplastics in the snow, and meteorological observations to help improve the modeling of ice-mass accumulation and loss on the Peninsula.
Swan Hellenic's CEO Andrea Zito said the crew and guests on SH Minerva were delighted they could be of assistance in those challenging conditions and help the explorers safely complete their mission
"The team were very generous in sharing their experiences, bringing a richly stimulating additional perspective to the voyage. Swan Hellenic is committed to assisting and building links with the research community, so this was a very fitting early episode for the first ship in our fleet.”
For more SH Minerva incidents and accidents see the ship's CruiseMinus page.