Float Out of New Expedition Cruise Ship

2021 06 27

Minerva float out.095bf4SH Minerva was floated out at the Helsinki Shipyard (Swan Hellenic)
Published Jun 25, 2021 6:03 PM by The Maritime Executive

While the cruise industry is only at the beginning of its recovery from the extended pause in operations resulting from the pandemic, new cruise ship construction is continuing. One of the segments that is anticipating the strongest growth is in the expedition market with smaller ships going to out-of-the-way destinations.

Helsinki Shipyard this week floated out the first of a new class of expedition cruise ships. The SH Minerva is the first of three ships being built at the yard as part of the revival of one of the most historical brand names in educational and expedition cruising. The original Swan Hellenic started in the 1950s as a British tour operator and later evolved into chartering smaller cruise ships. The brand was acquired by P&O, but  20 years later ceased operations a few years after the merger with Carnival Corporation. Swan Hellenic was briefly reviewed by the All Leisure Group before being sold when that company ceased operations. Last year, a group of investors announced plans to relaunch the brand as an upscale, luxury expedition cruise line.

The first of the company’s cruise ships, the SH Minerva was floated out of the dry dock on June 23.  In an intricate operation, SH Minerva was moved out of the dry dock to a fitting out berth. Her sister ship, SH Vega, was also floated and repositioned in the dry dock.

SH Minerva is very much a next-generation expedition ship and we are very proud of our contribution to everything she represents,” said Esko Karvonen CEO of Helsinki Shipyard during the float out ceremony. “The construction of her ice-strengthened hull, for example, benefits from Helsinki Shipyard's solid experience in building ice class vessels."

The 10,500 gross ton ship is designed to accommodate 152 passengers in 76 cabins and suites and with a crew of 120. The cruise ship is scheduled to start sailing in November 2021, followed by the SH Vega in spring 2022 and a third, larger cruise ship in the fall of 2022.

All three ships are designed for minimal environmental impact and comply with the latest emission standards, while also being battery-ready for future emission-free silent sailing in port as well as wildlife and marine reserves.

The SH Minerva features a 5-megawatt diesel-electric hybrid propulsion system with selective catalytic reduction and PC5 ice-strengthened hull that is fully Safe Return to Port certified. At 377 feet in length, the cruise ship was designed for worldwide cruising to explore inaccessible places.

Designed to provide immersive experiences for its passengers, the SH Minerva will feature an expedition laboratory, marine life library, and observation lounge for lectures. Expedition day trips by zodiac are planned for the cruises, along with kayaking, trekking, and other activities. The onboard amenities include a gym, spa, sauna, panoramic restaurant, and club lounge, as well as a pool deck with bar.

Source www.maritime-executive.com


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