SH Minerva, the first of three Vega-class ships under construction in Helsinki for Swan Hellenic’s heritage brand, was named at Helsinki Shipyard this week. The small and private naming ceremony was held Tuesday afternoon with godmother Johanna Mäkelä, Finland’s first professor of food culture and wife of Helsinki City Mayor Juhana Vartiainen. Mayor Vartiainen was also present, along with Swan Hellenic CEO Andrea Zito and Helsinki Shipyard’s top management.
SH Minerva is scheduled to depart the shipyard early next week.
The series of three luxury expedition 115m cruise vessels have a PC5 ice-strengthened hull combined with extra-large stabilisers and are made for high-end cruise experience in worldwide cruising area with strong bias for high latitude areas. The vessels have high-quality exterior and interior Scandinavian inspired design. Accommodation is provided for 152 passengers and 120 crew.
The vessels are designed to meet the latest requirements of environmental regulations. SH Minerva is completely self-sufficient for up to 40 days or 8,000 nautical miles. Preparations are made for implementing battery technology, which would make it possible to operate silently. The vessels are equipped with exhaust gas cleaning, advanced treatment system for wastewater and storage facilities for waste that are required for operating in sensitive polar areas.
The celebration follows global supply chain disruptions and recent spikes in COVID-19 cases in Finland. At the christening, Helsinki Shipyard Project Manager Jonas Packalén commented, “We are glad to see this day finally, following the many global challenges that made our task far from easy. Our special thanks to everyone involved in the project for their unstinting dedication and superb work!”
Swan Hellenic CEO Andrea Zito added, “I, too, would like to congratulate everyone at Helsinki for their impeccable work in difficult circumstance and the tight safety measures which have kept SH Minerva a safe environment at all times. The vessel has been completed after only 26 months from the signing of the contract which is a remarkable achievement. We now very much look forward to taking our guests to see what others don’t, exploring in exceptional comfort and style.”