Swan Hellenic Lays Keel, Names First Ship Minerva

Minerva

The keel laying ceremony for the first of Swan Hellenic’s two new expedition cruise ships took place at Helsinki Shipyard on Thursday. 

This saw the first 347-ton block of the ship, newly arrived from Klaipeda, being set on the keel over coins to bring good luck in accordance with ancient maritime custom.

Swan Hellenic announced during the ceremony that the ship would be christened SH Minerva in honor of the company’s first purpose-built vessel.

Keel Laying

Swan Hellenic CEO Andrea Zito said there could be no more fitting way for the relaunched company to take Swan Hellenic’s pioneering spirit back onto the waves. 

The ceremony took place in the presence of Helsinki Shipyard Inc. CEO Carl-Gustasf Rotkirch and Project Manager Jonas Packalén, together with Swan Hellenic CEO Andrea Zito, participating via video link due to the unprecedented circumstances of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Minerva will feature a 4.6-megawatt diesel-electric hybrid propulsion system with selective catalytic reduction, three-megawatt max. battery package and a PC5 ice-strengthened hull. 

Andrea Zito CEO Swan Hellenic

Project Manager Jonas Packalén explained: “New build 516 and her sister 517 are designed for extreme weather conditions, from polar areas with quite heavy ice conditions to tropical regions. And they are naturally designed to respect the sensitive ecosystems of the regions where they’re going to sail.”

Carl-Gustaf Rotkirch, CEO of Helsinki Shipyard Inc. said: “We are very happy to have been able to invite our workers back, engaging them in this exciting project. Now we can do what we know best - designing and building ships with a great history behind them and an even greater future ahead. These vessels for the iconic Swan Hellenic are inspiring us, and I hope the customer feels that.”

Swan Hellenic CEO Andrea Zito congratulated the assembled team for successfully achieving an ambitious schedule, thanking the Helsinki Shipyard, Robert McFarland, Tillberg Design of Sweden and V.Ships teams for their support.

“We’re excited and honoured to take Swan Hellenic into this next chapter and look forward to meeting you on board when we head to Antarctica in November 2021” he concluded. “Join us to see what others don’t!”

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