****** Update – 23 November 2021. Swan Hellenic has now confirmed taking the “difficult decision” to cancel the first two sailings of SH Minerva. All the details here. The earlier article can be viewed below. ******
Swan Hellenic appears to have cancelled the first two sailing of its new five-star expedition ship, SH Minerva, scheduled to operate in Antarctica in the coming weeks.
Among the itineraries no longer promoted on the reborn cruise line‘s website is the imminent Antarctica Solar Eclipse voyage, slated to depart Ushuaia, Argentina on 30 November 2021.
That 12-day cruise to South Orkney and the Antarctic Peninsula, along with the 10-day Classic Antarctica itinerary on 12 December 2021, are now no longer listed online. Currently, the first sailing of SH Minerva is the 22-day Antarctica in Depth voyage on 22 December.
The apparent termination of the two sailings comes after Swan Hellenic, at the end of September, stated its inaugural cruises exploring Antarctica “will all be sailing as planned” (see left for notification on Facebook).
The 152-passenger SH Minerva is the first of three vessels being constructed by the Helsinki Shipyard for Swan Hellenic. In June, the cruise line said it was on track to take delivery of the new build in October. Intriguingly, Helsinki Shipyard’s Chief Executive Officer Esko Karvonen “left his position at the company” on 1 October 2021, according to the shipyard. Chief Financial Officer, Simo Rastas, has been the Acting CEO since then.
At this time, there has also been no confirmation as to whether the vessel has conducted sea trials, and it is unclear if SH Minerva has been delivered, with no formal announcement forthcoming as yet.
Based on ship positioning websites, SH Minerva currently remains docked at the Helsinki Shipyard – some 15,160km from Ushuaia where it was scheduled to depart to Antarctica in seven days’ time.