Swan Hellenic has accepted delivery of its second ice-class expedition cruise ship, SH Vega, from the Helsinki Shipyard. The sister-ship to SH Minerva is now on her way to Norway and her first cultural expedition cruise of the Arctic, an 11-day exploration of the Svalbard Archipelago, departing Tromsø on 20 July 2022.
During a naming ceremony, the purpose-designed new vessel was named by Patrizia Zito née Passalacqua, wife of Swan Hellenic CEO Andrea Zito, in the presence of Helsinki Shipyard Senior Management.
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SH Vega is the second in a series of three high ice-class, cultural expedition cruise vessels made for premium discovery experiences worldwide, with a strong bias for extreme latitude areas. SH Vega features a 5-megawatt diesel-electric propulsion system with selective catalytic reduction and a PC5 ice-strengthened hull with extra-large stabilisers for exceptional passenger comfort.
Featuring 76 staterooms and suites, SH Vega as been designed to meet the latest environmental regulations and is completely self-sufficient for up to 40 days (or 8,000 nautical miles). Preparations have been made to implement battery technology which would also make it possible to operate silently. The vessels are equipped with exhaust gas cleaning, advanced wastewater treatment systems and the waste storage facilities required for operating in sensitive polar areas.
Soon after the ceremony, SH Vega set sail from Helsinki to Tromsø, Norway, for a season of maiden cruises exploring the magic of the Arctic, from the Svalbard Peninsula and Iceland’s landscapes of ice and fire to Greenland’s dramatic majesty, the Northwest Passage and the wilds of Northern Canada.
After which, she’ll make her way down the US East Coast over 12 days, taking in everything from New York, Norfolk and Charleston to Miami. From November, she’ll be offering a range of 11 to 21-day cultural expedition cruises of Antarctica through until March 2023, when she sails up the West Coast of Africa to the Canary Islands and Western Europe, also immersing guests in the Celtic lands of Britain and Ireland on the way to her second Arctic season. This will end with a crossing from Greenland to Nova Scotia, followed by the Caribbean and then Brazil in October 2023.
After the Naming Ceremony, Jonas Packalén, Helsinki Shipyard Project Manager commented: “This is a proud day for us all. SH Vega is every bit as beautiful and elegant as her twin sister! We wish her and her crew fair winds and following seas, with special thanks to everyone involved in the project for their unstinting dedication!”
Andrea Zito, CEO Swan Hellenic added: “I would like to congratulate everyone at Helsinki for their superb work in creating this wonderful new ship. We are delighted with the quality of their work, creating another unique presence on the waves, and very much look forward to taking her first guests to see what others don’t, exploring the Arctic in exceptional comfort and style.”
SH Minerva and SH Vega will be joined early next year by the slightly larger SH Diana, which is under construction at Helsinki Shipyard.