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Keel laying ceremony of cruise ship SH Minerva held

Published : 25 Sep 2020, 02:32

  DF Report

Press Release Photo by Helsinki Shipyard.

The keel laying ceremony for the first of Swan Hellenic’s two new ice-class expedition cruise ships took place in Helsinki on Thursday.

This saw the first 347-ton block of the ship - newly arrived from Klaipeda, where it had been outfitted and painted - being set on the keel over coins to bring good luck in accordance with ancient maritime custom, said a press release issued by the Helsinki Shipyard.

Again demonstrating its respect for time-honoured traditions, Swan Hellenic announced during the

ceremony that the ship would be christened SH Minerva in honour of the iconic company’s first purposebuilt vessel, named after the Roman goddess of creativity and wisdom.

Swan Hellenic CEO Andrea Zito declared 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 elegant new ship represents the next generation of polar expedition vessels, designed for worldwide cruising with a strong focus on high-latitude areas.

Providing spacious 5-star accommodation for 152 guests in 76 spacious cabins and suites, the vast

majority with large balconies, SH Minerva will be operated by an onboard team of 120 to provide the

highest levels of personal service.

“New build 516 and her sister NB 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,” Packalén 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,” Rotkirch said.