• Write a Review
  • Boards
  • Log In
You may also like
Dismiss
Swan Hellenic Reveals Name of New Cruise Ship at Keel-Laying Ceremony
Swan Hellenic Minerva Render

Swan Hellenic Reveals Name of New Cruise Ship at Keel-Laying Ceremony

Swan Hellenic Reveals Name of New Cruise Ship at Keel-Laying Ceremony
Swan Hellenic Minerva Render

September 24, 2020

Adam Coulter
UK Managing Editor
By Adam Coulter
  • Facebook
  • Pinterest
  • Twitter
(9:31 a.m. EDT) -- The keel laying ceremony for the first of Swan Hellenic's two new ice-class expedition cruise ships took place in Helsinki today.
The first 347-ton block of the ship was set on the keel over coins to bring good luck in accordance with ancient maritime custom.
Swan Hellenic announced at the ceremony that the ship would be christened SH Minerva, a nod to the name of the sole vessel operated by the original Swan Hellenic -- one of the U.K.'s best-known cruise lines, which went bust in 2017.
“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," said CEO Andrea Zito.
S H  Minerva keel laying ceremony
When the relaunch of the line was first announced in July, Zito said:
"I am proud to announce the rebirth of Swan Hellenic a pioneering iconic travel brand with the mission to be the leader in cultural expedition cruising.
"The new Swan Hellenic, retains its British heritage whilst being international in outlook. Aimed at the traveller, who wishes to explore, experience and enrich whilst the infinite beauty of the world and its inhabitants in a safe and sustainable way."
The ice-class ship is the first of two new-builds and will carry 152 passengers in 76 spacious cabins and suites, most with large balconies. SH Minerva will be operated by an onboard team of 120 and will be aimed at the luxury end of the expedition market.
It will also carry Zodiac and experienced expedition guides, but will skip the recent trend for helicopters and submarines.
"We're not putting an emphasis on things like helicopters," the UK GM John Warner told Cruise Critic. "This is about an elegant, intimate and immersive expedition experience. It's based more on a cultural experience and getting up close and personal with the wildlife."
The ship will launch in time for the 2021 Antarctica season in November next year. A second ship will launch in April 2022.
How was this article?
Popular with cruisers like you
Virgin Voyages Postpones Sailings Into January

(Updated 12:20 p.m. EDT) – Virgin Voyages has pushed back its anticipated restart of cruise operations into January 2021. Scarlet Lady is now expected to debut on January 3, 2021.

The line had previously canceled voyages into the fall as a result of the ongoing COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic, and has rolled out generous measures to ensure booked guests continue to sail with the line once it enters service.

Virgin notes that all passengers -- which it calls "sailors" -- on affected voyages will receive a 200 percent future cruise credit, equivalent to double the amount currently paid by booked guests. It is a sum that is among the most generous in the i

Live From SeaDream: What It's Like To Be a Passenger On the Only Transatlantic Cruise Sailing

(12:55 p.m. EDT) -- SeaDream Yacht Club has done it again: The small cruise line made industry headlines when it became the first luxury outfit to return to sailing in June, making a quick pivot with its two ships to Norway for a successful summer season.

And now SeaDream is the only cruise line making a transatlantic sailing with passengers onboard. SeaDream I's 21-day trip left from Oslo with its first guests, before picking up more in Rotterdam, Portsmouth in the U.K. and Funchal in Madeira. The ship is heading for Barbados, where it will run weeklong Caribbean cruises through April.

(As a note, Cruise Critic will be sailing on SeaDream in

Princess Cancels Australia, New Zealand Cruises Through May 2021

(6:45 p.m. EDT) -- Princess Cruises announced late Tuesday it would cancel all cruises in Australia and New Zealand through May 31, 2021, as a result of uncertainty over international travel restrictions imposed because of the ongoing global health pandemic.

The move cancels the remainder of Princess Cruises' deployment in Australia for the 2020-2021 cruise season. Sailings in Australia and New Zealand typically run from November through May during the spring and summer seasons in the Southern Hemisphere.

According to Princess, booked passengers will receive future cruise credits equal to 125 percent of the voyage fare paid automatically. Passengers can also elect to request full refun

CDC No-Sail Order Potentially Set to Expire Saturday

(4:30 p.m. EDT) -- The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's long-standing No-Sail Order is set to expire at midnight Saturday, once again raising the question as to whether the order will be extended, or expire and allow cruise to resume from select ports in the United States.

Originally issued March 13 as the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic swept across the globe, the CDC's No-Sail Order was extended April 9, July 16 and September 30.

In the case of the latter date, the CDC opted to extend the No-Sail Order just hours before it was due to expire.

Saturday, October 31 is also a big day for other cruise industry restrictions: It is the day that [CLIA's volun

Stressed? So Are We. Let's Plan a Cruise

(6 p.m. EDT) -- Who else out there needs something to look forward to?

I know that I do. The crisp and sunny fall days are getting shorter. Colder temperatures are making outdoor dining and social-distanced deck dinners unfeasible. And we're finding it hard to figure out a way to make Thanksgiving and the December holidays safe for an extended family gathering.

Meanwhile, the news is a constant stream of anxiety. No matter what side you're on, the U.S. election looms large in the collective consciousness. Coronavirus cases continue to rise, not just here in the United States, but in Europe and the rest of the world. And if we feel this way now, how on earth will we get through winter?

Want to cruise smarter?
Get expert advice, insider tips and more.
By proceeding, you agree to Cruise Critic’s Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.
Cookie Consent