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Swan Hellenic christens first ship since resurrection

Swan Hellenic’s first ship since its resurrection as an expedition cruise line – Minerva – has been christened ahead of its launch next week.

Godmother Johanna Mäkelä, Finland’s first professor of food culture, attended the 152-passenger vessel’s event at the Helsinki Shipyard, alongside Swan Hellenic chief executive Andrea Zito.

The ship is scheduled to depart the shipyard next week and sail south to Argentina where it will operate Antarctica voyages from December 22, 2021.

Swan Hellenic recently cancelled Minerva’s first two cruises due to global supply chain issues and spikes in Covid-19 cases in Finland.

Zito said: “The vessel has been completed after only 26 months from the signing of the contract, which is a remarkable achievement. We now very much look forward to taking our guests to see what others don’t, exploring in exceptional comfort and style.”

Helsinki Shipyard project manager Jonas Packalén added: “We are glad to see this day finally, following the many global challenges that made our task far from easy.

“Our special thanks to everyone involved in the project for their unstinting dedication and superb work.”

Sister vessel Vega, named after the first vessel to sail through the Arctic Northwest Passage, is scheduled to launch in April next year.

A third ship – currently called Vega 3 – is scheduled to launch at the end of 2022.

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