The newly revived Swan Hellenic Cruise Line has announced plans for a third brand-new expedition vessel.
Larger than the two sisters ships currently being constructed for the well-known brand, which was a firm favourite with culturally-minded British cruisers and has a history stretching back 70 years, the 196-passenger ship will also be built at the Helsinki Shipyard Oy in Finland.
It is scheduled to launch at the end of 2022 and will have 96 cabins, the majority with balconies, and high levels of service will be provided by a large team of 140 crew members. The vessel will have an ice-strengthened hull that will enable it to reach remote polar regions and other technological features include a diesel-hybrid propulsion system so it can sail in total silence when under battery power.
The news follows this summer’s announcement that the discovery cruise line – which folded three years ago following the collapse of parent company All Leisure Group – was being relaunched under new ownership with two new-build 152-passenger ships. The first, SH Minerva, which was named after the previous company’s sole vessel, will launch in November 2021 with the second as yet unnamed ship following in spring 2022.
The move is positive boost for an industry that has been severely hit by Covid-19. Revealing plans for the third vessel shipyard CEO Carl-Gustaf Rotkirch said: “The new order is significant for Helsinki Shipyard as it shows our customers’ confidence in our operations.”
Swan Hellenic CEO Andrea Zito added: “We see the increase in demand for experiences that are truly out of the ordinary and are confident in the bounce back of our industry.”
Building on its British roots, the new-look line will offer global cultural cruising with itineraries exploring the landscapes, wildlife and people of some of the world’s less travelled regions, starting next year with a season in Antarctica.
Known as the ‘River Cruise Queen’, Jeannine Williamson is an award-winning travel writer, cruise expert and our cruise correspondent, who has clocked up thousands of nautical miles.
Images courtesy of Swan Hellenic