Swan Hellenic today announced the keel laying of SH Vega, the second of three purpose-designed ice-class expedition cruise ships that Helsinki Shipyard is building for the company.
The keel was laid in accordance with seafaring tradition and current Covid-19 restrictions, immediately receiving the outfitted and painted block 302 which had arrived at the shipyard last weekend.
The ceremony included the customary placement of coins, with Helsinki Shipyard project manager Jonas Packalén, Lloyd’s Register representative, Jukka Hujanen, and Helsinki Shipyard chairman, Victor Olersky, doing the honours.
Named after the first vessel to navigate the Arctic Northeast Passage, the elegant new ship represents the next generation of polar expedition vessels, having been designed for worldwide cruising with a strong focus on high-latitude areas.
SH Vega will feature a five-megawatt diesel-electric hybrid propulsion system with selective catalytic reduction, three-megawatt maximum battery package and PC5 ice-strengthened hull.
At 113 metres, the 10,500-ton vessel has been specially designed to explore the most inaccessible and inspiring places in the world.
Providing uncompromising accommodation for 152 guests in 76 spacious staterooms and suites, the vast majority with large balconies, SH Vega will be operated by an onboard team of 120 to provide the highest levels of personal service.
SH Minerva, the first ship in the series, will be delivered in November 2021, while Vega is due early the following year.
The third vessel, which will be somewhat larger than her sisters, is scheduled for delivery just months later, towards the end of 2022.
“New builds Minerva and Vega are designed for extreme weather conditions, from the heavy ice of the polar regions to the heat and humidity of the tropics.
“And they’re naturally designed to respect the sensitive ecosystems of the unspoilt regions they explore,” commented Packalén.