Swan Hellenic has announced that its second ice-class cultural expedition cruise ship, SH Vega, had sailed from Tromsø, Norway, on her first cultural expedition cruise of the Arctic, an 11-day exploration of the Svalbard Archipelago.
Voyaging where others can’t, the purpose-designed new ship is the second in a series of three elegant, high ice-class, cultural expedition cruise vessels made for premium discovery experiences worldwide, with a strong bias for extreme latitude areas. SH Vega features a 5-megawatt diesel-electric propulsion system with selective catalytic reduction and a PC5 ice-strengthened hull with extra-large stabilisers for exceptional passenger comfort. At 113 m, the 10,600-ton vessel has been specially designed to visit the most inspiring and inaccessible places on the planet.
These attributes will enable the guests now enjoying Vega’s first cultural expedition cruise to explore remote and generally inaccessible areas of the Svalbard Archipelago, gaining a deeper experience of its fascinating mountains, glaciers and fjords, unique flora and many seabirds and mammals. As a result, they will have countless opportunities to spot Arctic tern, little auk, northern fulmar, thick-billed murre and black-legged kittiwake amongst others, thrilling to up-close encounters with polar bears, reindeer and Arctic fox, whales, dolphins, seals and walruses. Every encounter will gain further depth from being fully informed by the on-board talks, presence and active involvement of world experts.
SH Vega, like her twin sister SH Minerva, has been designed to meet the latest environmental regulations and is completely self-sufficient for up to 40 days or 8,000 nautical miles. Preparations have been made to implement battery technology which would also make it possible to operate silently. The vessels are equipped with exhaust gas cleaning, advanced wastewater treatment systems and the waste storage facilities required for operating in sensitive polar areas.
Providing spacious 5-star accommodation for 152 guests in 76 spacious staterooms and suites, the vast majority with large balconies, SH Vega is operated by an onboard team of 120 to provide the highest levels of personal service.
Departing Tromsø again on the 30th of July, SH Vega’s inaugural season will see her continue to explore the magic of the Arctic, from the Svalbard Archipelago and Iceland’s landscapes of ice and fire to Greenland’s dramatic majesty, the Northwest Passage and the wilds of Northern Canada. Then, come late Autumn, she’ll make her way down the U.S. East Coast over 12 days, taking in everything from New York, Norfolk and Charleston to Miami. From November, she’ll be offering a range of 11 to 21-day cultural expedition cruises of Antarctica through until March 2023, when she sails up the West Coast of Africa to the Canary Islands and Western Europe, also immersing guests in the Celtic lands of Britain and Ireland on the way to her second Arctic season. This will end with a crossing from Greenland to Nova Scotia, followed by the Caribbean and then Brazil in October 2023.
SH Vega is sailing in the expert hands of industry veterans Captain Tuomo Leskinen and Hotel Director Philipp Reutener, who created the acclaimed Swan Hellenic onboard experience on SH Minerva.
Executive Chef Avhier Singh, who also comes across from SH Minerva, is bringing to life the varied menus of freshly cooked delicacies – curated daily – which include original Italian and Asian fusion dishes created by award-winning Consultant Chefs Andrea Ribaldone and Sang Keun Oh.
Swan Hellenic CEO Andrea Zito commented: “We are proud to bring our unique cultural expedition cruises to the Artic for the first time, welcoming Swan Hellenic enthusiasts new and old aboard our elegant second new ship to see what others don’t. Wowed by the relaxed comfort of her innovative and stylish design, they’ll soon realise that everything is actually focused on fully experiencing the wonderful world outside. We know they’ll love it and look forward to seeing the proof on their faces!”
SH Minerva and SH Vega will be joined early next year by the slightly larger SH Diana, which is already under construction at Helsinki Shipyard.