'Whilst the most substantial part of the refurbishment will be to passenger cabins and public areas, the technical aspect of the ship will also receive a significant investment,' writes Steve Maughan, Minerva's ship superintendent in the latest issue of The Swan Hellenic Journal. The aim, he says, is to improve the ship's manoeuvrability and fuel efficiency.
New propellers and tail-shafts will replace the existing ones and a new stern thruster will be fitted to the ship. The new propellers, produced by Rolls Royce, will be made of bronze reducing the diameters of the shaft and consequently the weight. A new bow thruster gear and propeller will be fitted on the pre-existing electro-motor, with a similar technology to the one currently fitted but with higher performance.
An advanced wastewater treatment plant will replace the two existing plants and the air conditioning system will be improved with a new AC station fitted on the funnel deck to provide either cool or warm air in the newly installed Orpheus Lounge.
Outside Minerva's entire hull will be water blasted and repainted with Jotun Seaquantum antifouling coating.
The main laundry will be completely rebuilt with new machines, dryers and ironing equipment and the galley will be fitted with new equipment.
Two new tenders will be fitted capable of carrying 117 people as tenders and 150 as lifeboats with speed up to 10 knots.
Talking about the technical upgrade, the ship's master Captain Giovanni Biasutti said, 'they will allow us to run our little Minerva for the next years around our favourite destinations whilst reducing the impact on the beautiful seas and places that we will visit.'
As earlier reported here, in September, one of the most significant areas of improvement for passengers in Minerva's makeover is adding balconies to 32 cabins built over the former Promenade Deck. The new Promenade Deck will be widened to the ship's side, to allow for the construction of a new wrap-around deck and the Orpheus Lounge and Bar, both offering panoramic views.
The newly upgraded Minerva returns to service in March 2012 for a spring cruise programme centred on the Canary Islands, Madeira, Portugal and Mediterranean destinations.