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SH Diana’s purpose-built tenders open new itinerary opportunities

SH Castor located on SH Diana's Deck 8 aft(left); SH Castor in Ulvik (top right), view of SH Diana from SH Pollux (bottom right)
Located on Deck 8 aft on SH Diana, Swan Hellenic’s third and newest ship, are two 12.2mtr long purpose-built tenders with their own names, SH Pollux and SH Castor.

Made from marine grade aluminium with a loaded depth of 1.2mtr, the two tenders can be fully-enclosed or half enclosed/half open depending on weather conditions with capacity for  48 persons in total - 43 people in the benched saloon area, plus five at the foredeck.

They are designed to take guests ashore in addition to, and in greater comfort, than the customary must-have Zodiacs found on expedition cruise vessels - of which SH Diana has 14.

Working speed of 15 knots

Each tender is powered by two 270HP engines with a working speed of 15 knots, meaning they are highly manoeuvrable and more comfortable than lifeboats which are often used by operators as a means of transferring passengers between ship and shore.

‘These tenders increase the comfort of the journey and enable us to keep the on board life-saving equipment for emergency procedures only and with no risk of damaging the lifeboats during tendering operations and I am super happy to have them onboard,’ SH Diana’s captain Kai Ukkonen told Seatrade Cruise News onboard SH Diana’s post-naming voyage up the Norwegian coast.

‘The tenders open up opportunities for our itineraries to include lesser-known ports and towns that are often inaccessible to cruise ships, as long as there is a suitable anchorage nearby we can then use the tenders to take passengers back and forth to a tender berth usually in the town centre or close by.’ Used in addition to the zodiacs they provide flexibility for landside tours,’ he added.

Norway's southernmost town

For example, one of SH Pollux’s first outings was last Saturday when the ship anchored off Mandal, Norway’s southernmost town. Passengers were able to go into/back from the town centre using the tender, whilst other guests went on exploration Zodiac rides in the surrounding waters.

Swan Hellenic CEO Andrea Zito commented on Mandal: ‘You could easily miss this charming town while sailing north. But we’re proud to explore it, with its distinctive church, peaceful forests and varied wildlife.’

The next day, SH Castor was lowered into the water using a Global Davit launch system and took passengers ashore in Ulvik for shore excursions and onward journeys home.

The use of the tenders, in addition to the Zodiacs, will be a feature on SH Diana’s itineraries, especially on non-polar routes, enabling multiple transfer options to off-the-beaten path destinations, a key factor in adding them to the vessel, Zito commented.

After a series of Arctic sailings this summer, SH Diana will return to the Mediterranean, then through the Suez Canal to Madagascar and Southern Africa before sailing to Antarctica for the 2023/2024 season.