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Helsinki Shipyard lays the keel for Swan Hellenic's SH Vega

Blocks for SH Minerva, including the already painted keel at center, arrive at snowy Helsinki Shipyard
Helsinki Shipyard laid the keel for the second Swan Hellenic ship, whose name was revealed as SH Vega.

The painted and outfitted keel was among several blocks for the newbuild that arrived at the snowy yard last weekend aboard the carrier vessel Aura.

The ceremony included placing 'lucky' coins, with Helsinki Shipyard Project Manager Jonas Packalén, Lloyd´s Register representative Jukka Hujanen and Helsinki Shipyard Chairman Victor Olerskiy doing the honors.

Named after the first vessel to navigate the Arctic Northeast Passage, SH Vega follows the upcoming SH Minerva as second in a series of three.

Hybrid propulsion, PC5 ice class

SH Vega will feature a 5-megawatt diesel-electric hybrid propulsion system with selective catalytic reduction, 3-megawatt maximum battery package and PC5 ice-strengthened hull. At 113 meters, the 10,500gt vessel has been specially designed to explore the world's remote places.

The ship will accommodate 152 passengers in 76 staterooms and suites, most with balconies, and carry a crew of 120.

SH Vega is due for delivery in April 2022, following SH Minerva in November this year. A third, somewhat larger vessel, is planned for delivery toward the end of 2022.

Designed for extreme weather conditions

'Newbuilds 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,' Packalén said.

Swan Hellenic CEO Andrea Zito thanked the Helsinki team for their support: 'Delivering to such a demanding schedule while maintaining the highest quality standards is a fantastic achievement. We’re honored and thrilled to take Swan Hellenic into its next chapter with such fine ships and look forward to welcoming [travelers] on board to see what others don’t.'