Crystal Cruises and Swan Hellenic have debuted new vessels while P&O Ferries, Stena Line and Irish Ferries are expanding services
Swan Hellenic has floated out two of its new cruise ships and cut steel on a third.
The first and second of the line’s three ships under construction, SH Minerva and SH Vega, have floated out at Helsinki Shipyard in Finland, just a few days after steelwork production started on the line’s third and largest vessel, which currently has the project name Vega 3.
All three ships are designed for minimal environmental impact and comply with the latest emissions standards, while also being battery-ready for future emissions-free silent sailing in port as well as wildlife and marine reserves, according to a statement from the line.
At 115 m, SH Minerva has a 5-MW diesel-electric hybrid propulsion system with SCR and PC5 ice-strengthened hull that is fully Safe Return to Port certified, Swan Hellenic said.
The vessel will hold 152 guests in 76 cabins and suites, the majority with balconies, and the vessel’s hygiene systems include air conditioning with HEPA filters and UV sanitisation systems.
SH Minerva will be delivered to Swan Hellenic in October 2021, SH Vega in Q2 2022 and the third ship, temporarily named Vega 3, in Q3 2022.
New luxury expedition yacht Crystal Endeavor was christened by Godmother Manuela Schwesig, Prime Minister of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania in Stralsund, Germany.
The polar class (PC6) expedition ’yacht’ was built in Germany and accommodates 200 guests in 100 all-verandah, all-butler serviced suites.
The vessel’s dining options include the first Japanese restaurant on an expedition ship, Italian restaurant Prego, 24-hour room service and optional Vintage Room experience. Another first for an expedition vessel is the casino, and Crystal Endeavor has a glass-covered, two-story solarium – housing the Seahorse Pool and Jacuzzi – providing panoramic views from sea to sky.
Expedition-specific amenities will include high-tech enrichment spaces, designated mud rooms, and expedition and helicopter lounges. The ship’s marina includes a fleet of Zodiacs, kayaks, snorkel gear, a six-guest submersible and two helicopters will join the vessel on some sailings.
The vessel’s dynamic positioning capability enables the ship to remain in one place utilising GPS and its thrusters, rather than dropping anchor, avoiding any potential damage to delicate reefs. As part of its responsible cruising efforts, the company said it has equipped Crystal Endeavor to connect to shore power while in port, installed several water treatment systems and selective catalytic reduction exhaust gas scrubbers.
Crystal Endeavor’s first sailings include Iceland, the Arctic Circle and Europe.
"As the first luxury expedition yacht to restart cruising in the Arctic and northern Europe, Crystal Endeavor will set sail beginning 17 July with five 10-night immersive voyages circumnavigating Iceland... [that] will sail round-trip from the ship’s homeport of Reykjavík and will be followed by the 10-night Journey of Vikings: Iceland & Norway from Reykjavík to Tromsø departing 5 September 2021," a statement from the cruise line said.
P&O Ferries and Irish Ferries have added capacity on the Dover-Calais English Channel crossing
The British ferry operator has a full complement of ferries sailing the English Channel, having added its fifth vessel to the route, Pride of Burgundy.
The ferry, capable of hauling 120 lorries, will return to service in freight-only mode, according to the line, making two return journeys each day from the UK to France.
P&O Ferries managing director Peter Hebblethwaite said “I am delighted to see the restoration of our Dover-Calais fleet to its pre-pandemic strength of five."
Irish Ferries has added a ropax ferry service between Dover and Calais, contracting port and terminal service provider Briggs Marine to handle its operations in the British port of Dover.
A statement from Irish Ferries said the service would "make it easier for passengers and hauliers to travel between the Republic of Ireland, the UK and Europe".
Irish Ferries said the new service will "significantly strengthen the capacity and reliability of the land bridge for exporters and importers", noting that Briggs will provide support on every Dover port-call, "adding 55 jobs from operational roles through to check-in staff, co-ordination and management positions, with all roles being sourced locally".
In other ferry capacity expansion news, Stena Line has added Stena Scandica to its Baltic Sea lineup, after the ropax vessel underwent a conversion and lengthening procedure, bringing it to 222 m in length and making it 30% larger than other vessels on its sailing route.