British cruise line Swan Hellenic announced that V Ships Leisure, together with sister brand Oceanic, have been awarded the ship and hotel management of Swan Hellenic’s three forthcoming cultural expedition cruise ships
Founded in 1950 as Swan’s Tours, the brand functioned as a P&O subsidiary and later a Carnival Corp subsidiary between 1983 and 2007 when it ceased operation. An unsuccessful revival effort was mounted between 2007 and 2017.
Canada-based G Adventuers, a small tour operator, acquired the brand in 2017 before it was sold once more, to a new management team led by former Silversea/V Ships executive Andrea Zito, in 2020.
Born again, the cruise line is now the owner of SH Minerva and SH Vega, two five-star polar PC 5 ice-class expedition cruise ships under construction at Helsinki Shipyard, due to arrive in November 2021 and April 2022 . Each can accommodate 152 guests in 76 staterooms and suites.
The project has been supported by V Ships Leisure from the outset with its team already on site at Helsinki Shipyard, supervising the construction of Swan Hellenic’s fleet.
A statement from the line said V Ships Leisure and Oceanic will support the development of Swan Hellenic’s onboard teams to ensure the safety and satisfaction of guests during their voyages and that the Swan Hellenic brand will benefit from access to V Ships Leisure and Oceanic training. V Ship Leisure’s simulators will be used to train the marine and technical crew while Oceanic’s Hospitality Training Centre will help train staff in service and hospitality prior to completion of its ships, utilising the Centre’s mock galley, restaurant, bar and suite. Training will be supplemented by V Ships Leisure’s eLearning platform.
Mr Zito said, “V Ships Leisure and Oceanic were the obvious choice for Swan Hellenic with their proven start-up experience, including in the expedition and luxury sectors. We are excited to be working closely with their team and are confident that together we will deliver an outstanding guest experience on our amazing ships.”
V Ships Leisure chief executive Per Bjornsen added, “We are grateful for the trust placed in us by Swan Hellenic and thrilled to be involved in the revival of such an extraordinary brand. Our teams are working in close partnership across the comprehensive range of services agreed, from newbuilding supervision through to the fine details of high-level hospitality provision and everything in between. Swan Hellenic’s investment to ensure it benefits from best-in-class seafarers, crew training and resilient operational support demonstrates its unwavering commitment to providing an outstanding guest experience in a safe environment.”
A yet unnamed larger PC 6 ice-class vessel under construction at Helsinki Shipyard is due year-end 2022. All three new ships are being built in full compliance with SOLAS Safe Return to Port requirements.
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