Cruise

Swan Hellenic cruise ship helps rescue researchers in Antarctica

A Swan Hellenic ship has bravely swooped in to help rescue an expedition crew in Antarctica.

Swan Hellenic’s ice-class cruise ship, SH Minerva, assisted the evacuation of the Antarctic quest expedition team from Portal Point, sailing into Charlotte Bay on 16 January during its cruise exploring the Antarctic Peninsula.

The expedition team spent five weeks travelling over and along the spine of the Antarctic Peninsula when they realised they would have to attempt an early return.

COVID containment restrictions in Argentina led many Polar operators to cancel their programmes, so the expedition team could not be picked up as planned.

There was a very strong risk they might have been stuck on the peninsula, but the SH Minerva arranged to come to their assistance.

“We have to say the warmth and hospitality of everyone on SH Minerva was simply outstanding and we were treated with such kindness,” said expedition leader Paul Hart.

“It is hard to find words to express our gratitude for all that was done for us.”

The expedition was a commemoration of the life of Sir Ernest Henry Shackleton, an Irish explorer who led three British expeditions to the Antarctic in the early 20th century.

The modern-day crew collected samples, providing information for its science collaborators on the levels of microplastics and metals in the snow, on the ozone hole, and the amount of UV reaching the Peninsula.

Swan Hellenic CEO, Andrea Zito, said the staff were thrilled to be part of something so incredible.

“The crew and guests on SH Minerva were delighted we could be of assistance in these challenging conditions and help the explorers safely complete their mission. The team were very generous in sharing their experiences, bringing a richly stimulating additional perspective to the voyage,” Zito said.

“Swan Hellenic is committed to assisting and building links with the research community, so this was a very fitting early episode for the first ship in our fleet.”



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