Cruise

Swan Hellenic selects local trade support partner, introduces vaccine requirement for crew

Swan Hellenic has partnered with Cruise Online to provide “close support” to the travel trade across Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific.

A division of Aviation Online and with offices in Sydney and Auckland, Cruise Online has almost 20 years’ experience across the aviation, vacation, cruise and expedition sectors.

Swan Hellenic CEO Andrea Zito said the partnership was in line with the cruise line’s long-term vision of establishing a presence in strategic markets worldwide.

“We’re delighted to partner with Cruise Online, who truly understand the region’s passion for authentic expedition travel and a high-end vacation experience that’s personal and attentive, but also informal and unpretentious,” he said.

“Thanks to Cruise Online’s extensive professional travel and airline experience, trade partners will be able to offer these exacting guests the benefits of full sea-sky integration to see what others don’t.”

Anthony Cassar, CEO of Aviation Online, said: “It’s a privilege to represent Swan Hellenic across our home base, bringing its unique cultural expedition cruises to a public with a real appetite for genuine, up-close exploration.”

Swan Hellenic also recently announced the introduction of a valid COVID-19 vaccination as a pre-embarkation medical requirement for all staff and crew on board its ships.

The vaccination cycle will be carried out at recruitment centres or in the home countries of the crew members in accordance with current local guidelines and approved medical protocols, according to the cruise line.

Earlier this month, Swan Hellenic laid the keel of SH Vega, the second of three purpose-designed ice-class expedition cruise ships that Helsinki Shipyard is building for the company, which only relaunched in July last year.

The keel was laid in accordance with seafaring tradition and current COVID-19 restrictions, immediately receiving the outfitted and painted block 302.

The ceremony included the customary placement of coins, with Helsinki Shipyard project manager Jonas Packalén, Lloyd’s Register representative Jukka Hujanen and Helsinki Shipyard chairman Victor Olersky doing the honours.

Named after the first vessel to navigate the Arctic Northeast Passage, the new ship represents the next generation of polar expedition vessels, having been designed for worldwide cruising with a strong focus on high-latitude areas.

SH Vega will feature a five-megawatt diesel-electric hybrid propulsion system with selective catalytic reduction, A three-megawatt battery package and PC5 ice-strengthened hull.

At 113 metres, the 10,500-tonne vessel has been specially designed to explore the most inaccessible places in the world.

With five-star accommodation for 152 guests in 76 spacious staterooms and suites, the vast majority with large balconies, SH Vega will be operated by an onboard team of 120 staff and crew.

SH Minerva, the first ship in the series, will be delivered in November 2021, while Vega is due early the following year. The third vessel, which will be somewhat larger than her sisters, is scheduled for delivery just months later, towards the end of 2022.

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