The CEO of Swan Hellenic, Andrea Zito, said that the company is in a good position ahead of its launch in 2021.
“We are receiving only positive comments from the former customers of Swan Hellenic. The sector is reacting very well to the fact that Swan Hellenic is being resurrected in a way,” Zito told Cruise Industry News.
The first of two new expedition ships, the m/v SH Minerva, debuts into service for the brand in 2021.
The revived Swan Hellenic launched earlier this year. However, the brand is actually 70 years old and was acquired in December 2019.
“One and a half [years ago], the group started the negotiation and placed the order for two ships with Helsinki shipyard for delivery at the end of 2021 and mid-2022. And then the pandemic came. This was not really planned,” Zito said.
The coronavirus pandemic caused Swan Hellenic to postpone any announcements from spring to July. However, otherwise, Zito’s company had adjusted to the challenging conditions.
“It’s a little bit slower, but we are doing things very efficiently. It is amazing to realize how many things you can accomplish without traveling continuously,” he said, describing the challenges of having offices in different European countries.
Zito said that Swan Hellenic offers what seasoned travelers look for.
The company will sail to destinations in New Zealand, Pacific Islands, Russia, and, Zito said proudly, the semi-circumnavigation of Antarctica.
“Our ships are some of the very few ships that have Polar Class 5 … So we can stay longer, we can go deeper in the environment and, most importantly, we can go safer because the characteristics of the ships are of higher safety standards to ensure that passengers are well protected,” he said.
According to Zito, Swan Hellenic’s ultimate goal is to cover the whole world.
“It’s not just a box-ticking exercise, it caters to people who are thirsty for knowledge: they are curious and they want to discover various parts of the world. And the world is still very big.”