Swan Hellenic has exercised an option to buy its two cruise ships from the Russian leasing company GTLK, which is under EU sanctions.
“We exercised these irrevocable purchase options at a relatively early stage of the current tragic situation in Ukraine and before the recent EU sanctions decision: on March 13 2022 for SH Minerva and on March 31, 2022 for SH Vega,” a company spokesperson in a statement sent to Cruise Industry News.
The legal procedure transferring full ownership of the vessels to Swan Hellenic are now at an advanced stage and due to be completed soon, the company said, at which point Swan Hellenic Cruises will be the sole owner of both ships.
“As a result, both Swan Hellenic vessels will shortly be entirely outside the scope of sanctions,” the company said in a statement.
“However, it is also worth noting that their current situation is unaffected by the recent EU action that includes JSC GTLK and its subsidiaries in the EU sanctions list since the sole effect of these sanctions is to freeze the funds and/or economic resources of the listed persons/entities within the territory of the EU. Unlike the U.S. sanctions, the EU sanctions don’t have extraterritorial effect or secondary application to parties involved in relationships with the sanctioned parties,” said the spokesperson.
Swan Hellenic said that it nor its ultimate beneficial owners, subsidiaries, banks or sub-contractors are subject to U.S., UK or EU sanctions against Russia.
In addition, the SH Minerva will not operate this summer, as changing COVID-related restrictions have impacted the ship’s planned Arctic season.
Meanwhile, with the SH Vega being completed by Helsinki Shipyard ahead of schedule and launching in July, the company will instead operate the SH Vega for the summer while the SH Minerva will re-enter service in South America later this year for the 2022-2023 Antarctica season.