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Swan Hellenic’s brand-new cultural expedition cruise ship evacuates Antarctic Quest 21 expedition team to Ushuaia


SH Minerva performs emergency extraction of team collecting valuable samples and data during expedition to commemorate the centenary of Shackleton’s final voyage

Today, Wednesday the 26th of January 2022, Swan Hellenic announced that its five-star, ice-class cultural expedition cruise ship SH Minerva gave assistance to evacuate the Antarctic Quest expedition team from Portal Point, sailing into Charlotte Bay on January the 16th during her second cruise exploring the Antarctic Peninsula.

Foto: via Swan Hellenic

The expedition team had spent five weeks engaged in science and educational outreach, travelling in untrodden regions over and along the spine of the Antarctic Peninsula when it became clear they would have to attempt an early return. Covid containment restrictions introduced in Argentina had led many Polar operators to cancel their programmes, so the expedition team could not be picked up as planned. Indeed, there was a very strong risk they might have been stuck on the peninsula. Which was when 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. It is hard to find words to express our gratitude for all that was done for us,” said Expedition Leader Paul Hart.

Foto: via Swan Hellenic

A Commemoration of the life of Sir Ernest Henry Shackleton, the expedition collected samples providing vital information for its science collaborators on the levels of microplastics and metals in the snow, on the ozone hole, the amount of UV reaching the Peninsula and meteorological observations to help improve the modelling of ice-mass accumulation and loss on the Peninsula.

“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,” commented Swan Hellenic CEO Andrea Zito. “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.”

Text: PM Swan Hellenic