The £10 million refit of Swan Hellenic’s cruise ship Minerva is nearing completion – as Victor Lunn-Rockliffe’s cartoon illustrates. The ship should be leaving dry-dock in Bremerhaven in two weeks’ time, ready for what will almost be a maiden voyage leaving Portsmouth on March 2.
The 15-day cruise to the Canaries has been sold out for months, with regular Swans eager to see the changes that have been made to their favourite ship. The list of improvements announced by managing director Colin Stone six months ago seemed substantial enough, including as it did the fitting of a new observation lounge, extension of the popular Shackleton’s bar, the conversion of a deckful of balcony cabins and the fitting of new bathrooms throughout.
Somehow the amount of work involved in the £109 million refit seems even more impressive in the specification listed on the website of shipyard Lloyd Werft. See what you think:
Deck 9: Demolition of existing fitness area. Fabrication and installation of a 23- ton aluminium deckshouse section. Area to be outfitted as Observation Lounge. Installation of an additional air-conditioning unit. Extension of the deck area.
Deck 8: Installation of balcony doors in 12 deluxe cabins and former public deck areas to be rearranged as balcony areas for relevant cabins. Extension of 20 superior cabins to port and starboard side. Installation of balcony doors and former public deck areas to be rearranged as balcony areas for relevant cabins.
Deck 6: Demolition of existing sauna area. New area to be integrated into the existing Shackleton´s bar area. Demolition of two existing and installation of two new lifeboats and davit arrangements.
Deck 5: Overhaul of wet units in cabin areas. Demolition of six cabins in aft part of the vessel and installation of an new beauty centre, passenger launderette and fitness centre.
Deck 4: Overhaul of wet units in cabin areas.
Mechanical works: Removal of existing
And that’s all there is to it . . .
Hotel and Entertainment Manager Victoria Kennedy (left) has been at the shipyard to oversee the work. She writes in the latest Swan Hellenic journal that the new Orpheus Lounge is particularly impressive. “The light, the views [make it] perfect for day time use, especially whilst at sea, as well as a wonderful night time venue. I have been able to stand in the lounge and get a real feel for the space and light that will flood through. Now that the Promenade Deck is also in place, the Captain and I have had a walk round in our hard hats to see how it felt. Not quite the Med, but special!”