What to expect from Swan Hellenic - Cruise International

What to expect from Swan Hellenic

By Cruise International | 27 May 2022

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Swan Hellenic is a cultural expedition cruise line offering adventures to the Arctic and Antarctica as well as culture-focused holidays closer to home

 

Swan Hellenic was relaunched under new ownership in July 2020, building on its British roots and a proud history that dates back to the 1950s. With a new, global outlook and more ships on order, it promises guests an opportunity to ‘see what others don’t’.

Swan Hellenic’s cultural expedition cruises brings curious travellers closer to the best landscapes, wildlife, unique cultures and communities in some of the least-visited regions in the world.

 

What are Swan Hellenic cruise ships like?

Swan Hellenic has a fleet of purpose-built expedition cruise ships with Scandi-chic interiors, spacious accommodation and top-quality dining venues.

SH Minerva was the first vessel to launch the line in December 2021, while sister shipsSH Vega andSH Diana are due for delivery in July 2022 and in early 2023, respectively.

The first two ships each hold 152 guests in 76 suites and staterooms, most with a large balcony, and have a Polar Class 5 ice-strengthened hull designed for exploring the most remote reaches of the world. SH Diana is set to be slightly larger, with space for 192 guests in 96 cabins and a Polar Class 6 ice-strengthened hull.

They have been built to meet the latest environmental standards, with measures including exhaust gas cleaning, advanced waste storage and wastewater treatment. They also use dynamic positioning systems to avoid the need to drop anchor to prevent damage to delicate ecosystems, and have water stations on board along with refillable metal water bottles for each guest.

What to expect from Swan Hellenic

Club Lounge on Swan Hellenic’s SH Minerva

What is the food and drink like on Swan Hellenic?

Each of Swan Hellenic’s three cruise ships – SH MinervaSH Vega and SH Diana – feature three places to dine: the Swan Restaurant, Club Lounge and the Pool Bar & Grill. Overseen by award-winning chefs, they serve up local specialities and lavish dishes hailing from Asia, Italy, France, Japan and beyond, all accompanied by a world-class wine cellar, premium spirits and craft beers.

Meanwhile staterooms and suites each offer panoramic sea views, a fireplace, Egyptian cotton towels, pillow menu, flatscreen TV, espresso machine and minibar, with in-room dining available 24/7.

Balcony breakfast on Swan Hellenic’s SH Minerva. Picture: Martin Bianco

Does Swan Hellenic have a spa?

Swan Hellenic cruises combine comfort and sophistication in equal measure – look out for original artworks and expertly curated exhibitions, plus plenty of quiet spots to enjoy the incredible scenery on offer. Even in the sauna, you can still feel the power of the natural world outside thanks to a full-length panoramic window, while an on-deck Jacuzzi comes with some of the best views on Earth.

The Balinese spa offers a wide choice of beauty and wellness treatments, including hot stone and bamboo massages, facials, manicures, pedicures, hairdressing and the services of a barber. Plus you can enjoy top-quality skincare brands such as the all-natural Lajatica Bocelli 1831 range, La Mer seaweed extracts and haircare from Kérastase Paris.

Jacuzzi on deck of Swan Hellenic’s SH Minerva. Picture: Martin Bianco

Where does Swan Hellenic cruise to?

Swan Hellenic sets itself apart from the rest of the cruise world by visiting the smaller and lesser-known places that other lines might miss.

These range from the polar regions to the Americas, Asia, Northern Europe and the Mediterranean, where the company began its first ever cultural expedition cruises.

Swan Hellenic will have two ships – SH Minerva and SH Vega – offering unforgettable expedition cruises to Antarctica in 2022-23, and following the success of its inaugural season, it has introduced two further itineraries to cater for demand.

Shackleton’s Discovery: Falkland, South Georgia & Antarctic Peninsula is an 18-day voyage departing from Buenos Aires on October 19, 2022, on SH Minerva and on November 7 on SH Vega. Meanwhile the Antarctic Peninsula & South Georgia itinerary offers a 16-day journey on Vega departing Ushuaia on December 14, 2022.

Both ships will also offer a host of other itineraries exploring the Antarctic Peninsula, the South Shetland Islands,  South Georgia, South Atlantic Islands and the Weddell Sea, and even a semi-circumnavigation from Ushuaia to Dunedin, New Zealand.

Penguins in Antarctica. Picture: Swan Hellenic/Martin Bianco

What to expect from a Swan Hellenic cruise

With 120 crew in total, Swan Hellenic has an expert expedition cruise team comprising experienced guides, speakers and lecturers, ensuring attentive, personalised service for each guest. There are briefings before each landing and a recap afterwards so travellers can share experiences, plus professional support for guests who want to indulge their passions, from art and archaeology to history, geology and more.

Some sailings are even accompanied by a professional photographer so guests can be sure to capture the very best of the beautiful landscapes around them and relive those extraordinary experiences when they return home.

If you’re interested in finding out more about the science behind these unique ecosystems, you can also take part in Swan Hellenic’s Citizen Science Programme. Scientific research into these remote parts of the world is vital for the future of the whole planet, but the polar regions are difficult and expensive for scientists to access.

That’s why Swan Hellenic invites scientists to travel on board its expedition cruise ships, not only to carry out their own research but also to involve guests through lectures, use of the fully equipped Expedition Laboratory and a chance to do hands-on polar region research to understand the area in more depth. You’ll come away with a much richer understanding of the world at its most extreme.

Crew on Swan Hellenic’s SH Minerva. Picture: Martin Bianco

Find out more about Swan Hellenic cruises on the Swan Hellenic website.