Swan Hellenic has been taking guests on discovery cruises for more than 50 years. Each itinerary on this much loved exploration ship is unique. She is small by today’s standards, 12,500 tons and carrying only 350 guests. Most guests are British and many are avid readers judging by the remarkable library on board. The atmosphere is relaxed and intimate, similar to that of a country house hotel with polished wood floors, wood panelling, gleaming brass, oriental rugs, sofas and arm chairs. Amenities include a relaxing lounge, gym, Wheeler bar and Shackleton’s bar. A valuable collection of paintings, prints, drawings and maps lines the corridors, most with scenes of the regions visited. There are two dining venues onboard, the Dining Room and the Cafe – both with open seating dining.
Most things included in the fare
Each individual voyage takes in World famous sites as well as venturing off the beaten track. The tailor-made shore excursions are accompanied by experienced Swan Hellenic staff and are included in the fare. Whilst at sea, guests are invited to listen to guest speakers drawn from academic, diplomatic and media worlds. Each talk lasts around 40 minutes and speakers are available afterwards for further discussion and during meals. Or take part in workshops including painting, singing and writing. Films are screened in the cinema and on cabin TVs. Entertainment is low key with live music from a classical group, a house band and soloists. Jackets and ties are required in The Dining Room at dinner; the Veranda Cafe has a casual dress code and buffet dining. Tips for staff onboard and guides ashore are included in the fare, as are flights from the UK.
Major work on Minerva starting November 2011 for 4 months will include removal of 6 cabins to give more public space. 32 cabins will have balconies added bringing the total to 44. All cabins will get upgraded shower and bath facilities. A new forward observation lounge is to be added called Orpheus. The present Shackleton Bar and Internet Room will both be increased in size. The salon centre and gym will be moved down and the Promenade Deck will be moved up one deck. To allow fresco dining a canopy will be added to the pool deck. Numerous technical upgrades will be added including new propellers and shafts which will increase fuel efficiency.
Swan Hellenic is now part of the All Leisure Group PLC who also owns Voyages of Discovery and Hebridean Island Cruises). Hebridean also operate river cruises using the MS Royal Crown.
To find out more please don’t hesitate to give me a ring.
Contact Simon at Designer Travel Tailor-made Holidays & Cruises
All details quoted are thought to be correct at time of posting but are always subject to confirmation at time of booking
Photo: Minerva in Venice (Swan Hellenic) 69