Swan Hellenic considered one of the most fascinating cruise lines, and the cruise lines history is equally as compelling. Swan Hellenic started out by specialising in culturally enriching cruises and tours throughout Europe - something that was quite unique at the time. These cruises appealed to a very niche market, and major players within the cruise industry saw an opportunity to transform this pigeonholed line into something more accessible to the average traveller.
Today Swan Hellenic maintains their focus of offering travellers lavish cultural experiences within a luxurious and intimate setting.
As part of their commitment to providing ‘enrichment’ cruises - to expanding their passengers’ knowledge and igniting their enthusiasm for different subjects - Swan Hellenic welcome a number of different guest lecturers and after dinner speakers on board each voyage. Not only is a Swan Hellenic cruise an excellent opportunity to see the world and enjoy unrivalled opulence, but it’s also a chance to meet some of the most renowned experts in a wide range of fields.
On previous cruises, passengers have had the opportunity to chat to Professor Sir Barry Cunliffe, an archaeologist who has made great discoveries throughout the UK, France, and Spain, and destination expert Mr Christopher Bradley who specialises in Middle Eastern and Moorish history, and is a regular on Swan Hellenic’s cruises from Petra to Oman.
Small ships are what Swan Hellenic do best. The cruise lines beautiful Minerva boasts and intimacy that continues to bring enjoyment and satisfaction to all who sail aboard her.
Minerva is currently the only ship operated by the Swan Hellenic line, and, despite being small in size, the ship has a lot to offer including 2 stunning restaurants, 6 welcoming lounges and bars, a wonderfully designed swimming pool, and gymnasium.
Swan Hellenic offer a number of exciting and diverse cruises from the UK, taking in Norway and the Norwegian fjords, the Baltic Sea and its historic capitals, the beautiful Azores, and some of the most stunning Mediterranean cities. However, what makes a cruise from the UK with Swan Hellenic so special is that the small size of Minerva means it can visit tiny villages that other ships are too big to sail to. So even if you’ve done the Med, even if you’ve seen the Italian coast, there’s always somewhere Swan Hellenic will take you to that’s completely new.
Have you ever visited Floro in Norway? It’s the country’s westernmost town and feels so isolated that you could be miles from anywhere. Or how about Motril, Spain, which produces its own unique sweet, syrupy liqueurs? There’s also Ronne, Denmark, which you’ll visit just before your boat squeezes in between the tight boundaries of the Kiel Canal. Sailing from the UK is very different with Swan Hellenic, and it’s something you’ll never forget.
As well as sailings from the UK, Swan Hellenic also offer their passengers a chance to fly out to meet Minerva while she’s on her round-the-world travels, creating a number of exotic itineraries and opportunities for you to really see more of the world. Minerva sails around the cultural Black Sea, the hot desert sands of the Arabian Peninsula, the fascinating Indian coastline, and throughout the Orient, with these Asian sailings often departing from Singapore.
Once again, due to Minerva small size, you’ll be taken to amazing ports that you may not even have known existed. Some highlights include Trabzon in Turkey, which is a true melting pot of cultures, with heavy Iranian, Venetian, and Genoan influences, and Uwajima, Japan - a place known for its small, unimposing castle looking out over Mount Takatsuki.
The term ‘discovery cruising’ is often used to describe voyages that go to the furthest, most inaccessible corners of the globe - Antarctica or the Galapagos Islands, for example - but Swan Hellenic have turned this on its head, offering a different type of discovery cruise. The discovery aspects doesn’t so much relate to the destinations themselves, but rather the types of tours and excursions available within each port.
The cruise line aim to take their passengers to ‘classic sites’, and to see ‘hidden gems’ - you may not have the opportunity to see through other cruise lines. Examples include Spain’s highest peak, Mount Teide, the Berber villages of Northern Africa, and an eerie walk through the Catacombs of Odessa. Excursions are already covered in the cost of your basic cruise fare, making it easier to budget your cruise holiday.