About Swan Hellenic Cruises
U.K.-based Swan Hellenic Cruises has perfected the art of "discovery" cruising aboard small ships; 2014 marked the line's 60th birthday. A cruise aboard the MV Minerva will be a "journey of the mind," with well-crafted itineraries to interesting ports of call, evenings and overnight port stays, high quality shore excursions and enrichment programs featuring distinguished speakers and entertainers.
Last refurbished in 2012, the Minerva carries 350 passengers with a crew of 160, a ratio that contributes to attentive service. The refurbishment added new balconies, upgraded bathrooms (port side cabins have bathtubs; those on the starboard side have showers) and replaced all soft goods. Most of the cabins (135) are outside; 44 of the cabins and suite have balconies with Astroturf flooring.
Onboard facilities include a pool, movie theater, a well-stocked (5,000 books) wood-paneled library, a small gym and a beauty salon/barbershop. The ship has a self-service laundry in addition to the usual dry cleaning and laundry option. Another nice feature is the availability of single cabins. WiFi is available in some areas.
Cruise prices include gratuities and shore excursions, but not alcohol, soda, wine or beer during meals.
Swan Hellenic Cruises is best for:
Well-traveled and educated adults who prefer the intimacy of a small ship;
Cruisers seeking a destination immersion;
Travelers seeking a rich educational experience focused on history and culture;
Those who wish a British-style small ship experience.
The atmosphere and experience onboard Swan Hellenic Cruises
With decor that features polished wood and gleaming brass, fresh flowers and appealing works of art, the onboard atmosphere can be described as "British country house." Some of the areas resemble a British gentleman's club.
Dining venues: A formal restaurant and a cafe that serves buffet-style meals during the day and the regular dinner menu in the evening. Both have open seating and both often serve destinations that reflect the destination. Fresh ingredients are brought onboard at many ports, and dishes are cooked to order.
Most evenings the dress code is informal or casual; men are required to wear jacket and tie in the dining room for evening meals. There are generally two or three "black-tie" evenings during each cruise; passengers are "invited" to wear evening dresses and black tie.
Like other small expedition ships, entertainment generally consists of enrichment programs by distinguished lecturers as well as music, both classical and contemporary.
Onboard currency is the English pound.
The destinations served by Swan Hellenic Cruises
The clientele of Swan Hellenic Cruises
- Northern Europe/The Baltic
- Black Sea
- South America
- Greek Islands
Mostly British, aged 55 and older. North Americans who love English culture will enjoy this line. Passengers tend to be well-read and socially-oriented.
Regarding children onboard Swan Hellenic Cruises:
There are no recreational facilities for children aboard Minerva, and reservations for children are not advised.