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Holiday Type / Swan Hellenic

Their elegance and sophistication may be reminiscent of their avian namesake, but Swan Hellenic are arguably more like a phoenix, making an explosive comeback onto the cruise scene.

If a name can be put to the décor style, ‘Scandi-boutique’ is their preferred choice; all clean lines, bright spaces and minimal distractions throughout the brand’s first ship in their new fleet – SH Minerva. But while the interiors may have had a spruce up, a mission to enrich curious minds with unique expeditions is still at the very heart of this heritage brand. And with seven decades of experience, they know their stuff, so the adventurous souls looking for both a challenge and a pamper will fit right in.

Always believing that it’s the little things that make the biggest impact and that travel should be both healing and invigorating, there may be two sides to the Swan Hellenic equation, but both are aimed at self-improvement. There’s the destinations, remote in physicality and inspirational in nature, where a dedicated expedition team lead 12-person zodiacs to up close and personal encounters with the likes of bears, birds and whales; while excursions on land explore the cultures of indigenous residents. And of course, there’s the on-board activities; guest speakers giving educational talks about the geographic surroundings of the polar regions, and photography experts offering tips in the dedicated photo lab. Then there’s the other side – the pamper part – speaking for itself with a heated outdoor pool (there’s something special about swimming in bath-warm water surrounded by glaciers), wholesome ingredients from the destinations visited served in the restaurant, and the sauna with panoramic windows to always make sure the show-stopping scenes are in sight.