snowy landscape view of Antartica from a cruise ship

Five-star expedition ships, seven decades of cruise expertise, and high quality personal service are hallmarks of Swan Hellenic. Their ships take guests to remote and beautiful parts of the world in comfort and style with thoughtfully planned excursions and onboard experts. Cruising the seas around the globe, Swan Hellenic’s guests enjoy immersive, memorable experiences.

The latest technology, combined with boutique-style amenities, creates cruises that are exciting, educational, and fulfilling. Swan Hellenic cruises visit lesser-known ports, and onboard experts enhance the experience with lectures on wildlife, culture, and geography. 

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The Swan Hellenic Fleet

Two elegant boutique ships, SH Minerva and SH Vega, will be joined in early 2023 by SH Diana. Specially designed for worldwide cruising, SH Diana will feature a private dining room for special occasions and two tenders for ease in expedition landings. SH Diana will be the largest in the fleet with 96 spacious staterooms and suites, most with balconies, operated by an onboard team of 140.

Image of SH Minerva courtesy of Swan Hellenic

SH Minerva features stylish Scandinavian design, with 76 staterooms including six suites. Staterooms are furnished with desks, dressing area, seating, minibars, and en suite bathrooms with glass-enclosed rain showers. Guests can enjoy a cocktail with a view from the Observation Lounge or drop in to the Club Lounge for tapas any time of the day. Al fresco dining alongside the heated outdoor pool is offered on Deck 7, and a sauna, jacuzzi, and state-of-the-art gym are located on Deck 8.

SH Vega made her maiden voyage in July 2022. The vessel can accommodate 152 guests with a crew of 120. Rich textiles, neutral tones, and lighting options for every mood create a comfortable, sophisticated environment. Guests enjoy panoramic views from the Observation Lounge, Club Lounge, and Pool Bar & Grill on Deck 7. The spa, sauna, jacuzzi, and gym are located on Deck 8. Deck 9, the Stargazing Deck, is the place for guests to be amazed by the magnificent night sky. Like the SH Minerva and SH Diana, the ship incorporates an ice-strengthened hull with stabilizers to make all journeys as smooth as possible.

Antarctic  Expedition Cruises

Called “The White Continent,” Antarctica is remote, exciting, and fascinating for its wildlife, icebergs, glaciers, and spectacular sunsets. During Antarctica’s short summer, from December through March, visitors can see thousands of penguins, from hatchlings in early summer to thousands of mature species throughout the season. Seals, birds, including several varieties of the albatross, are plentiful. Whales arrive, especially during February and March, to feast on the abundant krill as the ice melts with summer temperatures that may reach the 30s.

Exploring Antarctica on Swan Hellenic’s intimate vessels of fewer than 200 guests is ideal for observing from the ship and during excursions. Cruises board in the port town of Ushuaia, a walkable town in Argentinian Patagonia at the continent’s southern tip, a three and a half hour flight from Buenos Aires.

Swan Hellenic’s Antarctic Expedition Cruises 2022/23

16-day Antarctic Peninsula and South Georgia, SH Vega

December 14, 2022 – December 29, 2022

Guests board in Ushuaia at the southernmost tip of South America and then spend the next two days at sea crossing the Drake Passage. Onboard, there’s time to learn about the destination, relax, and take advantage of the spa and gym. On Day 6, guests can go ashore on South Shetland Island by Zodiac to see the native flora emerge as temperatures begin to warm in the southern hemisphere spring.

Days 4 and 5 are spent on the Antarctic Peninsula with shore excursions that include wildlife like Adelie penguins, leopard seals, and killer whales. Passing South Shetland Islands, the ship spends two days at sea on the way to South Georgia, often called the “Galapagos of the Poles.” Guests can get close to king penguins, macaroni penguins, and can see elephant seals and Grytviken, the whaling station and burial place of British explorer Ernest Shackelton. After two more days at sea, the ship returns to Ushuaia.

Antarctic Peninsula

SH Vega, January 9, 2023 – January 19, 2023

SH Vega, January 19, 2023 – January 30, 2023 

Guests board in Ushuaia before spending two days at sea crossing the Drake Passage, watching the ocean from the ship’s observation decks, meeting other passengers, and learning from expert lecturers about the upcoming destinations. Professional photographers are

 there to offer advice to guests on their photography skills. The ship arrives in the South Shetlands as the spring snowmelt begins and plant life emerges. 

On the Antarctic Peninsula for days five to seven among glaciers, icebergs, and snow, guests enjoy shore excursions and observe penguins, elephant seals, and more. There’s another opportunity to visit the South Shetland Islands on the return trip before two days at sea and the return to Ushuaia.

Weddell Sea & Antarctic Peninsula

SH Vega, December 29, 2022 – January 9, 2023 

SH Vega,  January 30, 2023 – February 9, 2023

Guests board in Ushuaia, and the next two days are spent at sea crossing the Drake Passage. After braving the usually rough seas, the ship passes icebergs in the Gerlache Strait, reaching the Antarctic Sound and Weddell Sea. Depending on conditions, guests can go ashore on Brown Bluff and Paulet Island to see thousands of penguins in their natural habits, breaching whales, and albatross flying overhead.

The ship cruises to the Antarctic Peninsula where guests marvel at scenery and wildlife during shore excursions that might include Petermann Island with Adelie penguins, elephant seals, and blue-eyed shags. On the return journey, the ship passes the South Shetland Islands where guests can go ashore via Zodiacs. Two more days at sea through the Drake Passage takes the ship back to Ushuaia.