The much-loved cultural cruise line Swan Hellenic, which folded in January 2017, is to make a comeback in 2021 with new owners and two new ships.
Two state-of-the-art expedition ships are being built by Finland’s Helsinki Shipyard, carrying 152 guests each. The first is due to launch in November 2021, sailing an Antarctica season, with the second being delivered in April 2022. As well as Antarctica, the ships will explore the Arctic, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Indonesia and Japan.
The original Swan carried mainly mature Brits craving cultural enrichment. The new venture spreads the net further, with offices in Germany, Monaco and London and an emphasis on expedition travel, offering ‘immersive, exclusive bucket list experiences for the discerning traveller with a curious mind’. The line will, according to CEO Andrea Zito, ‘retain its British heritage while being international in outlook.’
The brand, founded in the 1950s by British travel agent Swan’s Tours, and its intellectual property have been acquired from G Adventures, which snapped up both after Swan Hellenic’s demise three years ago – but didn’t re-launch the cruise line.
Each ship, with working title names of Vega 1 and Vega 2, will have ‘Scandi-chic’ interiors, according to Swan Hellenic’s newly launched website, as well as an ice-class hull, a glass-walled sauna, two restaurants, a library and photography lab.
Expeditions will be all-inclusive in polar regions, with all activities covered, and almost all-inclusive elsewhere, with shore excursions charged for separately. Pricing is in line with other luxury expedition operators, with a 10-night Antarctica voyage priced at £13,950 or around AU$24,800, excluding flights.