Heritage British cruise line reborn with two brand new expedition vessels
The well-known British-born Swan Hellenic brand has been revived as a discovery cruise line with familiar culture-rich itineraries.
Seventy years on from its foundation and three years on from its demise, two all-new 152-passenger expedition ships are being constructed at the Helsinki Shipyard Oy, Finland, and will mark the rebirth of the Swan Hellenic name. Carrying 152-passengers and 120 crew members, the first ship will sail in Antarctica in November 2021 with the second scheduled to launch in the spring of 2022.
The news will be greeted by passengers that chose Swan Hellenic for its in-depth itineraries, with a strong accent on history and culture, and expert guest lecturers. The line, which previously operated with one ship – the 350-passenger Minerva – went under in 2017 following the collapse of parent company All Leisure Group.
Once again specialising in enrichment cruises, Swan Hellenic will initially launch with offices in the UK, Monaco and Germany. The senior management team have clocked up more than 100 years of experience in the cruise and travel industry and the UK office will be headed up by John Warner, who has previously worked for G Adventures and Trailfinders, and Mario Bounas, whose career includes working for Royal Caribbean and The Langham.
Announcing the news, CEO Andrea Zito said: “I am proud to announce the rebirth of Swan Hellenic a pioneering iconic travel brand with the mission to be the leader in cultural expedition cruising. The new Swan Hellenic retains its British heritage whilst being international in outlook. Aimed at the traveller, who wishes to explore, experience and enrich whilst the infinite beauty of the world and its inhabitants in a safe and sustainable way.
“The website, www.swanhellenic.com, is now live and over the course of the next few weeks and months we’ll be releasing more information about a number of exciting developments from Swan Hellenic. We are back and we’re bigger and bolder than ever”.
The two new ships, which have yet to be named, will have ice-strengthened hulls and 76 cabins, 60 with balconies.
Zito added that the company, founded in the 1950s by W. F. Swan and son was based on a set of values that remain true to this day. These include discovering new destinations, personal and educational enrichment coupled with a high crew to passenger ratio.
Known as the ‘River Cruise Queen’, Jeannine Williamson is an award-winning travel writer, cruise expert and our cruise correspondent, who has clocked up thousands of nautical miles.
Images courtesy of Swan Hellenic