Swan Hellenic have launched their new Europe 2012 season with itineraries that offer exciting discovery cruises to destinations including The Baltic, British Isles, Norway, France, Ireland, the Mediterranean and the Black Sea before sailing through the Eastern Mediterranean to Oman.
As well as focusing on the core areas known best to the company, after more than 50 years of planning cruises, the Swan Hellenic team are still discovering new ports to visit, including Akrajord in Norway and Ostende In Belgium, which gives passengers the opportunity to visit the Flanders Fields of WWI and hear the ‘Last Post’ at Ypres.
Minerva will be returning to her new homeport, Portsmouth, for a number of cruises throughout the Europe 2012 season including Treasures of the British Isles an itinerary created in association with the National Trust, a maiden voyage to Akrafjord in a Midsummer in Norway and Gardens of the Celtic Fringe – which allows passengers to visit a number of renowned gardens in Ireland including Tresco Abbey Gardens, Lost Gardens of Heligan and Giant’s Causeway.
Swan Hellenic’s specialist planners have used their many years of destination and excursion expertise to develop fascinating new shore excursions – many of which are included in the overall price of the cruise. The planners are present on many cruises throughout the season to ensure that the itineraries they’ve designed are delivered in the way they have intended them to be.
Highlights of the new Europe 2012 season include:
· In the spectacular 15-day Treasures of the British Isles, planned in association with the National Trust, Minerva visits a number of National Trust properties including Wallington in Northumberland, Plas Newydd, the ancestral home of the Marquess of Anglesey, Greenway, the holiday home of Agatha Christie, as well as the spectacular Snowdonia National Park and the Giant’s Causeway. In addition, passengers are able to visit the Castle of Mey – previous residence of the Queen Mother, following a call at the Scottish port of Scrabster. Departing 06 June 2012, prices start from AUZ$4,535 per person.
· The 15-day A French Accent sailing on 05 July 2012 visits the new port of Ostende in Belgium and Minerva takes guests on a journey experiencing the art of Amsterdam, Monet’s garden at Giverny and a renowned wine region of Bordeaux. A supplementary full day excursion to the D-Day landing beaches is also a highlight feature of this cruise, as is guest speaker Professor Richard Holmes, a military expert. Prices start from AU$4,470 per person.
· Hellenic Highlights takes passengers back to the very essence of where Swan Hellenic began, pioneering discovery cruising. With over 50 years of local knowledge within Greece and Turkey, Hellenic Highlights boasts visits to the Cycladic Islands Ephesus, Aghia Sophia in Istanbul and Agamemnon’s Hilltop Citadel to name but a few features of this famous cruise. Departing 29 August 2012, prices start from AU$3,815 per person.
· Delve into the ancient world surrounding the Black Sea with the 15-day Black Sea Odyssey. Cruise highlights include visiting the Sumela Monastery in Turkey, Livadia Palace in the Ukraine and St Stephen’s Church in Bulgaria. Departing 12 September 2012, prices start from AU$4,640 per person.
· A Byzantine Legacy takes passengers along the spectacularly narrow Carinth Canal – so slim that many cruise lines are unable to make the journey through. Cruise highlights include an overnight at the Venice mosaics of Ravenna, visit to Pompeii Volcanoes of the Mediterranean and the key cities of Dubrovnik and Split. Departing 10 October 2012, prices start from AU$4,180 per person.
As part of the discovery nature of the cruises on offer, all sailings are escorted by guest speakers carefully selected for their specialist subjects, bringing destinations to life. All speakers are relevant to the destinations, cultures and experiences on offer and include a number of NADFAS (National Association of Decorative and Fine Arts Societies) and National Trust speakers.
The guest speakers for the new Europe 2012 season incorporate names such as Professor Iain Stewart, who has been featured in a number of BBC science programmes onboard Treasures of the Near East, archaeologist Sir Barry Cunliffe CBE on South to the Mediterranean and author of the twenty-volume series of cultural guides to the Greek Islands, Mr Nigel McGilchrist, who will speak onboard Hellenic Highlights.