Swan Hellenic has scrapped its intended New Zealand and South Pacific itineraries in early 2022 due to the ongoing cruise restrictions in the Oceania region.
The Cyprus-based expedition cruise line will instead now revert to a previously flagged backup deployment for its first of three ships, SH Minerva. That program involves 10 new Antarctica and America voyages, ranging from 10- to 14-days in length.
Three additional itineraries in June and November have also been revealed, including Russia’s Ring of Fire departing Otaru, Japan on 5 June 2022; a 9-day Easter Island expedition roundtrip from Valparaiso, Chile on 11 November 2022; and the 14-day Jewels of the Chilean Fjords from Valparaiso to Ushuaia, on 17 November 2022.
Pandemic cited for program change
Swan Hellenic said the decision to pull the New Zealand/South Pacific program was “in response to Oceania extensions of pandemic isolation measures for international visitors” to contain the ongoing pandemic.
Among those sailings shelved is a 34-day semi-circumnavigation on Antartica from Ushuaia to Dunedin that was slated for 8 February; a 13-day New Zealand in depth voyage to Auckland and a 16-day Pacific Islands sailing to New Caledonia, Vanuatu and the Solomon Islands, concluding in Papua New Guinea.
The 10 new itineraries released will span Patagonia and the Antarctic to Mexico, Alaska and the Russian Far East. Sailings will depart from Ushuaia, Valparaiso, Lima, Panama, Puerto Quetzal, Mazatlán, San Diego, Vancouver and Seward, between February and through to May 2022.
Among the new options are two 11-day expeditions from Mazatlan to San Diego visiting Baha California (departing 16 April 2022) and a US West Coast Exploration onward to Vancouver (departing 27 April 2022).
“Each will be a superb introduction to Swan Hellenic’s new purpose-designed 5-star expedition cruise ship,” Swan Hellenic said.
The in-depth cultural expedition cruises will offer a wide choice of opportunities for wildlife, archaeological and cultural discovery. These range from encounters with penguins, seals and whales to Chilean fjords, glaciers and native settlements, (desert towns), volcanoes, Nazca lines, Moche and Zapotec remote archaeological sites, desert islands with rich marine ecosystems and the extraordinary wilderness areas and glaciers of the North.
“Our team have worked hard to create truly exceptional new itineraries with many varied discovery opportunities,” said Andrea Zito, CEO Swan Hellenic.
“So, although disappointed we can’t explore Oceania (Australia and New Zealand) in first half of 2022 – and of course planning to be there in late 2022 and again in 2023 – we’re very excited to offer these wonderful new cruises to the curious-minded and adventurous voyagers for whom a Swan Hellenic cultural expedition cruise is the natural choice.”
For more details on the new expeditions, go to swanhellenic.com/new-itineraries
Lead image: Auckland | Source: Samuel Ferrara/Unsplash