Swan Hellenic has announced its 2024 worldwide program, encompassing polar regions and cultural expeditions to the coastlines of the Mediterranean, Northern Europe, Africa, Madagascar, Canada, the Caribbean, and more. Next year’s 50-plus itineraries are offered aboard SH Vega and its larger sister ship, SH Diana, ranging from 7 to 21 nights. Each voyage is accompanied by seasoned guides and renowned experts, scientists and explorers.
Swan Hellenic’s five-star launch vessel, SH Minerva, which debuted in December 2021, had previously been flagged to sail the Kimberley and Papua New Guinea (among other destinations) in 2024, but its future schedule currently remains up in the air, LATTE can reveal.
SH Minerva had also been flagged to launch in the Kimberley this season, but — as LATTE revealed in March — that program was shelved with the vessel still moored in Fray Bentos in Uruguay. Stemming back to its original ownership, Swan Hellenic has been trying to acquire the company that owns the 76-stateroom ship for six months.
Unlike SH Vega and SH Diana, there are now no itineraries listed online for SH Minerva.
Where SH Vega is heading
SH Vega will explore the Antarctic Peninsula from Ushuaia until early March 2024, then operating a 21-day South Atlantic Semi-Circumnavigation cruise, visiting Gough Island – seabird capital of the South Atlantic – and Tristan de Cunha on her way to Cape Town, South Africa.
Following it will be cultural expedition cruises up the West Coast of Africa and on to Lisbon, Portugal, before coasting the Atlantic seaboard to Honfleur, France. Celtic discovery voyages of Cornwall, Ireland, Wales and Scotland will then take SH Vega into Iceland, Norway and the Arctic for her summer season deployment. In September, she’ll cross from Greenland to Halifax, Canada and southward to spend October and November deep in the Caribbean and Brazil through to the end of November 2024.
What is installed for SH Diana?
The 96-berth (maximum 192 guest) SH Diana, which is outfitted with tender boats as well as expedition zodiacs, will be based in Antarctica until late February 2024, when she’ll turn north into the Chilean Fjords and up the entire West Coast of South and Central America to La Paz, Mexico. Returning south to take the Panama Canal to unlock Cuba, she’ll proceed up the East Coast of the United States to Halifax, Canada. From here, she’ll cross to Greenland in late May for her Arctic Season.
In the second half of July, SH Diana will leave Tromsø, Norway, sailing south for the fjords, Scotland and Holland. Making her way down the Atlantic Seaboard, she’ll enter the Mediterranean for in-depth summer exploration of the cradles of culture that inspired the creation of Swan Hellenic in the fifties.
In early October, she’ll transit the Suez Canal and Red Sea to explore the Seychelles, Madagascar and South Africa through until late November. SH Diana will then leave Cape Town for the semi-circumnavigation voyage to the Antarctic Peninsula and Ushuaia, arriving in early December for the start of her next Antarctic season.
Standout itineraries in the range include In Shackleton’s Footsteps on SH Diana, which relives historic events in Antarctica, to Pristine Islands of West Africa on SH Vega that explores the Bijagós Archipelago, all 88 islands of which are a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. Unspoilt Wilds of Southwest Africa on SH Vega is also worth singling out since it includes expeditions to encounter the extraordinary wildlife of the Loango National Park in Gabon and Conkouati-Douli National Park in the Republic of the Congo, neither of which are accessed by any other cruise company.
Andrea Zito, CEO of Swan Hellenic, says: “We’re truly delighted with the fantastic itineraries our experts have curated for 2024, enriched with exciting new destinations, including Cuba and the Bijagós islands. We’re now offering an unrivalled choice of worldwide opportunities to see what others don’t with unique style and personalisation”.