Swan Hellenic Discovery Cruises THE SWAN HELLENIC
An experienCe tHAt will live witH you Forever
travel in country house style comfort with around
320 like-minded passengers
Discover the history and culture of civilisations ancient
and modern ISSUE 8 | SUMMER 2011
enjoy a tailor-made programme of inclusive escorted
travel with eminent Guest Speakers, who bring
you closer to each destination
Dine in the restaurant of your choice in the company
of your friends
Filipino crew sail home
Be assured of exceptional value for money, including all tips
on board and ashore Discover hidden gems
travel with a British company, established in 1954 in Minerva’s winter
2011 and Summer 2012
SwAn HelleniC DiSCovery CruiSeS 2011 & 2012
Swan Hellenic has been defining the art of discovery cruising for more than 50 years.
Each cruise itinerary is a unique, cultural travel experience, blending world-class sites Celebrate Christmas
with smaller, off the beaten track destinations. Choose from cruises around the Baltic,
British Isles, Norwegian Fjords, France, Ireland, The Mediterranean and the Levant, and new year in the
the Black Sea, Red Sea, North Africa, the Middle East, India and the Far East.
request or view a brochure at www.swanhellenic.com
SwAn HelleniC exCluSive river CruiSeS on tHe
rHone, DAnuBe, rHine AnD rHine & MoSelle 2012
Swan Hellenic is delighted to bring you an exciting choice of award-winning River
Cruises in 2012. Our unique brand of discovery cruising, coupled with A-ROSA’s
superior fleet of river cruisers, means you can enjoy discovering the heart of Europe
with many of the ingredients that mark out Swan’s traditional ocean-going voyages.
request or view a brochure at www.swansrivercruises.co.uk
HeBriDeAn iSlAnD CruiSeS 2012
Hebridean Island Cruises, a sister company of Swan Hellenic, has been setting the benchmark
for luxury cruising since 1989. Featuring fully inclusive shore tours, our small, five star luxury
cruise ship – Hebridean Princess – affords our guests the highest standards of luxury cruise ship
accommodation, together with a level of service from an almost forgotten era.
request or view a brochure at www.hebridean.co.uk
To book or request a brochure call:
0844 822 0688 Latest News
Fares shown are per person based on two people sharing. SWGV01 offer of 50% laundry and Internet usage on board applies to cruises of 28 consecutive days or more.
Fares only apply to new bookings, are subject to availability and may be withdrawn at any time. Booking terms and conditions apply. Travel insurance not included.
Swan Hellenic is a trading name of All Leisure Holidays Ltd ABTA W0302 ATOL 3897.
Lord Sterling has referred to the calibre of our Guest Speakers
and, indeed, a recent online passenger survey revealed that
98% of passengers rated our Guest Speaker programme as
either ‘important’ or ‘highly important’ when choosing a Swan
Hellenic cruise. Almost equally rated in the survey was our
inclusive shore excursions programme which – based on our
Planners’ expert knowledge, gleaned from years of travelling on
board Minerva – ensures that you visit not only the major sites
and cities of the world but also the hidden gems that give a real insight into the
Our first winter back in the Far East has been highly successful with welcome
returns to India, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, the Philippines, Vietnam,
Cambodia, Hong Kong and Singapore. I was fortunate to be on board Minerva’s
‘Islands of the South China Sea’ cruise and thoroughly enjoyed spending the day
ashore in Manila. This Journal records some of the excitement of that very special
While winter now seems a long time ago and we are all enjoying the extended
spring weather we are, nevertheless, already anticipating our return to the Far East
this winter, including our return to Myanmar (Burma) in December.
I hope that, having read this Journal, you will be tempted to join us on board in the
3 latest news and views
An update from Swan Hellenic
To book or request a brochure call:
4 our Filipino crew on board
Minerva reunites families in Manila
Swan Hellenic, Managing Director 0844 822 0688
6 reflecting on our season in www.swanhellenic.com
One of the undoubted strengths and pleasures the Far east
of travelling with Swan Hellenic must surely The Swan Hellenic team report back
Latest News from Swan Hellenic
be the calibre of our Guest Speakers. We
strive to recruit Guest Speakers who are not
only specialists in their field but who are 8 uncovering the Hidden Gems
also excellent communicators who relish the Saskia Vroylk highlights shore
company of our passengers. It is fascinating excursions with Minerva
to listen to our Guest Speakers’ talks in the Minerva’s inaugural portsmouth Cruise the launch of ‘A-rosa Brava’ – This year new website function – Not only does the
Darwin Lounge and then pursue the topic of conversation with 10 Guest Speakers aboard Minerva We are delighted to announce that Portsmouth’s marks the third year of Swan Hellenic website contain details of all our
them while ashore on excursions or on board Minerva while spectacular new cruise terminal is open and ready Swan Hellenic’s river cruises and latest offers, but it now includes a
A look ahead to 2012
enjoying a congenial dinner together. to welcome Minerva as she embarks on her series cruise programme, new ‘Already Booked’ function, enabling you to
Another of Minerva’s strengths is our hard working and of no-fly cruises for summer 2011. The Band of sailing on the high complete your booking form and update your
committed ship’s company who always assure us of a warm 12 Celebrate Christmas in the HM Royal Marines Portsmouth will be playing quality A-Rosa river personal information online. See page 19.
welcome on board. One of the highlights of the past winter season indian ocean Minerva away as she sails for the first time from cruisers. Due to popular
her historic new home on 22nd June 2011. demand, the 2012
lord Sterling meets the Swan lake ‘Swan’
must be Minerva’s call at Manila, where members of our Filipino A special cruise focus With Swan Hellenic sponsoring the first prize of
crew were reunited with their family and friends. A particularly Band musician, Georgina Robertson, who played programme has been doubled, with a range of
the Royal Opera House Friends of Covent Garden
happy day ensued, to be repeated in 2012 when Minerva calls at aboard Minerva’s Christmas and New Year cruise departures featuring the Rhône, Rhine and Danube
14 Farewell to ‘rutters’ last year has written an article following her and a new itinerary introduced for the Moselle and
annual Grand Draw, Lord Sterling was invited
Bohol and Manila. backstage to see the set of ‘Swan Lake’, the ballet in
Paul Rutterford’s reflections on his experience on board, which can be read at Rhine Valley. On Friday 1st April 2011, Managing
I hope you will choose to experience a Minerva cruise this year, production at the time. A picture opportunity not
time with Swan and we look ahead www.swanhellenic.com/library. Director of Swan Hellenic, Colin Stone, and All
when you can enjoy the company of our Guest Speakers and be to be missed, we photographed Swan’s Chairman
to Autumn 2011 Leisure Chairman, Roger Allard, travelled to
assured of attentive service from our Captain, senior officers, Summer 2012 cruises available now next to the iconic Swan Lake ‘boat’.
Frankfurt to attend the launch of A-Rosa’s latest
on board Swan Hellenic team and members of our fine ship’s Swan’s new summer 2012 programme aboard
river cruiser, A-Rosa Brava, which will feature on
company. 16 winter in the Far east Minerva has been launched with fascinating new
our 2012 Rhine and Moselle cruises.
A selection of itineraries for itineraries in the Mediterranean, Black Sea and
Sincerely yours Winter 2011/12 Aegean, and an expanded range of no-fly cruises Moving times – We say a fond farewell to
around the British Isles, France, Ireland, the one of our ‘Yellow Shirts’, Paul Rutterford who
Baltic and the Norwegian Fjords. For a brochure, has decided to move to terra firma. Read Paul’s
18 Behind the scenes featuring winter 2011/12 in the Far East and reflections on his 12 year career with Swan
An update of the new services at summer 2012 cruises, call 0844 822 0688 or Hellenic on page 14.
Lord Sterling, Chairman Swan Hellenic visit www.swanhellenic.com
(Photo by Neil Gillespie)
Minerva – in the Philippines
Crew on board Minerva at the quayside in Manila Ray Millado with his mother
Minerva Chaplaincy – by Father Brian McMahon, Apostleship of the Sea
On each cruise, it is only a question of time before passengers ask me “What do you do on the
ship?” I was once gently chided for being too casually dressed for my exalted position until I ray Millado is currently employed as an Assistant Cook on board Minerva. He is part Filipino and part
explained my identification badge described ‘chaplain’ not captain! Vietnamese, being the Son of Epitacio, a Filipino, and Nguyen Kim Phan, his Vietnamese mother. Prior to
the Vietnam war in 1973 his father for no known reason took Ray and his two brothers from Vietnam to the
When I do answer, the reactions vary from “you are Until Minerva sailed into port all the families Philippines; he was aged two years at that time, leaving his mother and sister in Vietnam.
like a social worker, welfare officer, agony uncle or –” possessed were photographic images. Now the ship
Ray would periodically receive information from his uncle that his mother and sister were safe, but having to
My role - I walk! I walk with the crew in so far as they was real; this is where their son, daughter, father,
remain in hiding in Vietnam, fearful of being captured by the Vietcong soldiers and subject to physical harm. As
wish me to walk with them. Behind ‘crew area’ signs, mother, husband, wife worked. They shook hands with
there is a vibrant village comprising deck, technical, the captain, hotel director, officers and crew, who were time progressed, in 1978, Ray and his brothers were granted citizenship in the Philippines, and were gradually
hotel staff, loosely integrated. This confined space no longer just names. With pride, the Filipino crew integrated into the culture and schooling system.
is their home-from-home during their time on board. showed their families where they lived and worked. Siady Lim, Bartender with his fiancé Mark Anthony Roldan, Bartender and Marita Meanwhile, to supplement the family income, Ray’s father sought and found work – but in Saudi Arabia, leaving
Even now, I am still conscious that when I enter I am a Then when the tour was over they sat on the quayside Girlie Estrella, Receptionist Roldan, Bar Waitress, pictured with their family. Ray and his brothers to be cared for by their uncle. It was during this period that Ray’s father met and married
privileged guest invited into their home. Consequently, and were dined – lunch and tea – by a grateful Swan another woman, who he brought back to the Philippines. She then assumed the role of mother, and Ray and
in our conversations, I don’t introduce important Hellenic for enabling the company to possess a his brothers believed that this woman was the mother they had previously left behind in Vietnam. It was only
topics in case they respond in a manner they think wonderful ship’s company. Passengers commented
will please. Filipinos, especially, enjoy a well-deserved on how the Filipino families live a life of richness that Minerva will be visiting later that they learned from their uncle that this was not the case, and that she was their step-mother. Their real
mother was still in Vietnam. However any news of her whereabouts was not conveyed to Ray.
reputation of not wishing to upset. They take the we seem to have lost with the passing of years. They
first step in confiding and I respond, respecting their were content just to be there in the heat of the sun Manila in the philippines In 1987 his father was unable to work due to heart disease and was required to remain in the Philippines and
soon after he suffered a heart attack and died. Following the bereavement, the step-mother returned to work in
culture, moral standards and religion rather than my
own philosophy. Nine months at sea, two months at
and be happy in each others’ company. No television,
no entertainment, no bored children, just a simple
again in January 2012, on Saudi Arabia so Ray and his brothers were left behind to be raised, once again, by their uncle. Ray at this time
home means, generally, the happiest and saddest delight they were close to the family member on the ‘East of Java’ cruise. was of graduate age and took on any kind of work to supplement the family income. He continued to make
family news is learned while on Minerva – pregnancy, board. Finally, there were the sad farewells, mingled efforts to trace his mother through relatives in both Vietnam and the Philippines; suddenly in 2010 he was
birth, sickness, even death. Then my walk becomes
more personal and intimate. Yet, during these
with a sense of gratitude, to a ship that gave them
a day to cherish. They had walked the ship and the
For more information contacted by a cousin with the news that his real mother was alive and well in Vietnam. His cousin was good
enough to purchase a mobile phone for Ray’s mother and they were subsequently able to communicate for the
dramatic moments the passenger is never aware of ship is very much alive in their hearts and minds. They please visit first time after 37 years.
the pain behind the smile. A Swan Hellenic doctor are already looking forward to 2012 when Minerva will
summed up my walk when he wrote to me, “Not return again to the Philippines. Swan Hellenic – thank www.swanhellenic.com Ray was unemployed at this time, and after receiving advice from a friend he applied to work in the cruise
industry. Subsequently, and by coincidence, he was employed as an Assistant Cook on board Minerva. Then,
only are you always a cheery face for us all to see but you for a magical 7½ year walk.
we have seen fewer crew in the medical centre with after a few weeks he learned that the ship would visit Ho Chi Minh City in February 2011, the home of his
Father Brian meeting families on the quayside
emotional and psychological problems than on other mother. He then realised his dream to see his mother once again after such a long period of time would at last
ships. I am sure that a lot of this is due to the work that be fulfilled. Come true it did indeed and when the ship visited Ho Chi Minh City in February this year, Ray was
you do.” The second most asked question is reunited with his mother after 37 years.
Additionally, I associate with passengers in so far as “how can we help the crew?” Ray and his mother are now planning for her to live with him in the Philippines, and they are looking forward to
they wish me to do so; not just in a religious context Crew live in a compact area and anything that can her coming to visit his own family this year, when Ray will be on vacation. They can then become a family once
as many will testify from witnessing my wearing the be done to improve their communal lives is vital. again, planning for their future and continued happiness.
‘yellow shirt’ on shore excursions. Many passengers Electronics, games, internet and, most definitely,
are interested in crew life so I enjoy availing of karaoke are a must. Crew parties, bingo and the
opportunities to share experiences on crew dynamics, humble soft drink at dinner on a Sunday are eagerly
so they have a better sense of those who serve.
anticipated. Sadly, there is a more serious side; the Our arrival in Manila – by Alison Nevin, Senior Planning Executive
This way, I feel I can enhance the cruise experience
continuous need to help crew financially especially
through crew awareness. It is important they know With a high percentage of the crew being from the Philippines there was a buzz around the ship prior to our
when there is a death in the family.
how much the crew appreciate Swan Hellenic’s care arrival in Manila and the Senior Officers were all working hard to ensure that the crew had a memorable day.
for them by constantly inviting me to return. The Crew Welfare Fund is responsibly ministered by
Each crew member was allowed five visitors to board the ship for a tour to see where they live and work. The
Frequently, I am asked to choose the most difficult the Crew Welfare Committee. How is this funded?
Executive Chef supplied lunch and dinner for all the family and friends – there would not have been enough
and rewarding experiences. That question is easily The main source is through the passenger Sea
answered. Chart Raffle drawn at the end of each cruise. On room on the ship for all the visitors onboard so marquees with tables and chairs were arranged on the
Difficult! I was on Minerva II for its final three months an official Admiralty Chart, the cruise itinerary is quayside.
and I continue to relive the psychological pressure traced, highlighted by illustrations of places visited, Sailing into Manila many of the crew were out on the open decks to watch our arrival and catch a glimpse of
and inner turmoil of a fabulous crew who knew that signed by the senior officers and painted by a crew their loved ones. Captain Biasutti and Father Brian, Minerva’s Chaplain, spent the whole day on the quayside
they might not sail together again. However when member. It is the ultimate, and unique, souvenir of a meeting the crew’s family and friends. The atmosphere was that of excitement and joy as many of the crew
Minerva returned to Swan Hellenic, many were cruise. Tickets are £5 – you can purchase as many
had not been home or seen their families for many months.
as you like – and the draw is on the final evening. A
Rewarding! The exhilarating joy meeting Filipino happy crew equals a happy ship and a happy ship Some very kind passengers offered to serve afternoon tea so that the crew could spend time with their
families in Cebu and Manila earlier this year; how they means an even happier cruise for you. Please, if you Father Brian McMahon, Paul Carter, Cruise families, which was greatly appreciated.
embraced me into their family lives with so much love; can, show solidarity with the crew by supporting the Director, Captain Giovanni Biasutti and
not only humbling and enriching but one of the most
One of the stalls on the quayside had t-shirts printed with the picture of Minerva on the front and a list of all
raffle when you are on board. Lech Straszewski, Hotel Director with Willard
memorable moments of my seafaring involvement. the crew members on the back. I am not sure when I will wear it, but I had to buy one as a souvenir of this
John and Ervin de Leon of the Crew Welfare
Thank You Committee. very emotional day.
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Minerva in the Far East Minerva will be
visiting the Far east
December 2011 and
Swan team report 26 February 2012.
to discover more
on the Far East
about this intriguing
destination please visit
Pinnawela Elephant orphanage, Sri Lanka Hoi An market, Vietnam
A Warm Eastern Welcome – by Hugh Leslie, Cruise Director planner’s favourite returninG to tHe FAr eASt
Back east again after an absence of six years, I was preceded and followed by a precision performance on
moment of ‘islands of – by Paul Carter, Cruise Director
interested to see what changes, if any, had taken
massed Chinese drums. the South China Sea’ Having thoroughly enjoyed our recent winters in and around South America
cruise – by Alison Nevin,
The call at Manila was a highlight especially for and the Antarctic it was, nevertheless, with some eager anticipation that i looked
The road from Colombo to Kandy is still frenetic and members of the ship’s company as it gave them forward to a return to the Far east, a part of the world that i am very fond of, and
fascinating with the standard of driving ‘remarkable’ an opportunity to show off the ship to friends
to say the least and the elephants at the Pinnawela and family. Over 600 of them toured the ship Senior Planning Executive have been lucky enough to have returned to many times, since my first visit as a
Junior Assistant purser on a p&o world cruise on the Sea Princess many years ago!
Orphanage have not lost their ability to charm the whilst passengers were ashore on excursions and
visitor. This was my first cruise on board Minerva and I must So it was off to Beijing first of all to escort the pre-cruise China tour. Well clad against
then enjoyed lunch in a specially erected marquee
alongside the ship. say it exceeded my expectations. After many years the cold despite the sparkling blue skies, the visits to the main sites in and around Beijing
Onwards to Galle (now fully recovered from the
spent working on large cruise ships it was a much and Xi’an (The Great Wall, Tiananmen Square, the Forbidden City and, of course, the
tsunami disaster and as tranquil as ever) and bustling Finally to Hong Kong on the eve of the Chinese
more intimate environment than anything I had extraordinary Terracotta Warriors) were highlights in themselves, but these were matched
Port Blair on the Andaman Islands – both much as New Year and the imminent arrival of the Year of the
experienced before. I felt part of the ‘Swan family’ by examples of the extraordinary pace at which China is being developed. Architecture that would not look out of
I recall. Rabbit. The skyscrapers around the harbour seem
immediately and both the crew and the passengers place in any of the world’s modern cities, hotels that are genuinely 5 star by any measurement and a tangible sense
Some new experiences on the Malaysian Peninsula: more numerous and higher than I remember but,
magnificently illuminated, they made an exceptional made me feel most welcome. My hard work and of a real drive for success sit relatively comfortably with vast resources of a fabulous long history. It is this symbiotic
Phuket in Thailand and then a cruise in Krabi Bay. As planning in the office prior to the cruise had paid off Hong Kong
backdrop to a Farewell Party held on deck by the relationship that continues to make China such a fascinating destination.
a bonus here we were able to land those who wished China
pool. and the excursion programme went down very well.
by zodiac on to the beach of Ko Hong Island, usually 25th Jan Full Day Joining Minerva in bustling Hong Kong, our main destination for the cruise was Vietnam. A firm favourite with
One of the highlights of this cruise was Borneo 26th Jan
deserted but on this occasion also the scene of A small group of us moved on to the post cruise passengers and staff alike for as long as Swan Hellenic has been calling here, once again, it didn’t fail to deliver.
filming of the latest Bollywood ‘blockbuster’. Captain tour in China. We were in Xian on New Year’s Eve, and a visit in Sandakan to the Sepilok Orang-utan Victoria Peak Given the brutal and violent way in which the country was brought to the world’s attention in the 1960s and ‘70s,
Moulds moved his blue ship with a Swan on the a day when all Chinese traditionally spend time at Rehabilitation Centre. We took nearly 300 passengers the welcome that Vietnam now affords its visitors could not be more different. A naturally beautiful country, the
funnel to the opposite side of the island as Minerva home with their families. The result? The Terracotta to the 43 sq km centre where there are between 60-80 PHILIPPINE SEA Vietnamese themselves reflect this beauty with a genuine warmth in their welcome to visitors. From the major
was not booked to make a starring role in the film! Warriors seemed to be waiting just for us! There orang-utans living free in the reserve. All the coaches cities of Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City to the delights of beautiful Hoi An and Hué, not forgetting the stunning
Penang followed and then a maiden call at Belawan were very few other visitors and the silent rows arrived and the groups were led down the boardwalk, scenery of Halong Bay, the unspoilt beaches and the rural landscapes, our passengers were treated to a wealth of
on Sumatra for an excursion to Medan. All the usual waited inscrutably in their pits for the perfect ‘photo through the forest to the viewing platform. As we experiences. With the itinerary designed to allow for some ‘independent’ time ashore in addition to that provided
participants were there for this first call – musicians, opportunity’. At midnight we enjoyed a grandstand were approaching the viewing platform the forest was PHILIPPINES
SoutH for our comprehensive shore excursions’ programme, the opportunities to shop, dine ashore or to simply wander
view from our hotel of the fireworks display over the CHINA SEA
dancers, banners etc. and after the excursion had alive with long tailed macaques who were hoping to and explore helped maximise the potential for our passengers to warm towards this fascinating country.
departed the Captain and myself were ‘officially’ city which welcomed the Rabbit. see some of the food meant for the orang-utans. Manila Philippines With Vietnam behind us and coming towards the end of a fabulous cruise, our full day call into Sihanoukville in
welcomed by local officials surrounded by a bevy of Next day, we continued to Beijing for a visit to the There were eight juvenile orang-utans on the feeding 22nd Jan Full Day/Eve
Cambodia proved very popular. A long full day excursion to Phnom Penh was the perfect introduction for many
attractive young female dancers and press cameras. Summer Palace where the ice on the lake reflected platform with two Rangers who had a supply of visiting the country for the first time offering, as it did, glimpses of rural life from the coach windows before
Images on these pages were kindly supplied by our the winter sun. The last day was taken up by a walk
bananas for them. We were told they only ever feed exploring some of the highlights of this vibrant and colourful capital city. A sombre reminder of Cambodia’s
local agent. across Tiananmen Square, through the Forbidden
them bananas so that they get bored with the food own brutal recent history was to be found at the very sobering Tuol Sleng, the High School that was used as a
Back on board, Kuala Lumpur, Malacca & Singapore City and on to the Great Wall. These areas were
they are given and look for their own, more interesting chocolate hills
detention centre during the Pol Pot era.
followed in quick succession and then on to Borneo. busy now. With the New Year celebrations over, the Bohol
food in the forest! Towards the end the Rangers
Mt.Kinabalu still peacefully slumbers over Kota Chinese were in holiday mood and with the weather Philippines With so many Asian countries now looking towards their futures, some at an astonishing rate, others a little more
allowed the long tailed macaques to finish off the 20th Jan Full Day
Kinabalu and in Sandakan the orang-utans awaited bright and sunny (but very cold!) they were out in leisurely, but whilst still safeguarding their magnificent histories, there is such a wealth of opportunities on offer
their thousands. bananas that were left. Two of the young orang-utans
us. They appeared on schedule and one wonders in the Far East that it remains one of my absolute favourite regions and one that I am already looking forward to
spent the whole time sitting on the platform cuddling
whether we came to see them or they came to see us. Were there many changes? Yes there were some, Sandakan Sabah/Malaysia returning to next winter.
each other and eating. I felt very privileged to be 18th Jan Full Day
Later, at a local Chinese Temple, the scheduled 15 but not enough to detract from the fact that this is orangutan
able to see these creatures in as close to their sanctuary
minute photo stop was extended to 45 minutes when a great area to cruise in. I enjoyed my return east
natural habitat as I would ever get to see
I realised that the temple authorities had arranged a and look forward to next winter when one of the Singapore
demonstration of the Lion Dance (performed with highlights will be Minerva’s return to Yangon in them.
the ‘lion’ dancing on the tops of pillars – amazing) Myanmar (Burma). On the walk back out of the forest we 6th Jan Morning
were lucky enough to see an adult female BORNEO
orang-utan with her baby, sitting on the
handrail of the boardwalk. This really was
my personal highlight.
With so many like-minded people on board it
was a very pleasant environment to work in and pare pare Sulawesi/Indonesia
I am looking forward to many more cruises in 15th Jan Full Day/Eve Colin Stone, M
Semarang Cambodia. anaging Direc
the future, next time as a ‘Swan’ and no longer Java/Indonesia
Fort rotterdam Andrew Marsden in Sandakan, Mala tor, in
ysia. Minerva wi
9th Jan Full Day ujung pandang Sulawesi/ Miner va wil l next be visiting Alison Nevin in Malaysia. Minerva will be in Sandakan ll next
a ‘Cygnet’! oms of South on ‘East of Java
Cambodia on ‘Kingd
sasak Indonesia – 14th Jan Afternoon next be in Malaysia on ‘Mysteries of the 05 Januar y 20 ’,
st Asia’, 26 January
Java/Indonesia Komodo Indonesia Ea Indian ocean’, 21 December 2011 and
Minerva will next be visiting this 8th Jan Afternoon 13th Jan Afternoon from Malay to Mumbai, 26 February
padang Bai komodo dragons 2012.
region on ‘east of Java’, BoroBudur Bali/Indonesia lembar
11th Jan Lombok/Indonesia
Welcoming ceremony by Mr Riswan, 05 January 2012. Full Day/Eve 12th Jan Morning
Captain John Moulds and Hugh Leslie Mr Arifin and staff in Belawan
6 Sign up for the latest offers by email – visit swanhellenic.com/newsletter 7
peter the Great’s log cabin
St Petersburg, Russia Corinth Canal transit, Greece
A walk in the Footsteps of Peter A rare opportunity to travel the length of the narrow,
the Great. See the oldest building steep-sided Corinth Canal, which links the Gulf of
in St Petersburg, the log cabin
Corinth with the Aegean Sea. Minerva is small enough
where Peter the Great lived whilst
overseeing the construction of his
to accomplish this memorable transit.
new imperial city. ‘A Classic Spring’ - (25 April - 8 May 2012)
‘St Petersburg & the Baltic’ ‘Venice and the Adriatic’ – (15 August - 29 August 2012)
(22 May - 6 June 2012) ‘A Byzantine Legacy’ – (10 october - 24 october 2012)
phillip the Great’s Gold Symi, Greece
Vergina, Thessaloniki Cruising on board Minerva in Swan Hellenic’s
Wonder at the tomb treasures traditional heartland of Greece and Turkey is a
of the Macedonian kings. A delight. Wander ashore in the small ports of the
highlight from Ancient Greece Dodecanese and Cycladic islands to discover
and a collection to rival those typical villages steeped in history. Pausing at a
found in Egypt. taverna should not be missed.
Callanish Standing Stones ‘Aegean and the Levant’ ‘Hellenic Highlights’
Stornoway, Isle of Lewis (26 September - 10 october 2012) (29 August - 12 September 2012)
Cruise to the remote Outer
Hebrides and see one of the Black
most important megalithic sites
‘treasures of the British Isles’
(6 June - 20 June 2012)
Canal local life
Explore the markets of Mumbai, water puppet theatre
travel by local train and learn Hanoi, Vietnam
Mediterranean Sea Sur, oman about the fascinating work of the After the hustle and bustle of the
Discover the dhow builders Dabbawalas as they deliver lunch streets and markets of Hanoi, enjoy
and fish markets of this remote boxes to thousands. a unique performance at the water
Omani port. ‘Colours of India’ puppet theatre.
‘Along Desert Shores’ (7 December - 21 December 2011) ‘Kingdoms of South East Asia’
port vendres (27 March - 11 April 2012)
Minerva is small enough to Shwedagon pagoda (26 January - 15 February 2012)
access small ports such as Yangon, Myanmar
Port Vendres, a maiden call in Admire the golden spire of this
2012 on the Rousillon coast early Christian Mosaics
St Anthony’s Monastery
revered pagoda. Philippine
of France. Ravenna, Italy
El Sokhna, Egypt
‘Mysteries of the Indian ocean’ Sea
Hidden deep in the Red
‘A Mediterranean Masterpiece’ Basilica of Sant’ Apollinare & (21 December 2011 -
Sea Mountains, this remote
(8 May - 22 May 2012) Mausoleum of Galla Placidia. 5 January 2012)
community forms the largest
Stunning Early Byzantine
and oldest Coptic monastery
Mosaics dating back to 5th & Arabian
6th century AD.
‘A Byzantine Legacy’
‘Egypt & the Levant’ Sea
(11 April - 25 April 2012)
(10 october - 24 october 2012)
Massawa town, eritrea
Discover the faded Arabic,
Andaman China Sea
Ottoman and Italian heritage
of this historic Red Sea Port. Chocolate Hills
Gain a unique insight into Bohol, The Philippines
this friendly African country Visit this delightful tropical island
untouched by tourism. and discover the distinctive geological
‘Along Desert Shores’ formations of the Chocolate Hills,
(27 March - 11 April 2012) so named after the colour they turn
during the dry season.
‘East of Java’
(5 January - 26 January 2012)
A selection of smaller, off the beaten track destinations and sights for Minerva’s 2012 Winter and Summer cruises Indian
By Saskia Vrolyk, Head of Planning, Swan Hellenic
Cruise itineraries for Swan Hellenic are designed with a view of “telling a story” rather than simply linking
together ports of interest. Each port of call attempts to connect a narrative that runs throughout the itinerary,
bringing history, culture and civilisations to life. Our aim is for passengers to return home having genuinely
experienced a destination or region, enriched in the knowledge and experiences gained from the shore excursions
as well as the insight provided by our eminent Guest Speaker talks programme which is carefully entwined to
reveal a fascinating tale of discovery. Galle, Sri lanka
With every itinerary, we aim to create a combination of the well-known, must-see sights, as well as hidden gems Wander through the streets of Stilt Houses of torajaland
fortified Galle where the legacy Pare Pare, Sulawesi, Indonesia
that can surprise and delight. As a small ship Minerva can take advantage of her size and visit some of the smaller of Portuguese, Dutch and British Enjoy magnificent panoramas as
ports that restrict larger cruise vessels. In this way you can get closer to each destination and spend more time in traders lingers. Kek lok Si temple
you journey inland to the Central
‘Mysteries of the Indian ocean’ Penang, Malaysia
port exploring the destination in depth. With our extensive knowledge and experience, we work closely with our local partners and guides to Explore the shrines and temples
Highlands of Sulawesi where the
(21 December 2011- 5 January 2012) animist Toraja community live.
ensure the best access to the true gems of each destination. With a wide choice of inclusive shore excursions in virtually every port, we strive to of the colourful, hillside
‘East of Java’
provide something of interest for everyone. After a Swan Hellenic cruise, you will no doubt take home special memories of your own Buddhist Temple of Kek Lok Si.
(5 January - 26 January 2012)
‘From Malay to Mumbai
experiences ashore. Here is a selection of some of the smaller ports and sights that can be discovered on board Minerva in the coming seasons. (26 February - 12 March 2012)
8 Sign up for the latest offers by email – visit swanhellenic.com/newsletter 9
Minerva – A look ahead to 2012
Speakers for 2012 Sir Michael Llewellyn-Smith Rhodes, Greece
leporC was born in 1967
GoSDen has carried A CRUISING DITTY
in Leningrad, USSR and out archaeological and
studied at St Petersburg anthropological work on by Sir Michael Llewellyn-Smith
State University before being the history of rain forest use
awarded a research scholarship in Borneo and Papua New We are the very models of the speakers on Minerva;
at the University of Vienna. Guinea, as well as excavating
Since 2002 Alexei has been Roman and Iron Age sites We lecture on philosophy with elegance and fervour.
Curator at the Department of in Britain. He is developing Our subjects are well known for their incredible variety;
Western European Art at the archaeological projects in
We hope we never bore you or contribute to satiety.
Hermitage. He has lectured India and China. He worked
at the Universities of Munich, Freiburg and Leicester for many years in the Pitt Rivers Museum, Oxford Bishop Michael can instruct you in the mysteries of theology,
as well as at the Courtauld Institute, the V&A and University and has published on the history of their While Tim can spot a waxwing and discourse on ornithology;
the Royal Geographical Society. Guest Speaker aboard collections. He has published on many aspects of
And Phillip’s erudition on the finer points of botany
Minerva’s ‘the Black Sea’, 16 September 2011 and ‘Venice archaeology, including a recent book on Celtic art.
and the Adriatic’, 15 August 2012. Guest Speaker aboard Minerva’s ‘East of Java’, 05 Ensures that our excursions never suffer from monotony.
January 2012. Ensures that our excursions never suffer from monotony,
Guest Speakers – A preview proFeSSor iAin
StewArt is a geologist and Mr niGel
Ensures that our excursions never suffer from monotony,
Ensures that our excursions never suffer from monotonotony.
by Pam Perry, Planning Administration Manager broadcaster who has a chair in McGilCHriSt was
Geoscience Communication a scholar at Winchester
at the University of Plymouth. College and a First Class There’s dracunculus vulgaris, otherwise the dragon arum,
Our recent online survey revealed that 98% of passengers rated His research interests in graduate from Oxford, and Whose purple form and horrid smell are guaranteed to scare ‘em.
recent geological change has lived and worked in
our Guest Speaker programme as either ‘important’ or ‘highly have featured in several BBC the Mediterranean – Italy,
On Rhodes, up in the hills, we found the mandrake root, mandragora,
important’ when choosing to travel with Swan Hellenic. Our science series, including Earth: Greece and Turkey – for 30 At Xanthos peas and vetch and poppies scattered round the agora.
first ever cruise in 1954 was accompanied by leading academics the Power of the Planet, the years. He is author of the The experts found an iris, hermodaktyl tuberosus,
Climate Wars, and Journeys 20-volume series of cultural
who gave talks pertinent to the sites visited on the inclusive from the Centre of the Earth. Guest Speaker aboard guides to the Greek Islands,
And everywhere Jerusalem sage, the phlomis fruticosa.
shore excursion programme. This winning, and much imitated, Minerva’s ‘treasures of the Near East’, 21 November McGilchrist’s Greek Islands, and of the Blue Guide On one far hill I think we found bellardia trixago.
2012. to the Aegean Islands. He lectures widely in art and Let’s hope, after all this, that no one’s suffering from lumbago.
combination has been the hallmark of a Swan Hellenic cruise archaeology in Europe and the USA.
ever since. Guest Speaker aboard Minerva’s ‘Hellenic Highlights’,
Mr toM HollAnD is an 29 August 2012. Chris Kelly taught the glories of Olympic odes Pindaric,
As ever, our Guest Speakers are drawn mainly from the academic world and include eminent archaeologists, author and historian. Rubicon: While Lesley showed us Minotaurs and statuettes Cycladic.
classicists, historians, geographers, art historians, geologists and military historians among others while the triumph and tragedy
of the Roman Republic, won In short, in matters vegetable, mineral and animal
naturalists, botanists, volcanologists, politicians, authors, diplomats and clerics add extra depth and insights to the
the Hessell-Tiltman Prize We cover every theme from Theodosius to Hannibal.
programme. It is always a pleasure to welcome back established and highly rated Guest Speakers – as it is to invite for History while his second
new Speakers – knowing that their talks will fascinate and intrigue and that lively conversation around the dinner work of history, Persian Fire:
table will be relished by both passenger and Guest Speaker alike. the First World Empire and Excursions to Olympia and Rhodes and Kalamata
the Battle for the West, won Were followed by the soothing words of Cruise Director Carter;
We were saddened to learn of the untimely death of Professor Richard Holmes CBE TD JP who had been
the Anglo-Hellenic League’s
due to join us on ‘A French Accent’ in 2012. He and his wife, Lizzie, had been regular, and extremely popular, Runciman Award. His latest book, Millennium: the With sandwiches and scones and cream and other such frivolities
passengers on Minerva and Richard had enthralled all who heard him speak on military history. We will miss him End of the World and the Forging of Christendom was We surfeited on breakfast, dinner, jolly lunch and jolly teas –
and send our condolences to his family. published to great acclaim in 2008. In 2007 he won the While all the time the skilful hand of Captain Giovanni
Classical Association prize, awarded to ‘the individual
Among the many who will be returning to Minerva in 2012 are Professor Alexei Leporc, a curator at the State who has done most to promote the study of the Enabled us to navigate past every nook and cranny.
Hermitage Museum in St Petersburg (‘Venice & the Adriatic’) and the geologist and broadcaster, Professor Iain language, literature and civilisation of Ancient Greece In short from the Acropolis to Emperor Elagabalus
Stewart, on ‘treasures of the Near East’. and Rome’. Guest Speaker aboard Minerva’s
This cruise on the Minerva has been ABSOLUTELY FABULOUS.
‘A Byzantine Legacy’, 10 october 2011.
Guest Speakers travelling on Minerva for the first time include the historian and author of Rubicon, Persian
Fire and Millennium, Mr Tom Holland, the archaeologist Professor Chris Gosden who has a Chair of European
Archaeology at the Institute of Archaeology, Oxford, and Mr Nigel McGilchrist who has just published, to great
acclaim, a 20 volume series on the art, archaeology, history and natural phenomena of the Greek Islands. They 25 April 2011
will be travelling on ‘A Byzantine Legacy’, ‘East of Java’ and ‘Hellenic Highlights’ respectively. On board Minerva
Our relationship with NADFAS continues to flourish and, in 2012, our popular NADFAS speakers will
(with acknowledgements to W S Gilbert and Arthur Sullivan, ‘I am the very Model of a Modern
include the excellent Mr George Hart, Dr Steve Kershaw, Mr Sam Moorhead, Ms Hilary Hope Guise, Major-General’, the Pirates of Penzance)
Professor Ian Beckett, Mrs Nirvana Romell and Ms Louise Schofield.
Our new relationship with the National Trust, celebrated in our ‘treasures of the British Isles’ cruise, will Sir Michael Llewellyn-Smith cruised aboard Minerva as a Guest Speaker on ‘Flowers of the Aegean’ in
feature two eminent National Trust speakers, Mr Jeremy Pearson and Mr Adrian Tinniswood. April 2011. Other Guest Speakers referred to in the piece are The Rt Revd Michael Turnbull, Mr Tim
Earl, Dr Phillip Cribb, Dr Christopher Kelly and Ms Lesley Fitton. Sir Michael Llewellyn-Smith will be
2012 promises to be an interesting year! joining Minerva again on ‘Aegean and the Levant’, 26 September 2012.
10 For the latest updates on Guest Speakers travelling aboard Minerva, visit www.swanhellenic.com 11
Experience Christmas aboard Minerva
“ We have been cruising for a number of years and have not
experienced such excellent hospitality and service for some time. It
was refreshing to find that all the niceties still exist on your ship and
that all the crew went out of their way to help us enjoy ourselvess.
R. Darlow, Surrey. (Passenger testimonial from Minerva’s ‘treasures of
the East’ cruise last year, 2011)
Christmas in the Indian Ocean
So what can be expected excursion highlights
pinnawela elephant orphanage
aboard Minerva on a traditional Enjoy a visit to the magnificent Pinnawela Elephant
Orphanage where some of the rescued elephants are
Christmas cruise ?
successfully breeding. Rescued calf elephants may
have been abandoned by their mothers, fallen into
ravines during drought periods in a quest for water
or been displaced by development. The orphanage
elegant entertainment, fascinating Guest Speaker talks and a sparkling atmosphere as
attempts to recreate a natural habitat where they can
passengers and crew celebrate. enjoy a Christmas eve Gala dinner followed by carols roam freely during the day, allowing a herd structure
Singapore orchids Pinnawela Elephants, Sri Lanka Golden Shwedagon Pagoda, yangon around the piano and perhaps mince pies in Shackleton’s Bar; indulge in a wonderful to develop.
lunch followed by a black tie Gala dinner on Christmas Day itself and dance on temple of the tooth
Drive through the beautiful scenery of the Hill
deck under the stars! then, after more sightseeing and relaxing on board, see in the Country to Kandy, renowned as an important centre
MYSTERIES of the INDIAN OCEAN new year with another party hosted by the Captain. this year our festive itinerary
cruises the indian ocean and Andaman Sea from Sri lanka to Singapore, discovering
for pilgrims throughout the Buddhist world. At
Kandy you can discover the lakeside Temple of the
Tooth, one of the most holy sites in Sri Lanka, which
DEPART 21 DECEMBER 2011 – 16 DAYS INSIDE FROM £2,350pp – OUTSIDE FROM £3,050pp countries shaped by their colonial past, peoples, cultures and religions as well as is reputed to contain an actual tooth of the Buddha
striking coastal scenery. on his second visit to the island over 2,000 years ago.
Colombo • Galle • Port Blair • Yangon • Penang • Malacca • Singapore
our four Guest Speakers are geographer professor Graham Chapman, historian remote Andaman islands
The Andaman Islands – a remote Indian Ocean
professor Felipe Fernandez-Armesto, botanist Dr phillip Cribb and Canon ralph archipelago of about 184 islands – were once known
temple of the tooth, Kandy Godsall, priest vicar of westminster Abbey. as Kalapani – Black Waters – for their role as a feared
yangon Myanmar penal settlement, but are now renowned for their lush
28th Dec Eve forests and white sand beaches. At Port Blair visit
29th Dec Full Day/overnight the Anthropological Museum and the Cellular Jail
Burma – Canon Ralph Godsall, who has visited
30th Dec Morning built to house political prisoners far from the Indian
mainland. Or discover Ross Island, genteel centre of
Pagoda THAILAND Myanmar (Burma), writes: British Administration. Relaxing on a tropical beach
is another option.
Burma is the most beautiful, friendly and culturally two nights in yangon
BENGAL Andaman Islands interesting Asian country i have visited. Most of the Transit the Yangon River to Yangon, the capital of
population live in the three great river valleys circled Myanmar, where two nights in port allows plenty of
time to discover the city, visit a monastery and absorb
by impenetrable horseshoes of mountains. river life
ross island the city’s Buddhist and local way of life. Admire
dominates the country and still to this day forms the the most venerable pagoda in South East Asia – the
port Blair main system of transportation, irrigation, and offers rich golden Shwedagon Pagoda – which is so sumptuously
Colombo fishing grounds. decorated that even the hollow gold sphere at the tip
26th Dec Full Day
of the spire is studded with 4,351 diamonds (totalling
Sri Lanka In the Chindwin, Irrawaddy and Sadween valleys two millennia of
ANDAMAN 1,800 carats) and a single 76-carat diamond rests of
21st Dec Buddhist art, architecture and archaeology survive, including the three
SEA the very tip. Or travel inland to Bago, ancient capital
22nd Dec Full Day/Eve kandy thousand standing monuments at Pagan (now known as Bagan). There are
of the Mon Kingdom to visit the Shwemadaw pagoda
Pinnawela few other Asian countries with so vast and varied a range of cultural sites.
georgetown and the Htauk Kyant War Memorial Cemetery.
elePhants Almost everywhere are temples and monasteries, festivals and ceremonies.
The Burmese are a deeply pious people and Buddhist activities dominate every aspect of life. Colonial Georgetown
penang Malaysia Discover Georgetown, Penang’s vibrant multi-ethnic
Galle Sri Lanka The Burmese are a very warm and friendly people who, since Independence in 1947, have suffered terrible
2nd Jan Morning main city. You’ll see the impressive Fort Cornwallis;
23rd Dec Morning impoverishment and deprivation, not least from a harsh 50-year military dictatorship and more recently from
visit the magnificent Thai Buddhist Wat Chaiya
Plantations the devastating effects of Cyclone Nargis in 2008. Burma is the land of Bagan, Bago (formerly known as Pegu,
Mangkalaram Temple – housing a gold-plated
the capital of the Mons kings), Mandalay and Moulmein, the revered Shwedagon Pagoda, the astonishing
Botanical reclining Buddha – and the impressive Burmese
Golden Rock Pagoda, merchant adventurer Samuel White’s Mergui Archipelago, and of “the sunshine an’ the
INDIAN oCEAN Malacca Malaysia gardens Buddha temple nearby. Enjoy a visit to the Khoo
palm-trees an’ the tinkly temple-bells.”
3rd Jan Afternoon Kongsi Chinese ancestral home where intricate
One-time port of call for Kipling, Conrad, Orwell, Saki, Malraux, H G Wells and Somerset Maugham, it is a
Singapore carvings and ancestral tables can be admired as well
shining land rich in natural beauty and culture that remains one of the less visited parts of South-East Asia. as strolling through Little India, the centre of today’s
4th Jan Full Day
5th Jan Swan Hellenic’s shore excursion programme is in the planning stage but, in Yangon, is likely to include visits Indian community where you can also see the oldest
to the Shewadagon pagoda, a monastery and excursions to see some of the Colonial architecture. Hindu temple in Penang, Sri Mahamariamman.
12 Sign up for the latest offers by email – visit swanhellenic.com/newsletter 13
Travelling with Swan Hellenic since 1999
A fond farewell Autumn
to ‘Rutters’ 2011 Alhambra Palace, Grenada
paul rutterford, who has been a familiar face to Swan passengers for the past 12 years, has
now decided to move permanently ashore. we wish him the very best for the future. Here A Spanish Summer 19 August – 2 September 2011
he reflects on his years with Swan Hellenic. 15 Days from only £1,805 per person
From the green coasts of Spain and Portugal, to the true home of ‘typical’ Spain, Andalucia, Minerva cruises
It was on the 7th October 1999 that I first joined cruise on Minerva II. The performance was more of
to Spain’s most important naval port, Cartagena, before calling at three of the Mediterranean’s prettiest islands,
Minerva, flying to Venice for a cruise to the Adriatic, a circus act but was much enjoyed by the passengers
Menorca, Sardinia and Corsica.
Mediterranean and North Africa. Little did I know and I must admit, my colleagues and I have never had
• Portsmouth • Sark • La Coruna • Oporto • Cadiz • Malaga • Cartagena • Mahon • Alghero • Calvi • Livorno
that this was to be a start of a travel bug that would so much fun, it was not as what we expected, but it
last more than a decade. In the spring of 2000 I was superb! Guest speakers include: Professor Simon Keay, Dr Philip de Souza, The Rt Revd & Rt Hon Dr Richard Chartres and
Paul Carter, Paul Rutter
joined Minerva as a full time member of sea staff ford, Dr Cathy Oakes.
From 2003 to 2007 Swan operated Minerva II, a Danielle Por ter and An
spending the next three years as Onboard Cashier, drew Marsden
larger ship that allowed us to travel further afield in Cambodia.
travelling throughout Europe, the Middle East, India and in particular to the continent of South America
and South East Asia – all of Swan’s and Brazil. Parintins and the Boi- Hidden treasures of the Adriatic 2 September – 16 September 2011
itineraries and getting my sea legs
too! Over a Bumba Show is a fantastic display
of music, dance, costumes, colour 15 Days from only £2,155 per person
During my time on board there were and Caipirinhas – the Brazil national Whilst we say goodbye Enjoy the late summer sunshine in the Mediterranean and among the beautiful islands of the Adriatic. See two
many fantastic experiences, including
fond memories of passengers I have
decade of drink of cachaca, sugar, limes and
ice – alcoholic lemonade with a kick. to Paul Rutterford, the
of Italy’s active volcanoes, the beautiful cities of Venice and Dubrovnik, and cruise among the scenic islands and
fjords of Croatia. Finally, transit the narrow Corinth Canal, a unique experience.
met, excursions I have escorted
and places visited as well as some of Swanning Parintins is about half way up the
Amazon River between Belem and
Swan Hellenic team • Livorno • Messina • Brindisi • Venice • Pula • Hvar • Dubrovnik • Kotor • Sarande • Itea • New Corinth • Piraeus
Guest speakers include: Mrs Jane Angelini, Dr Caroline Malone, Dr Simon Stoddart, The Revd Robin Griffith-Jones and
the most wonderful people I have Manaus, and is a world away from of ‘yellow shirts’ are
been lucky to work with. A question
that I am often asked is what is
around... what many of us had experienced in
the Western World. looking forward to
Dr David Cordingly.
my favourite cruise or destination The old saying that travel broadens
visited. My instinctive response for Europe has to be the mind is indeed true and in the last three years welcoming you on your Greek and turkish odyssey 30 September – 14 October 2011
venice, which, as this was first point of embarkation 15 Days from only £1,905 per person
to Minerva, is probably very poignant. The red rose
since Swan Hellenic has been operating Minerva
under the ownership of All Leisure Group I have been
next cruise soon.
City of petra is my one ‘must-see visit of a lifetime.’ Cruise the island-strewn waters of the Aegean after the crowds of the summer have disappeared. Discover islands
fortunate enough to have visited the vast untamed
I remember so well the first time that I saw the landscape of Antarctica, one of the most amazing that have inspired artists and poets, UNESCO World Heritage Sites and the home of western medicine. Cruise the
treasury from the Siq. Paul Carter Hugh Leslie Lycian coast, exploring ancient cities and abandoned villages before arriving in the ancient port of Piraeus.
destinations in the world. The feeling that you are
I always enjoy cruise itineraries that take in the coastal close to the natural world can only be appreciated • Istanbul • Thessaloniki • Mythemna • Mytilene • Chios • Milos • Kos • Kusadasi • Fethiye • Nauplia • Piraeus
scenery around the Aegean. The Greek Islands and when you visit this continent, particularly with the Guest speakers include: Professor Christopher Andrew, Canon Ralph Godsall and Professor Sir Barry Cunliffe.
Turkish ports have always been highlights, particularly unique landings on the Antarctica Peninsula and
the ports of call in the Peloponnese; I just fell in love South Georgia.
with Nauplia, Gythion and the surrounding region, My last month on board Minerva was during January
as well as the Turkish coast on the Aegean. Italy is
another favourite, featuring historic cities such as
and February 2011, and I was fortunate to return volcanoes of the Mediterranean 14 October – 28 October 2011
to South East Asia, visiting Borneo, the Philippines,
Lucca, Rome and Florence and ancient sites such as Vietnam, Cambodia and Thailand. During my visit to 15 Days from only £1,900 per person
Pompeii and Herculaneum near Naples and those Phnom Penh in Cambodia I returned to Tuol Sleng, Adil Kyas Paul Cranny Sicily is geographically and historically at the centre of the Mediterranean, its shores lapped by three different
on Sicily. the detention centre and genocide prison used during seas. Discover more about the cultural legacy of this unique island and explore some of the volcanoes of the
A significant part of being a ‘yellow Shirt’, as the Swan the Khmer Rouge regime; very moving and thought Mediterranean that have impacted on civilisations past and present.
Hellenic staff are often called, is escorting the shore provoking. This reiterated to me how privileged
• Piraeus • Katakolon • Pylos • Catania • Naples • Palermo • Lipari • Trapani • Porto Empedocle • La Goulette
excursions in the ports of call. There are many that I have been to visit so many diverse and different
come to mind fondly, including an excursion to the cultures and countries during the last 12 years
little-visited Greek island of Halki, off the west coast travelling with Swan. Guest speakers include: Dr Peter Cattermole, Dr Alan Borg and Professor Keith Ward.
of Rhodes. With a small group we arrived at the port, Since March 2011 I have remained in the maritime
only to find there was no transportation on the island, industry working for a ship management company,
except a pick-up van, which we used to transport which manages a number of cruise ships and super Andrea Chambers Danielle Porter
the Frankincense route 23 November – 7 December 2011
passengers to the small church, beach and then back yachts and one such vessel is Hebridean Princess, 15 Days from only £1,745 per person
to the port for a local lunch. A sign of Swan being operated by Swan Hellenic’s sister company
able to adapt to any situation, and in this case we did
Enjoy a leisurely cruise in winter sunshine from the sites of the Sinai Desert to the thriving modern metropolis
Hebridean Island Cruises. In my role as Marine
not disappoint. of Dubai. Discover Arab and nomadic cultures and follow ancient trade routes down through the Red Sea and
Recruitment Manager I am looking forward to
Local culture is always another highlight and a building on my own career and work experiences around the Arabian peninsula to Muscat and Dubai.
folkloric dinner and performance in Nessebur, to date in the growing and exciting cruise industry, • Sharm el Sheikh • Safaga • Djibouti • Salalah • Muscat • Fujairah • Dubai
Bulgaria, has to be another very memorable whilst still being associated with my friends in the Guest speakers include: Professor Christopher Stillman, Mr Carl Phillips, The Rt Revd Barry Rogerson and
experience. This was experienced during a Black Sea All Leisure Group. Mr George Hart.
14 Sign up for the latest offers by email – visit swanhellenic.com/newsletter 15
Swan Hellenic in the Far East 2011/12
the Far East
F ollowing the unprecedented success of Minerva’s 2010/11 season in the
Far east, we are returning to this region for winter 2011/12 with a
fascinating choice of itineraries, arranged in meticulous detail by our
From Malay to Mumbai 26 February – 12 March 2012
16 Days from only £2,535 per person
The scent of spices on the trade winds, lingering images of former colonial empires and the sights and sounds of
experienced planners. Highlights of this season include a visit to Gandhi’s rural India create a relaxing cruise from Singapore, through the Straits of Malacca and across the Indian Ocean,
to the Indian subcontinent and the Malabar coast.
birthplace in porbandar, india, a chance to experience the fascinating culture • Singapore • Penang • Phuket • Galle • Colombo • Kochi • Marmagao • Mumbai
of vietnam, cruise the Kerala backwaters of india, or explore the exclusive Guest speakers include: Professor Graham Chapman, Professor VT King, The Rt Revd Graham James and
conservation island of Sir Bani yas. Professor Tony Stockwell.
Colours of india 7 December – 21 December 2011 into the persian Gulf 12 March – 27 March 2012
15 Days from only £2,245 per person 16 Days from only £2,490 per person
Cruise the Arabian Sea and Indian Ocean, from the United Arab Emirates to the pearl of the Indian Ocean, Ply the waters of the Arabian Sea from India to the Persian Gulf. A fascinating cruise that contrasts India’s
Sri Lanka. Learn more about Islamic, Hindu and Buddhist cultures and the trade that unites them and explore vibrant cities with the wealth of the Gulf states and explores an ever changing landscape from the colourful
intricate temples, colonial towns and colourful local markets. northern coast of India to the deserts, oases and mountains of the Arabian peninsula.
• Dubai • Khasab • Porbandar • Mumbai • Mangalore • Kochi • Tuticorin • Colombo • Mumbai • Porbandar • Khasab • Abu Dhabi • Sir Bani Yas • Manama • Dubai • Fujairah • Muscat
Guest speakers include: Sir Rob Young, Dr Robert Bradnock, Canon Dr Andrew Wingate and Mr James Parry. Guest speakers include: Mr Robin Kealy, Mr Carl Phillips and Mr James V Parry.
Kingdoms of South east Asia 26 January – 15 February 2012 Along Desert Shores 27 March – 11 April 2012
21 Days from only £3,380 per person 16 Days from only £1,995 per person
A unique and compelling opportunity to discover Vietnam in depth, visit royal Phnom Penh in Cambodia, sail Join Minerva as she cruises the Arabian Sea, following ancient trade routes, discovering modern Islamic
up the Chao Phraya river to Bangkok in Thailand and enjoy Singapore. culture and visiting towns and countries still little frequented by western travellers.
• Hong Kong • Halong Bay • Da Nang • Qui Nhon • Nha Trang • Ho Chi Minh City • Sihanoukville • Muscat • Salalah • Massawa • Safaga • Aqaba • Sharm El Sheikh
• Bangkok • Ko Samui • Singapore Guest speakers include: Dr Alan Borg, Dr Tom Vosmer and Mr Andy Bunten.
Guest speakers include: Mr Michael Saunders, Mrs Kim Jane Saunders and Professor Lord Harries of Pentregarth.
Tailor-make your own Grand Voyage Khasab
Grand indian voyage
30 days from £3,590 per person
7 December 2011 – 5 January 2012
A Grand Voyage aboard Minerva is a wonderful chance to visit a range of fascinating countries An example of one of the popular Grand Voyages is the
and ports in one magnificent holiday, seeing places that are often out of reach to those travelling 30-day Grand Indian Voyage which allows you to spend UAE
by other means. What other way would you be able to discover so many different destinations the festive period cruising the Arabian Sea, Indian Ocean SAUDI
in-depth, yet at a leisurely pace, unpacking once, enjoying the comfort and amenities of your and Andaman Sea, from the land of spices and ancient OMAN SEA India
country-house environment, whilst in the company of a wide-ranging panel of eminent Guest bazaars to the treasures of our colonial past. BAy oF BENGAL
Speakers? Our planners have devised a series of Grand Voyages that can be viewed on our Mangalore
website, but there is nothing to stop you planning your own. With air credits offered on lAunDry We understand the importance of being able to ‘travel port Blair
every cruise, simply combine two or more successive cruises together to tailor-make your & internet light’ and to also be able to keep in touch with loved Kochi tuticorin Andaman Islands/India
ones whilst away for a longer cruise. We have therefore India India
very own Grand Voyage. oFFer ANDAMAN
introduced a special offer for Grand Voyage passengers: Colombo
Sri Lanka penang
A word of caution however, we do recommend booking early to ensure we can Receive 50% off the charges for laundry and internet
usage on board Minerva for the duration of your cruise. Simply quote ‘SWGV01’ Sri Lanka
guarantee the same cabin for the duration of your cruise. oCEAN
when booking your ‘Grand Voyage’ cruise for 2011/12 to receive this offer. Malaysia
(Please note that a dry cleaning service is not offered on board). Singapore
16 Sign up for the latest offers by email – visit swanhellenic.com/newsletter 17
Swan Hellenic – our services update THE SWAN HELLENIC WEBSITE Hebridean
ALREADy BooKED SECTION Princess 2011
The Swan Hellenic website not only contains details of all our cruises but now
also features an ‘Already Booked’ section. Once you have booked your cruise you
can complete your booking form and update your personal information online.
Log on to www.swanhellenic.com, click on ‘Already Booked’ at the bottom of the
page, select Booking Form or Required Passenger Information, insert your booking
number and complete the relevant form.
An eASt CoASt
The ‘Already Booked’ section also contains pages of other useful information such as
Frequently Asked Questions (which covers a wide range of pre-cruise information,
life on board Minerva, the shore excursion programme, etc), copies of all Cruise NEW CRUISE – Join Hebridean Princess as she
sails the stunning waters of eastern Scotland
Books published to date, as well as Chauffeur and other Partner Services. and takes you to castles, historic sites,
Scheduled flying secured for winter 2011/12 gardens, museums and under the
iconic Forth bridges.
we are pleased to confirm that the majority of flights for the winter season will be with our chosen From invergordon to leith
scheduled carrier, British Airways, with some routes also featuring airlines such as Singapore Airlines,
6 – 14 August 2011, 8 nights
up to 50%
Qantas Airways, Cathay pacific, virgin Atlantic and Jet Airways, as well as selected charter operations. CABinS
With British Airways flights, the seats included in your cruise fare are in upgrade to British Airways, Club world SpeCiAl oFFer
the airline’s World Traveller category, with options to upgrade to World DouBle CABin priCe FroM £2,550pp*
• Increased baggage allowance of three checked in bags weighing up to SinGle CABin priCe FroM £5,570*
Traveller Plus or Club World should you prefer. However please be advised
32kgs per bag As a regular passenger with Swan Hellenic,
that upgraded seats are limited in number and subject to availability, so we
• Access to a Club World Lounge before your flight Hebridean Island Cruises is offering you a special
recommend booking early should you wish to choose these options. Loyalty Saving of 50% on double cabins when
• Club World specially designed seat, which offers four preset seat positions, you book this featured cruise on board Hebridean
British Airways, world traveller as well as the flexibility to create your own using the fine adjustment Princess.
• Baggage allowance – One checked in bag weighing up to 23kgs buttons. The 63.5cm wide bed with soft mattress, memory-foam headrest, *Prices shown include the Special Loyalty Saving.
• Three-course meals suited to your flight time and designed by leading chefs comfy quilt and touch button privacy screen is ideal for sleeping
• Complimentary bar service • Personal space includes a desk, in-seat phone and laptop power socket, as TRAVEL PLAN
• Blankets, cushions, eyeshades and flight socks provided well as your own locker, ideal for storage when dining or sleeping Day 1: (6 August) – invergordon
• Personal screen with free of charge headphones to enjoy the choice of in- Embarkation at Invergordon; alongside overnight.
• A complimentary wash bag containing Elemis in-flight skincare products,
flight entertainment. toothbrush, toothpaste, eye mask, earplugs and flight socks
Day 2: (7 August) – invergordon and Moray Firth
Visit Dunrobin Castle, returning to the ship for lunch
upgrade to British Airways, world traveller plus • Club World Menu, inspired by some of the world’s top chefs, with a choice and afternoon cruising to the Moray Firth, where we
of old and new world wines hope to see the resident pod of bottlenose dolphins.
• Increased baggage allowance of two checked in bags (up to 23kgs each)
Berthed alongside Inverness overnight.
• A private dedicated cabin of no more than six rows • The onboard Club Kitchen provides a choice of snacks and beverages
Day 3: (8 August) – inverness
• A complimentary newspaper, cushion, blanket and amenity kit including • Personal 26cm flat-screen with noise-cancelling headphones to enjoy the In the morning take a trip to Culloden with a light
earplugs, toothbrush, toothpaste, flight socks, and eye mask choice of in-flight entertainment. lunch at the visitor centre, and later visit Fort George.
• Laptop power and in-seat phone facility
Day 4: (9 August) – Macduff
• Personal screen with noise-reducing headphones to enjoy the choice of please speak to our reservations team for more information on A morning cruise along the Grampian Coast to
in-flight entertainment. fares and availability for upgrading your flight. Macduff for a visit to Duff House.
Day 5: (10 August) – peterhead and Aberdeen
After a visit ashore to neoclassical Cairness House,
cruise to Aberdeen.
we’re listening … Day 6: (11 August) – Aberdeen and Dundee
We visit the Aberdeen Maritime Museum before an
afternoon cruise to Dundee. Alongside overnight.
The results of our recent online survey reveal that Day 7: (12 August) – Dundee
If you’ve ever wondered what happens to The overall cruise experience for the winter 88% of passengers are attracted to the hidden gems Take a morning tour to Glamis Castle, family home
the Customer Service Questionnaire that season scored an impressive 95% with the of the late Queen Mother. In the afternoon tour
that feature in most of our itineraries with 89%
St Andrews, home of golf. Alongside overnight.
passengers complete at the end of their following aspects scoring by passengers, on of passengers rating the inclusive shore excursion Farewell Gala Dinner.
cruise, you may be interested to learn that average as follows: programme as important when selecting their Day 8: (13 August) – At sea and leith
the results are compiled in percentage Quality of the cruise itinerary ..................94% holiday. Overwhelmingly, 98% of those surveyed Cruise the East Neuk of Fife and, weather permitting,
format and distributed to the relevant Excursion programme ............................92% also rated Guest Speakers as either important or circumnavigate the Bell Rock Lighthouse. Cruise under
internal departments to review and make the famous Forth bridges and back to Leith. In the
Guest Speakers ......................................90% very important when choosing their cruise. evening we attend the world famous Royal Edinburgh
improvements where necessary. Here are With several Guest As we are constantly striving to deliver what is Military Tattoo.
some of the results we have gleaned from Speakers scoring up to ...........................96% important to passengers, it is encouraging to learn Day 9: (14 August) – leith
the 2010/11 season in the Far East: General service in the Disembarkation in Leith.
that our efforts in planning shore excursions and
Of the 1,497 passengers who completed bars and restaurants ...............................96% Guest Speakers are well received. However, we For more information or to
the questionnaires, 96% said they would Friendliness of reception staff .................99%
cruise with Swan Hellenic again so we look Ship’s officers...........................................98%
realise it is never enough to rest on our laurels, make a reservation call
and are constantly listening and responding to
forward to welcoming you aboard soon! Swan Hellenic team onboard .................95% 01756 704704 or visit
your feedback to ensure your cruise experience
lives up to and exceeds expectations.
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