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SWAN HELLENIC’S MINERVA COMPLETES MAJOR MULTI-MILLION DOLLAR REFIT

Written by: Cruise News

March 8, 2012.

Swan Hellenic’s Minerva sailed recently from Portsmouth, England on her first Spring cruise following an extensive multi-million dollar upgrade program. The 350-guest Minerva, now offering more balcony suites than ever before and a wider selection of expansive new public areas, is gearing up for an exciting new era of discovery cruising.
Minerva’s impressive enhancements include a number of new and improved features such as:

• The addition of 32 new balconies added to existing staterooms, increasing the number of balcony suites to a total of 44 suites representing 23% of total accommodations. New Egyptian cotton bed linen is available in all balcony suites.
• New Orpheus Lounge & Bar, a stunning wrap-around forward observation lounge with expansive panoramic views, serves as an exciting new evening venue offering dancing and entertainment.
• The expansion of the popular Shackleton Bar – with its warm, inviting décor and intimate ambience – includes new picture windows offering mesmerizing views
• New Livingstone Lounge, ideal for relaxing or reading
• New outdoor “walk around” Promenade Deck
• New en-suite facilities in all 181 staterooms
• New dedicated internet lounge and new Wi-Fi available throughout the ship
• New shaded areas on both Bridge and Sun decks
• Guests are now able to enjoy engaging talks from eminent Guest Speakers from three onboard venues

The ship also features a comprehensive library of approximately 5,000 volumes, many written by Guest Speakers past and present; two dining rooms offering open seating dining, which allows passengers to dine with their friends; plus the gym and spa services have also been relocated and upgraded.

A new video showcasing Minerva’s key enhancements, along with new cruise podcasts featuring Summer 2012 itineraries, can be accessed at www.youtube.com/swanhellenic. Minerva’s upgrade is the first major work on the ship since its original remodelling from a spy ship vessel called ‘Okean’ (named after the Ukrainian shipyard where it was being constructed).

“Minerva’s renovations mark a new chapter in the long history of Swan Hellenic and underline All Leisure Group PLC’s commitment to the future of this popular ship, enabling it to remain at the forefront of cultural discovery cruising for years to come,” explains Colin Stone, Managing Director of Swan Hellenic. “We took on board feedback from our passengers to ensure the major refurbishments allow the ship to continue to appeal to our loyal customers but also hopefully appeal to those who are keen to try their first discovery cruise on an intimate ship.”

“We are delighted to be able to offer more balcony suites for our North American market and we look forward to welcoming our guests aboard to experience the new Minerva for an unforgettable journey to new lands,” adds Ivonne Brown, Vice President of Sales & Marketing, North America.

Many of Minerva’s inaugural spring cruises around the Canary Islands, Mediterranean and Black Sea are already “sold out.” Her new 2012 itineraries, ranging from 14-to-56 days include Summer/Fall cruises to the British Isles, Northern Europe, The Baltic, Mediterranean, Black Sea, Red Sea and the Middle East; and Winter 2012/13 cruises to majestic ports in the Far East and India.

Minerva, with her elegant British country elegance style, offers a combined focus on destination and enrichment cruising with signature elements of intriguing worldwide itineraries to iconic destinations and hidden gems, distinguished guest speakers and unparalleled shore excursions.

Fares on the exquisite new Minerva start from $1,899 per person (from $135 per day) including shore excursions, all gratuities and port charges based on the March 16, 2012 Vintage Iberia & Italy cruise. Fares are based on double occupancy and subject to availability.

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