SH Vega: Luxury meets Expedition

The world of expedition cruising is expanding rapidly. Swan Hellenic is emerging as one of the most innovative and competitive brands in this increasingly important and rapidly evolving segment.

Cruising Journal participated several months ago in the launch of SH Diana, the second vessel in the Swan Hellenic fleet, during a splendid event held in Amsterdam. Instead, living the experience of several days aboard SH Vega allowed us to discover many additional details, which add to the charm and elegance of these ships that we had already observed.

The ships of the Swan Hellenic fleet feature a highly intuitive and practical layout of onboard spaces, allowing guests to immediately orient themselves and explore the various venues to discover their beauty and comfort. What surprised us is certainly the elegance and refinement of the furnishings, tastefully and subtly coordinated throughout. Colors that convey warmth and relaxation, ideal for welcoming us after days of discovery and exploration, even in harsh and challenging climates.

A ship of approximately 10,600 tons accommodating up to 158 passengers means ample space available, both indoors and on the outer decks. Synonymous with service quality and comfort in spending time onboard, which we enthusiastically experienced aboard SH Vega. The hybrid diesel/electric propulsion ensures high sustainability, confirmed by onboard practices for environmental protection and meticulous adherence to all regulations imposed by protected regions, which are the heart of Swan Hellenic itineraries. A sense of environmental respect is conveyed to passengers through explanations, lectures, and through small gestures guests can also make, such as using their own bottles at dispensers instead of plastic bottles, etc.

The range of accommodations onboard is extensive, with even the basic suite category offering above-average size rooms, along with a series of comforts and a particularly elegant design. A classic and modern style simultaneously, distinguishing itself both absolutely and, above all, within expedition fleets. Deck 4 welcomes guests aboard SH Vega with the Reception and Concierge, allowing them to immediately perceive the elegance and relaxing atmosphere of the ship. Facing this is the Swan Restaurant, characterized by its brightness and a very relaxing atmosphere. On one side, there is a buffet used for breakfast and lunch, but also other dishes such as hamburgers and grilled dishes served plated during lunch. For dinner, it transforms into an elegant venue with impeccable service and truly excellent dishes. Another feature that goes beyond the traditional offering of expedition ships, often focused on essentials.

The focal point of onboard life is Deck 7. At the bow, the vast Observation Lounge serves both as a theater for presentations and an evening venue, with a dedicated bar and large windows that allow guests to enjoy the panorama. Sofas and armchairs alternate with small works of art, creating the atmosphere of a yacht despite being on a true expedition vessel. In the aft area, the Club Lounge serves as a restaurant for breakfast and lunch, with a rich buffet available during flexible hours, a truly appreciated initiative compared to the general restriction of hours on expedition fleets. The outdoor area hosts the Grill, enhancing the buffet offering with high-quality hamburgers, meats, and fish grilled to perfection. In the same area is the Infinity Pool, also a rarity in this segment, allowing guests to gaze over the stern during a rejuvenating swim.

Deck 8 hosts the gym and the Spa. Both are larger than generally available on ships of this category, allowing guests to immerse themselves in a completely relaxing environment during itineraries that can prove demanding due to the desire to explore and discover as much as possible. The Spa stands out for its large sauna with a beautiful sea view and an outdoor hot tub, allowing guests to continue observing their surroundings while enjoying a warm bath. Among the outdoor ship areas, the Stargazing Deck allows continued observation, accessed at the highest point of the ship. At the bow, seats invite guests to enjoy the sea breeze and at night, the stars, often clearly visible due to the darkness surrounding the ship.

Everything needed to transform the cruise experience into a true adventure journey is found on Deck 3, home to the Basecamp and the Expedition Lab. The first area serves as a preparation area for landings with ample lockers and a waiting room. The Lab allows for deepening knowledge of minerals and other materials that can be observed in polar regions and other extreme zones characterizing Swan Hellenic itineraries. The Library is also rich, with many volumes dedicated to places traditionally visited by the fleet and the nature that distinguishes these regions.

In the panorama of expedition fleets, whose evolution has accelerated greatly in recent years, we notice in Swan Hellenic the ability to have created a very clear identity, the result of a series of choices that we firmly believe will bring results over time. Its philosophy centered on cultural cruises is reflected both onboard, with experts engaging passengers on nature in all its particularities, and on itineraries, with a continuous search for new ports of call and small gems to discover beyond the usual routes. At the same time, the particularity of ships like SH Vega and its sister units is to offer guests an atmosphere of great luxury and elegance, allowing for an unexpected combination of comfort and the complete expedition experience.

Excellent dining, with rich, refined dishes capable of satisfying both the eyes and the palate, is an additional value that adds to all this. A detail we noticed aboard SH Vega in all our experiences, from the main restaurant to snacks, to elegant dinners where a truly refined atmosphere can be felt. The extremely prepared and available crew completes the circle, guaranteeing extraordinary service, not stiff and formal but at the same time impeccable and dedicated to making the experience of each guest unforgettable, even aboard.

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Gabriele Bassi