Heritage Expeditions Expands to Four Ships – Other Cruise News: “New” Swan Hellenic Prepares Two New Ships – Ovation of The Seas Idle After 2021 US Alaska Season

by Kevin Griffin

Three stories this week, two involving expedition ships and one involving the ship left over after the Alaska season – after a series of cruise ship withdrawals from the Australian cruise market.


Heritage Expeditions Expands To Four Ships

Learn, discover, experience and travel responsibly with Heritage Expeditions of New Zealand.Heritage Expeditions (Logo)

Heritage Expeditions was founded in 1985 by Rodney and Shirley Russ (Rodney was a biologist working for the New Zealand Wildlife Service), as a way of increasing awareness and conservation of the natural world. Family-owned and run (now run by Rodney and Shirley’s sons – Aaron and Nathan Russ), with headquarters in Christchurch, New Zealand, Heritage has long held the view that conservation and responsible travel are great partners.

Heritage Expeditions' Heritage Adventurer

Heritage Expeditions’ Heritage Adventurer

Heritage Expeditions operates its own expedition ships, which are renowned for their strength and manoeuvrability and are perfect for exploring the world’s most remote coasts and shorelines.

Largest is the 40-berth expedition ship “Heritage Adventurer”, smallest the 18-berth expedition yacht “Heritage Explorer”, and these two are accompanied by two 50-berth polar research vessels.

Heritage Expeditions' Heritage Explorer

Heritage Expeditions’ Heritage Explorer

The long-time fleet member “Spirit of Enderby” (registered as “Professor Khromov”) and the “Akademik Shokalskiy”.

Heritage serves the following destinations: Antarctica, the Subantarctic Islands, the South Pacific and the Russian Far East.

Each authentic, small ship expedition cruise is meticulously planned and led by world-renowned team of expedition staff and crew (biologists, botanists, naturalists, ornithologists and historians) with enormous wealth of experience, knowledge and passion for expedition travel.

Heritage Expeditions' Spirit of Enderby

Heritage Expeditions’ Spirit of Enderby

This ensures that expeditions maximise the opportunity they have to learn, discover and experience as much as possible about the region, amazing local flora and fauna, fascinating history and culture), while at the same time minimising the environmental impact of their visit.

Heritage Expeditions are real experts in their field and having welcomed thousands of happy guests (many returning as well) on board their expedition ships, they know how to deliver a truly wonderful and memorable expedition to remember.
For dates and prices, go to the Expedition Calendar at: https://www.heritage-expeditions.com/calendar/

Akademik Shokalskiy (Photo cruisemapper.com)

Akademik Shokalskiy (Photo cruisemapper.com)

The new flagship ”Heritage Adventurer” served for many years as Hapag -Lloyd Cruises’ top expedition ship, ”Hanseatic”, when she held the world’s highest expedition ship score in the Berlitz Guide to Cruising.

Specifically designed and built for Polar expeditions in 1991 in Finland (with 14 Zodiacs), she is often referred to as “the Grande Dame of Polar Exploration” and provides spacious, stylish and comfortable voyages for 140 guests.


1) Russian Far East – Hokkaido – 03 -15 Jun 2022 – 13 Nights,from $7.950.
2) Russian Far East – Russia’s Ring of Fire -15 -28 Jun 2022 – 14 Nights,from $9.450.
3) Russia’s Far East – Siberia’s Forgotten Coast -28 Jun -10 Jul 2022 ,14 Nights, from $ 9450.

4) Russia’s Far East – Where Russia’s Day Begins – 10 – 24 Jul 2022,15 Nights, from $10,250.
5) Russian Far East – Across the top of the World – 24 Jul – 07 Aug 2022 and 07 – 21 Aug 2022 and 21 Aug – 04 Sept 2022 ,15 Nights ,from $ 11.450.

6) Russian Far East – Jewels of the Russian Far East – 04 -25 Sept 2022, 21 Nights, from $ 13.950.
7) South Pacific – Indonesian Explorer -11 – 25 Oct 2022,15 Nights,from $ 8.250.
8) South Pacific -Discover the secrets of Melanesia -24 Oct-09 Nov 2022 ,17 Nights,from $ 9.445.

9) Subantarctic Islands -Galapagos and the Southern Ocean  -23 Nov- 04 Dec 2022 and 18 -29 Dec Dec 2022 ,12 Nights,from $ 8.450.
10) In the Wake of Scott and Shackleton – 03 Jan -03 Feb 2023 and 02 Feb – 01 March 2023 ,28 days, from $ 26.950.

For reservations please call +44 (0)20 7723 2450 or UK Freephone 0800 526 313. North American residents can all toll free on 1-800-516-6950

“New” Swan Hellenic Prepares Two New Ships

Seventy years after its first pioneering cruise, Swan Hellenic is due to return to the world’s waters with two brand new expedition ships, the ”SH Minerva” and the ”SH Vega”.

Swan Hellenic's new expedition ship (Artist impression, July 2020)

Swan Hellenic’s new expedition ship (Artist impression, July 2020)

The ships are be being completed by Helsinki Shipyard in Finland and will combine the latest polar ice-class technology with stylish sophisticated interiors.

Labelled ‘Scandi-luxe’ Chic, spacious and well-planned cabins feature generously sized bathrooms, comfortable in-room dining facilities and unobstructed views from cabins and public spaces.

The intention is to provide a relaxing background that allows guests to be fully immersed in breathtaking scenery. The Swan Hellenic story began in the 1950s when a British travel agent, Swan’s Tours, operated by a father and son (W.F. Swan and R.K. Swan), were invited to organise a tour of the antiquities in Greece.

Following its success, a full programme of cruises was developed with writers, academics and clergymen invited to feature as guest lecturers.

“Ovation of The Seas” Idle After 2021 US Alaska Season

With the end of the 2021 Alaska Season last week, one large cruise ship, the 4,160-berth ”Ovation of the Seas”, was left behind in Seattle harbour.

Ovation of The Seas (Courtesy Royal Caribbean International)

Ovation of The Seas (Courtesy Royal Caribbean International)

An information bulletin stemming from the Port of Seattle gives more information:

“Royal Caribbean International’s Ovation of Seas will continue to spend more time around Puget Sound in the coming winter months under minimal operations. Currently, she is anchored in Yukon Harbor in Kitsap County, where the U.S. Coast Guard determines the berthing locations. She’ll spend approximately one week at anchor before heading out to coastal and international waters. She’ll then return to Pier 66 for the day on Friday, Nov. 12 for provisioning, bunkering, and crew movements. Then it’s back to Yukon Harbor and other movements out to sea before coming back to Pier 66 on Monday, Dec. 13 for more operations during the day. While in our waters, Ovation of the Seas utilizes marine gas oil (MGO), a low-sulfur fuel. In between these locations, it will be very possible to continue to see the Ovation of the Seas throughout our area.”

(Kevin Griffin is managing director of The Cruise People Ltd in London, England. For further information concerning cruises mentioned in this article readers can visit his blog)

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