Swan Hellenic, the pioneering cultural expedition cruise company, has announced the successful completion of its 2022-2023 Antarctic season, with its second purpose-designed ice-class ship, SH Vega, reaching Cape Town, South Africa. The 20-day voyage was filled with breathtaking moments, including encounters with curious orcas and a group of over 100 playful humpback whales, as well as visits to new and rarely-visited locations south of the Lemaire Channel. The ship’s first Antarctic season saw it take around 1,200 guests on 11 cruises, exploring singularly spectacular regions and locations.
The Antarctic season was not just a success for the guests but also for Swan Hellenic, with its Instagram followers growing from 5,000 to 30,000 in just 4 months. The company’s CEO, Andrea Zito, expressed his pride in the guests’ wholehearted appreciation of the SH Vega’s first Antarctic cultural expedition cruises and looked forward to taking guests to discover unique sites along the West African Coast for the first time in the company’s history.
The cultural expedition cruises were a unique blend of adventure and knowledge, with guests mixing with specialist lecturers and seasoned expedition guides who offered eye-popping insights into the geography, wildlife, and cultures of the places explored. Guests also participated in leading citizen science programs, contributing valuable data obtained during their expeditions and on board.
SH Vega’s Antarctic season was a technically demanding one, with the ship’s crew and expedition team managing to complete more than 120 expeditions in almost 5 months, despite some challenging weather conditions. The crew’s expertise and the ship’s exceptional seakeeping characteristics meant that the comfort of the guests was never compromised, and they were able to experience an average of two expeditions a day.
One of the highlights of the Antarctic season was a 2-hour Orca encounter at Useful Island, in which a group of curious orcas lingered and played around the ship. Another memorable moment was a long hike from Whalers Bay up to a stunning viewpoint, completed by over half the guests. The guests also explored the South Shetland Islands and South Georgia, sailed through the Drake Passage, and finally arrived in Cape Town via Gough Island and Tristan da Cunha, the most remote island in the world, last visited by a ship in 2019.
In conclusion, Swan Hellenic’s Antarctic season was a resounding success, with guests experiencing unique cultural expeditions, breathtaking moments, and unforgettable experiences. The company’s fast-growing interest and the success of its cultural expedition cruises mark the beginning of an exciting new era for adventurers with curious minds. As SH Vega embarks on a series of unique cultural expedition cruises of the West Coast of Africa, Swan Hellenic is set to continue its legacy of providing unparalleled adventure and knowledge to its guests.