mv Minerva


Cruise line
Small Cruise Lines

Current cruise:
16 nights / 17 days, one-way from Muscat to Piraeus
04 Mar, 2018 - 20 Mar, 2018

mv Minerva Review and Specifications

Specifications of mv Minerva

Year built 1996  /  Age : 22
Flag state Bahamas
Builder T. Mariotti (Genoa, Italy)
Owner Levante International Trading Co
Speed 13 kn / 24 kph / 15 mph
Length (LOA) 133 m / 436 ft
Beam (width) 20 m / 66 ft
Gross Tonnage 12900 gt
Passengers 320 - 394
Crew 160
Passengers-to-space ratio 36
Decks 6
Cabins 197
Decks with cabins 4
Last Refurbishment 2012
Former names Saga Pearl, Explorer II, Alexander von Humboldt

Review of mv Minerva

MV Minerva cruise ship has a long history - from a planned Ukrainian (USSR) spy vessel to an upscale smaller-sized liner catering to UK passengers with country-house hotel atmosphere and a tendency for educational travel.

History - construction & ownership

The first Minerva ship was built in 1989, originally named "Okean" (Soviet Union research vessel). The deal fell through and in 1996 Minerva was bought by Swan Hellenic (subsidiary of P&O at the time). After 2003 when the ship's lease ran out, it was operated briefly as "Saga Pearl" (by Saga Cruises). Later the vessel was chartered to "Abercrombie & Kent" as "Explorer II" for itineraries to South America and Antarctica. For a short period, MV Minerva also sailed for Phoenix Reisen as "Alexander von Humboldt". In July 2007, the ship was acquired by the re-launched company Swan Hellenic.

MV Minerva cruise ship

The 12,892-ton, 350-passenger ship Minerva was last refurbished in 2012 for USD 17 million. During the refit, the vessel received 32 additional balconies, forward-facing observation bar lounge (Orpheus) on top deck, internet lounge, extension to Shackleton Bar, outdoor walkaround promenade deck, new amenities and facilities in each cabin.

In 2017, the UK-based cruise comany Swan Hellenic was acquired by G Adventures. With the purchase, G Adventures added small-ship cruises to its adventure travel itineraries. The acquisition followed Swan Hellenic's administration procedure (January 4, 2017). All future bookings (over 13,000) were cancelled and fully refunded.

Cruise itinerary program

MV Minerva itinerary program is based on a World Cruise, as well as sailings in Asia (calling at Singapore and Hong Kong), Suez Canal and Mediterranean cruises leaving from Athens/Piraeus, Venice and Rome. The new shipowner's itinerary program is not yet announced (as of 2017).


Accommodation is the area that received much attention during the 2011 refit of mv Minerva. The new thirty-two balconies that had been added to the cabins and suites on ship's Sun Deck, in addition to the already existing 12 balcony suites on the Bridge Deck, brought the total to 44 cabins with balconies onboard. The remainder of the outside cabins feature windows or portholes. There are also 46 inside cabins, and 4 cabins across all grades that are equipped for wheelchairs. Certain cabins are designated for single use, as the line carries a large number of solo passengers.

Dining options - Food & Drinks

All meals on board Minerva take place in the Swan Restaurant on the Main Deck, or in the Veranda, which is a buffet-style informal cafe.  The food in the MDR is typical English fare like the one found in a good restaurant. The most creative dishes are the meat dishes and the soups. Many menus reflect the area in which the cruise ship is sailing, and a lot of ingredients are locally sourced.MV Minerva cruise ship

Entertainment options - Fun & Sport

The greatest strength of Swan Hellenic are the lecture programs, so there is little of the typical cruise entertainment onboard mv Minerva. In the Darwin Lounge on the Main Deck guests can enjoy a young quartet singing and playing a variety of instruments. Special solo concerts are also played in the evenings. The crew of mv Minerva puts on one show during the voyage.MV Minerva cruise ship

Photos of mv Minerva

mv Minerva ship related cruise news

mv Minerva Itineraries 2018

The below listed mv Minerva cruise prices on 2018 itineraries are only indicative and Per Person (in US dollars, based on double occupancy). These are the cheapest Small Cruise Lines fares on the ship’s lowest category cabins available for booking. Cruise fares typically change with departure dates approaching, last minute deals, discounts, promotions, independent travel agency offers.

Itinerary ports
Colombo cruise port

18 February 2018 13 nights / 14 days, one-way from Colombo to Muscat
Prices starting
from $2995
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18 Feb      Departing from Colombo, Sri Lanka   
20 Feb 11:00 - 19:00     Tuticorin, Thoothukudi, India   
21 Feb     Cochin, India   
23 Feb 13:00 - 19:00     Mangalore, India   
24 Feb - 22:00     Mormugao, Goa, India   
26 Feb 07:00 - 19:00     Mumbai, Bombay, India   
28 Feb 07:00 - 18:00     Porbandar, India   
03 Mar      Arriving in Muscat, Oman   

Muscat cruise port

04 March 2018 16 nights / 17 days, one-way from Muscat to Piraeus
Prices starting
from $1945
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04 Mar      Departing from Muscat, Oman   
08 Mar 07:00 - 17:00     Salalah, Oman   
11 Mar 07:00 - 17:00     Djibouti   
15 Mar 07:00 - 23:00     Safaga, Egypt   
17 Mar     Suez Canal   
19 Mar 07:00 - 14:00     Heraklion, Crete, Greece   
20 Mar      Arriving in Piraeus, Athens, Greece   

Piraeus cruise port

20 March 2018 13 nights / 14 days, one-way from Piraeus to Civitavecchia
Prices starting
from $2545
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20 Mar      Departing from Piraeus, Athens, Greece   
21 Mar     Corinth Canal, Greece   
22 Mar 08:00 - 18:00     Kefalonia Island, Argostoli, Greece   
23 Mar 07:00 - 15:00     Sarande, Albania   
23 Mar     Corfu Island, Kerkyra, Greece   
25 Mar     Dubrovnik, Croatia   
27 Mar 07:00 - 18:00     Brindisi, Italy   
29 Mar 07:00 - 15:00     Messina, Taormina, Sicily, Italy   
30 Mar 07:00 - 18:00     Palermo, Sicily, Italy   
31 Mar     Naples, Italy   
02 Apr      Arriving in Civitavecchia, Rome, Italy   

Civitavecchia cruise port

03 April 2018 13 nights / 14 days, one-way from Civitavecchia to Lisbon
Prices starting
from $2095
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03 Apr      Departing from Civitavecchia, Rome, Italy   
05 Apr 07:00 - 14:00     Portoferraio, Elba, Italy   
06 Apr 09:00 - 19:00     Toulon, France Riviera   
07 Apr 07:00 - 17:00     Sete, France   
08 Apr     Tarragona, Costa Daurada, Spain   
10 Apr 07:00 - 18:00     Palma de Mallorca, Majorca Island, Spain   
12 Apr 07:00 - 19:00     Motril, Spain   
13 Apr 07:00 - 19:00     Gibraltar, UK   
14 Apr 07:00 - 20:00     Cadiz, Spain   
16 Apr      Arriving in Lisbon, Portugal   

Lisbon cruise port

17 April 2018 12 nights / 13 days, one-way from Lisbon to Portsmouth
Prices starting
from $2045
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17 Apr      Departing from Lisbon, Portugal   
19 Apr - 22:00     Porto, Leixoes, Portugal   
20 Apr 07:00 - 18:00     Vigo, Spain   
22 Apr 07:00 - 17:00     Bilbao, Spain   
23 Apr     Bordeaux, France   
25 Apr - 18:00     La Rochelle, France   
26 Apr 08:00 - 19:00     Lorient, France   
27 Apr 07:00 - 18:00     Brest, France   
28 Apr 11:00 - 18:00     Guernsey, St Peter Port, Channel Islands   
29 Apr      Arriving in Portsmouth, England