mv Minerva Review and Specifications
Specifications of mv Minerva
|Year built||1996 / Age : 23|
|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|
|Decks with cabins||4|
|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 and 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.
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.
On September 20, 2017 the vessel was acquired by Peter Insull. There is still a chance the ship will be rebuilt or converted into a charter or private yacht.
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.
Shipboard dining options - Food and 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.
Shipboard entertainment options - Fun and 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.