Dublin officially welcomed Swan Hellenic’s elegant ice-class fleet SH Vega as she completed her inaugural voyage around the UK and Ireland on Saturday – and ITTN’S Allie Sheehan and Paul Micheau were onboard.
Beginning in Portsmouth and finishing in Dublin, passengers explored the spectacular British and Irish coastlines on the Land of the Celts, 11-night cruise. Travelling around the west coast of Ireland, visiting Bantry, Dingle and Galway before heading up to Scotland, then back down to Wales, and across to Dublin – there was plenty to see on route.
From the dockside taverns in Penzance, the white sands and translucent green sea surrounding the Scilly Isles, and the craggy cliffs and Victorian lighthouse on Dingle. Visitors saw the puffin-popular RSPB seabird centre on Rathlin Island, paused at the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Giant’s Causeway and Causeway Coast, and sailed through deep lochs to the Isle of Skye – all before arriving in Dublin.
On June 3, the media and members of the cruise and travel industries from Ireland visited the ship. SH Vega is now on her way travelling from Dublin to Reykjavik, via the dramatic coastline of Ireland, Scotland and the spectacular Faroe Islands, to continue her cultural expedition cruising programme. She will travel the world in 2023/2024, including to Swan Hellenic’s flagship destinations, the Arctic and Antarctic regions, on a series of unforgettable, epic voyages..
Mario Bounas, General Manager, UK & Ireland, said: “We’re delighted to have been in Dublin and to see SW Vega on her inaugural arrival here. She is an exceptionally striking and versatile five-star vessel. Moving forwards, we are looking forward to offering Irish guests a wide variety of extraordinary in-depth experiences seeing what others don’t”.
Swan Hellenic is the expedition cruise company to travel with to see the Arctic, Antarctic, and Rest of the World – from Brazil to Papua New Guinea, Norway to New Zealand, Australia to Africa, and Madagascar to the Mediterranean.
Operated by an onboard team of 120 experts, SH Vega will offer 152 guests elegant and spacious five-star accommodation in 76 generous staterooms and suites, many with balconies.
Named after the brightest star in the constellation Lyra, SH Vega has been specially designed to investigate the most inspiring and inaccessible places on earth, with extensive outside deck areas and multiple observation points for a truly immersive experience. She also features a state-of-the-art gym, sauna, superbly equipped restaurant and cellar, club room and swimming pool with poolside grill. To take guests ashore are the customary expedition zodiacs and importantly, a Polar Class 5 ice-strengthened hull plus extra-large stabilisers make the journey as smooth as possible.
In addition, Maris, is a new partnership with chef association JRE-Jeunes Restaurateurs. A pre-planned programme sees the Maris chefs come on board SH Vega to create dishes and give culinary lessons. Chef Arjan Kuipers (restaurant De Ertepeller in Netherlands) is on board the Dublin – Reykjavik leg and created the gala meal on board.