Swan Hellenic – Minerva, the pioneers of discovery cruising in the UK, will once again be sailing south for winter 2009/10 to remote continent of Antarctica. This will be the last opportunity in a while aboard Minerva to explore the rugged scenery of the Falklands Islands, South Georgia, the South Shetland Islands and to the Antarctic Peninsula itself - passengers booking now will save £1,555pp!

Minerva is ideally constructed for these waters and takes exploring Antarctica to a new dimension. Passengers can cruise in comfort and style in the company of just 200 like-minded travellers (Minerva normally berths 320 passengers on summer cruises) – making for an intimate and unforgettable experience.

The award-winning Minerva Antarctic Expedition is an adventure experience without equal, exploring islands of rare beauty in the South Atlantic. Amid the spectacular landscapes that range from pristine ice cliffs to volcanic beaches and jagged peaks, Zodiac inflatable craft allow travellers to access sheltered inlets for close cruising and to admire the abundant wildlife at close quarters. Crossing the Scotia Sea to the tip of Antarctica, passengers will step ashore to a cacophony of wildlife including king and chinstrap penguins, numerous varieties of seal, majestic Wandering Albatrosses aloft and silent whales breaking through mirrored waters.

Antarctica is like no other place on earth and understanding its mysteries takes a special team. Those travelling aboard Minerva will be in the safe hands of Abercrombie & Kent’s award winning Expedition Team, who share their specialist knowledge as well as their enthusiasm for delivering the geology, history and zoology of the region to a wide audience. For example, as Minerva sails through the South Shetland Islands, guides will vividly describe the Heroic Age of Antarctic expeditions and recount what life was like for the members of Shackleton’s Endurance expedition who survived on the desolate Elephant Island for over four months before being rescued.

Minerva has been operating award-winning cruises to Antarctica since 2003, ensuring the perfect mix of adventure and exploration whilst still providing the on board comforts. With Minerva’s passenger capacity reduced, all travellers will enjoy the benefits of an outside cabin and with a crew of 146, passengers are at a privileged ratio that ensures they’ll want for nothing. There are also welcoming comforts, including complimentary parkas, backpacks and on board bar drinks including champagne (excluding premium brands), and a personalised post-cruise journal will bring the experience back to life in the years to come. Photographs and a diary depicting highlights of the cruise are also posted on Swan Hellenic’s website http://www.swanhellenic.com/antarcticlog.

The Minerva Antarctic experience is one people will cherish and find hard to equal. It’s no wonder that Condé Nast Traveller rated Minerva “the world’s best Antarctica expedition ship” two years running.