Swan Hellenic is delighted to announce that Minerva will be returning to India and the Far East in Winter 2010/11. The selection of captivating new itineraries includes visits to Oman, India, Sri Lanka, Malaysia, Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand and the Philippines. With fares from just £1225pp, visiting this fascinating and beautiful part of the world has never been so tempting.

Swan Hellenic’s planning team has looked to achieve a subtle balance of retaining world class destinations whilst introducing new ports of call never before visited by Minerva. So while she will visit Dubai, Chennai, Singapore, Hong Kong and Bangkok, Minerva will also return to Sihanoukville in Cambodia, Penang, Port Kelang, Manila and Phuket. Maiden ports include Sur in Oman, Belawan in Indonesia and Lahad Datu in Borneo. The planning team has researched the best places to visit in each destination, uncovering hidden gems such as Ghandi’s birthplace in India, the tropical beaches of Langkawi, Malaysia, the Royal Palace in Phnom Penh, the bustling streets of Hanoi and the nature trails in some the best preserved forest in Borneo – including a visit to the orangutan orphanage in Sepilok.

These new itineraries take advantage of Minerva’s small size visiting ‘off the beaten track’ destinations and ports beyond the reach of larger ships. For example, she will sail up the Chao Praya River to the heart of Bangkok and berth in the centre of Ho Chi Minh City when visiting Vietnam. Other highlights include sailing in the backwaters of Kerala, Cochin, cruising in Halong Bay, visiting the silk town of Hoi An in Vietnam and spending Christmas and New Year’s Eve cruising off the coast of India.

Minerva is returning to the Far East after spending several years exploring the Antarctic in the winter months. Colin Stone, MD of Swan Hellenic comments “We’ve listened to the requests of our passengers and what they have asked for is exotic destinations and winter sunshine - so what better way to provide this than by a voyage to the Far East. We are always striving to increase standards and it’s encouraging to see that our efforts are being so well received.”

A hallmark of any Swan Hellenic cruise is its comprehensive programme of distinguished guest speakers who uncover the stories behind each destination, allowing passengers to see the Far East from a fresh perspective. Minerva’s knowledgeable team of guest speakers and tour guides enrich passengers’ experiences with their expertise and insights of the local culture, ensuring travellers get the most out of their inclusive shore excursions.