Embark on an incredible journey aboard our boutique ship crossing the ocean from Alaska to Russia. This unique voyage takes us around the northern part of the Pacific Ring of Fire from Alaska and the Aleutian Islands to Kamchatka and the Kuril islands in eastern Russia as we circumnavigate the Bering Sea. Magnificent volcanos, waters rich with sea life and cliffs brimming with birds are just a few of the highlights of this epic cruise, as we try to spot brown bears, steller sea lions, whales and puffins on this remarkable adventure to some of the least-visited places on the planet.

Highlights


• Learn from our experts about tectonic activity in the northern Pacific Ring of Fire as we circumnavigate the Bering Sea

• Observe brown bears fishing for salmon in Kenai Fjords National Park

• Look up at the cliffs to see horned and tufted puffin, thick-billed murres and red-legged kittiwake

• Take a dip in hot springs warmed by volcanic activity

• Witness walrus skin boat racing and crafting traditions of Siberian Yupik in remote northern settlements

“Alaska starts here” is the motto of this charming port town situated on Alaska's southern coast that acts as a gateway to Kenai Fjords National Park. This is an epic landscape of dense forest and snow-capped mountains that is home to brown bears and bald eagles. Nearby Exit Glacier gives you the chance to see porpoises and majestic whales flex and flip in crystal-clear waters. The busy harbour has a quaint collection of welcoming cafes, galleries and shops.
An opportunity to experience an unforgettable moment, the Holgate Glacier in Kenai Fjords National Park, gives adventurers the chance to see incredible calving glaciers and hear the thunderous sounds reverberate across the waters. Up close to this huge glacier, a spectrum of colours play on the ice as nearby seals lounge nonchalantly on ice floes and gulls flit all around. Make sure you have your camera ready as this is a sight you’ll want to capture.
Set in a spectacular valley off a narrow fjord, Larsen Bay lies 60 miles southwest of Kodiak and within Kodiak Island’s National Wildlife Refuge; a 2,800-square mile refuge of diverse habitat. Because of this there’s the opportunity to see mighty Kodiak brown bears, deer, sea lions, seals as well as eagles. In 1991, the Smithsonian Institution returned the remains of 756 Alutiiq Natives, a burial that marked the largest repatriation of Native remains ever conducted by the Smithsonian.
Close to the fishing village of Chignik, Castle Bay features a high skyline of surrounding stratified rock, rugged mountains, pinnacle formations and sandstone towers that gave the area of Castle Bay its name. These towering, jagged peaks of contrasting shale, sandstone and conglomerates, indented heavily by the sea, give out different shades in their layers which makes the whole bay distinctively entrancing and act as a famous landmark to ships navigating nearby.
Subject to a small gold rush in the late 1800s, Unga Island is now uninhabited but you will see remnants of its past in the relics of the gold mine and collapsed houses overgrown with beautiful and bright wildflowers. The picturesque Aleutian island, the largest of the Shumagin Islands, has a rare and ancient petrified forest that is beguiling to witness. Along the cliffs, double-crested and pelagic cormorants, common murres and peregrine falcons glide, dart and dive.
A mile-long spit on Amaknak Island in the Fox Islands, Dutch Harbor was one of the few sites to suffer from aerial bombardment in World War II and you can still see concrete bunkers and former gun emplacements. The native Aleut people have inhabited this area for around 9,000 years but the strong influence of the Russian Orthodox Church can be seen in the characteristic onion domes. The sprightly arctic fox and bright-beaked horned and tufted puffins are all residents here.
The island fictionalised in a scene of Rudyard Kipling’s story The White Seal and poem ‘Lukannon’ in The Jungle Book, St Paul Island is the largest of the Pribilof Islands. It is a birding migratory capital - part of the Alaska Maritime National Wildlife Refuge - and it is a breeding ground for more than half a million northern fur seals. The landscape is craggy and uneven with sheer cliffs in a few headlands. Until c. 3,750 BC, the Woolly mammoth roamed these plains.
A remote island in the Bering Sea and part of the Alaska Maritime National Wildlife Refuge, St Matthew Island is recovering its tundra following the uncontrolled release of caribou that were a feature here for 40 years. Massive cliffs give shelter to Brünnich’s guillemots, parakeet auklets and glaucous gulls, while on land arctic foxes move stealthily through plants regaining a hold such as pacific silverweed and purple saxifrage. Polar bears have been known to make an occasional visit.
The gateway to the Russian Far East, this former Soviet military port on Komsomolskaya Bay is at the southern limit of the Arctic ice pack. The town has a small museum charting the history of whaling and fishing and the displacement of the indigenous Siberian Yupik that caused irreversible cultural change. From seal fishing to their renowned dancing, we learn more about Yupik culture on a visit to a settlement at Novoye Chaplino overlooking a picturesque fjord.
Naukan is a deserted Yupik village on Cape Dezhnev where villagers lived on the whaling and fur trade as walrus, seal and whale hunters. Abandoned in 1958 as part of the Yupik displacement, the village was cut off from vital supplies that normally arrived by ship. The Yupik were made to move from their yuranga-tented village to so-called modern settlements, and the inevitable shift has caused irreversible cultural change. Nearby, mysterious whalebone and rock formations overlook the sea.
Conservationists will guide you over soft tundra and point out rare lichens, mosses and wildflowers where scurrying ground squirrels hunt for food. Kolyuchin also has some of the Arctic’s most spectacular bird cliffs, with puffins, guillemots and gulls, and a photogenic walrus haul-out. Off the north coast of the Chukotka Peninsula, this small island was once an important centre for research into polar bears and walruses, one of a number dotted across the Arctic.
Lavrentiya is an important village in Chukotka and to the Chukchi Yupiks. Close to the Bering Strait, this is the home of the Beringia Regatta and Festival which brings together athletes to compete in events such as bidarka - walrus skin boat - racing, alongside cultural group performances. Among colourful red and green houses is the village’s museum with a significant collection of indigenous artefacts reflecting traditions and spiritual culture. Close by are the Lorino hot springs.
An important local attraction, the hot springs are part of Novoye Chaplino area in Chukotka. We will take the Zodiacs to a small lagoon at the southern end of the Proliv Senyavina passage. From there, it is a short hike across the cushiony tundra to the Proliv Senyavina Hot Springs. If you fancy a dip, either hop into the stream heated with the natural hot springs or soak in the small pool. The mysterious Whale Bone Alley is the main attraction on this remote Siberian island off the coast of Chukotka. The eerie archaeological site is lined with 600-year- old whale jaw and rib bones that have been stuck into the ground and erected like archways, some five metres high. This unique 550-metre path is the perfect place to stretch your legs and ponder its mystical origins as either a shrine or a gathering place for hunters to store their food.
Along the southern coast of Chukotka is the settlement of Nunligran, a Chukchi village near Lake Achchen where sockeye salmon come to spawn. Thousands of nesting seabirds - northern fulmars, murres, black-legged kittiwakes, herring and glaucous gulls, pelagic cormorants - roost along the craggy cliffs while ringed seals haul out along the coastline. This is a place where Chukchi people traditionally hunted for whales and walrus. Watch for harbor porpoises, white, minke and bowhead whales, as well as bearded and spotted seals.
Sireniki is one of a handful of traditional Siberian Yupik villages that remain along the southern coast of Chukotka, and is the only one that has not been relocated. Traditionally reindeer herders and whale and walrus hunters, the Sirenik Yupik also had their own Eskimo language, but this has died out. Our Zodiac excursions take us alongside the cliffs where murres, kittiwakes, long-necked black cormorants, stiff- winged fulmarks, glaucous gulls and little auks come to nest.
The gateway to the Russian Far East, this former Soviet military port on Komsomolskaya Bay is at the southern limit of the Arctic ice pack. The town has a small museum charting the history of whaling and fishing and the displacement of the indigenous Siberian Yupik that caused irreversible cultural change. From seal fishing to their renowned dancing, we learn more about Yupik culture on a visit to a settlement at Novoye Chaplino overlooking a picturesque fjord.
Nome is the most famous gold rush town in Alaska (the town’s welcome sign is marked on the state’s largest gold pan). This wind-swept tundra landscape is a haven for wildflowers. Hardy muskoxen forage, bear and caribou roam, and the mountain streams provide a freshwater habitat for spawning wild Alaskan salmon. Excursions include mushing, panning for gold on the beaches and trips to the Bering Land Bridge National Preserve.
Itineraries are subject to change.

Oceanview

$20,156 AUD pp
Oceanview
19 m2 Sleeps 2 Oceanview cabins features 2 single beds, bedroom and living room and a luxurious ensuite bathroom.

Balcony. From

$22,291 AUD pp
Balcony. From
28 m2 Sleeps 2 Features 2 single beds, bedroom and living room, a luxurious ensuite bathroom and your own private 6 sq.m. balcony.

Suite

$29,299 AUD pp
Suite
44 m2 Sleeps 2 Our Suites features a superking bed and separate living room with and a soothing flame-effect fireplace a luxurious ensuite bathroom and a 12 sq.m. private balcony.

Premium Suite

$33,689 AUD pp
Premium Suite
49 m2 Sleeps 2 Our grandest suites features a superking bed and separate living room with and a soothing flame-effect fireplace a luxurious ensuite bathroom, spacious walk in wardrobe and a 12 sq.m private balcony.

Minerva

Vessel Type: Expedition Ship

Length: 115 meters

Passenger Capacity: 152

Built: 2020-2021

Arriving in November 2021, our 5 star elegant Scandi-design boutique ship offers you an intimate setting from which you will be fully immersed in all the sights and scenery of your voyage.

Introducing SH Minerva

Our brand new ship has been designed to journey to off the beaten path destinations and remote polar regions in style and comfort. The ship incorporates a PC5 ice-strengthened hull combined with extra-large stabilisers to make your journey as smooth as possible.

Sophisticated Elegance

We know how important outdoor space is, so our spacious, relaxing public spaces provide wide open, unobstructed views throughout the ship. The destination will always be in view.

Your Wellbeing 

The safety & happiness of our guests is paramount to our 120-strong crew on board as well as our passionate expedition team who'll be serving up thrilling shore excursions and lasting memories.

Cabin Types

Our 76 cabins including 6 suites have all the amenities you will need to feel comfortable including dressing gowns, hairdryers, personal safes and minibars. Our stylish cabins all have desks, a dressing area and comfy seating. En suite bathrooms all feature glass-enclosed rain showers.

Cabin layout for Minerva

Inclusions


INCLUSIONS FOR ARCTIC & RUSSIA FAR EAST CRUISES
• One night pre-cruise hotel accommodation with breakfast
• Transfer from the airport to the hotel on the day prior to embarkation
• Transfer from the hotel to the port for embarkation
• Transfer from the port to the airport on return
• Onboard accommodation
• All meals onboard including room service 24 hours a day
• Coffee, tea, soft drinks & select alcoholic beverages 24 hours a day
• Lecture programmes by our experienced expedition team and guest speakers
• Shore excursion programme led by our expert expedition team
• Branded Swan Hellenic expedition parka
• Use of rubber boots for shore landings
• Basic WIFI inclusion (Premium WIFI available)
• Onboard gratuities & port taxes

INCLUSIONS FOR ANTARCTICA CRUISES
• Return flights: Buenos Aires to Ushuaia or Santiago to Ushuaia
• One night pre-cruise hotel accommodation with breakfast
• Transfer from the airport to the hotel on the day prior to embarkation
• Transfer from the hotel to the port for embarkation
• Transfer from the port to the airport on return
• Onboard accommodation
• All meals onboard including room service 24 hours a day
• Coffee, tea, soft drinks & select alcoholic beverages 24 hours a day
• Lecture programmes by our experienced expedition team and guest speakers
• Shore excursion programme led by our expert expedition team
• Branded Swan Hellenic expedition parka
• Use of rubber boots for shore landings
• Basic WIFI (Premium WIFI available)
• Onboard gratuities & port taxes

INCLUSIONS FOR REST OF WORLD CRUISES
• One night pre-cruise hotel accommodation with breakfast
• Transfer from the airport to the hotel on the day prior to embarkation
• Transfer from the hotel to the port for embarkation
• Transfer from the port to the airport on return
• Onboard accommodation
• All meals onboard including room service 24 hours a day
• Coffee, tea, soft drinks & select alcoholic beverages 24 hours a day
• Lecture programmes by our experienced expedition team and guest speakers
• On shore transfer per port of call
• Basic WIFI inclusion (Premium WIFI available)
• Onboard gratuities & port taxes

Exclusions


• Additional activities such as kayaking, private tours, special arrangements, private Zodiac tours
• Laundry
• Premium wines and spirits
• Purchases in the ship's boutique
• Any spa treatments
• Upgraded WiFi data packages
• Visas where required
• Travel Insurance
• Flights
• Domestic transfers
• Hotel requirements (pre/post cruise) unless otherwise stated in the itinerary description
Minerva
Alaska Small Ship CruiseSmall Ship Cruise
17 Days from
$20,156 AUD pp

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