Cruising on the edge of the ice spotting polar bears or seals is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Our boutique ice-class ship takes us to the edge of the pack ice past far- flung Russian islands at the top of the world. Off-limits for years, we step ashore onto land where once mammoth and sabre-toothed tigers roamed. Frozen seas and boggy tundra provide a backdrop where hundreds of polar bears and walruses, puffins, snow geese and rare spoon-billed sandpiper flourish in one of the world’s least frequented areas. Here, in remote lands we get to meet Siberian Yupik who share their traditions with us.

Highlights


• Meet Siberian Yupik and learn about their traditions passed down the generations

• Get up close to the world’s largest polar bear denning ground and largest breeding rookery of Pacific walrus in Wrangel Island

• Learn more about the permafrost and its prehistoric finds from our onboard experts

• Gaze out across the frozen pack ice and spot seals or polar bears resting on ice floes

• Identify hundreds of birds from puffins and snow geese to rare spoon-billed sandpipers

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.
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.
The easternmost point of Russia, here on a clear day, you can see Alaska. It is a good hike up the headland where you will reach a lighthouse and a monument to the Russian explorer Semyon Dezhnev, who rounded the Cape in 1648. Further up the coast is Naukan, an abandoned Yupik village, and Uelen, the only still-inhabited village on the cape. Home to Siberian Yupik Eskimos, Uelen is the closest Russian settlement to the US.
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.
As you cruise to your next port of call, spend the day at sea savouring the ship’s facilities and learning about your destination’s many facets from the knowledgeable onboard experts. Listen to an enriching talk, indulge in a relaxing treatment at the spa, work out in the well-equipped gym, enjoy some down- time in your cabin, share travel reminiscences with newly found friends: the options are numerous.
This mostly low-lying tundra island lies off the coast of the Chukotka peninsula on the west of the Bering strait and is part of the Northern Sea Route, or Northeast passage. Ayon Island’s indigenous Chukchi population are reindeer herders. Many live in Ayon Village, a coastal settlement where we are guaranteed a warm welcome especially at the small museum set up by children. On the outskirts of the village is a Neolithic settlement we can explore.
Also known as Bear Islands - on account of the polar bears that have taken up residence on this isolated archipelago - this far-flung island group is located above Russia, in the inhospitable East Siberian Sea. The arctic flora draws naturalists for wildflowers - buttercups, yellow poppies and rockfoil - lichens and mosses on the hammocky tundra. Natural rock pillars stand sentinel on Chetyrbok Stolbovoy (Four Spires Island), where you can go ashore and hike to see an abandoned weather station.
As you cruise to your next port of call, spend the day at sea savouring the ship’s facilities and learning about your destination’s many facets from the knowledgeable onboard experts. Listen to an enriching talk, indulge in a relaxing treatment at the spa, work out in the well-equipped gym, enjoy some down- time in your cabin, share travel reminiscences with newly found friends: the options are numerous.
Separating the Siberian mainland from the Lyakhovsky Islands, part of the New Siberian Islands, the Dmitry Laptev Strait is named after Russian Arctic explorer Dmitry Yakovlevich Laptev, who was one of the first Russians to live among the indigenous Yupik in the area. It is an area where the sea generally stays below freezing for nine months of the year, but the permafrost is thawing at an incredible rate and cliffs are collapsing into the sea. Prehistoric bones, mammoth tusks, sabre-toothed tiger and other megafauna fossils have all been found on these islands - well-preserved by the permafrost - with some plant material believed to be up to 130 thousand years old. The current flora consists primarily of low-lying grasses, sedges, lichens and mosses. Lyakhovsky Islands are the southernmost group of the New Siberian Islands of which Great Lyakovsky Island has a weather station that was mentioned in Jules Vernes’ novels.
As you cruise to your next port of call, spend the day at sea savouring the ship’s facilities and learning about your destination’s many facets from the knowledgeable onboard experts. Listen to an enriching talk, indulge in a relaxing treatment at the spa, work out in the well-equipped gym, enjoy some down- time in your cabin, share travel reminiscences with newly found friends: the options are numerous.
Forging through these icy Arctic conditions can be a challenge for less-sturdy vessels. Head out on deck as our polar class ship breaks through the pack ice and keep an eye out for specks of polar bears, walrus and seals among the ice floes in the distance. Listen to the ice cracking and groaning while around you is just stillness. Sadly, changing weather conditions means the ice is receding, so store this sight in your memories.
Five islands make up the uninhabited De Long archipelago. Zhokhov Island is renowned for its preserved mammoth remains found in the boggy tundra. On Bennett Island, plumes escaping from the melting permafrost are sometimes visible in space. Thought to be methane escaping, they remain scientifically unexplained. As global warming affects permafrosts, cliffs here are falling into the sea. Shore landings get you close to tundra wildflowers, with possible sightings of arctic fox, lemming and plenty of seabirds.
As you cruise to your next port of call, spend the day at sea savouring the ship’s facilities and learning about your destination’s many facets from the knowledgeable onboard experts. Listen to an enriching talk, indulge in a relaxing treatment at the spa, work out in the well-equipped gym, enjoy some down- time in your cabin, share travel reminiscences with newly found friends: the options are numerous.
Breaching grey and beluga whales, ringed seals and bearded seals swim close to the shore. Inaccessible for much of the year, changing weather conditions mean that in recent years the island is becoming ice-free earlier and earlier, and the occasional finback whale from Mexico has been spotted here. Tundra covers much of this huge island with coastal plains and central mountains creating a rich ecosystem with the highest level of biodiversity in the high Arctic.
Named for the colourful flora and wildflowers on the mossy tundra, such as yellow arctic poppies, Cape Florens helped give the island its unique status as the northernmost World Heritage Site. It is also one of the places we might get to spot foraging Siberian brown and northern collared lemmings (often hunted down by snowy owls), alongside Wrangel’s other inland fauna species - arctic foxes, wolverines, muskoxen and reindeer.
Observe the only permanent colony of nesting snow geese in Asia as you hike across the tundra to the Mammoth River. Twitchers might glimpse other tundra- loving birds including spoon-billed sandpipers, peregrine falcons, arctic tern, gulls and skuas who feed on this ancient, protected natural reserve. Nearby are the relics of a 3,400-year-old Paleo-Eskimo camp. At Devils Creek, the 180° meridian passes through, although the International Date Line lies to the east of the island.
As you cruise to your next port of call, spend the day at sea savouring the ship’s facilities and learning about your destination’s many facets from the knowledgeable onboard experts. Listen to an enriching talk, indulge in a relaxing treatment at the spa, work out in the well-equipped gym, enjoy some down- time in your cabin, share travel reminiscences with newly found friends: the options are numerous.
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

$22,241 AUD pp
Oceanview
19 m2 Sleeps 2 Oceanview cabins features 2 single beds, bedroom and living room and a luxurious ensuite bathroom.

Balcony. From

$24,588 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

$32,290 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

$37,115 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
19 Days from
$22,241 AUD pp

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1800 107 715

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