Diary and pictures of a Swan Hellenic Cruise

Minerva's sun-deckAs promised, or threatened, in a recent Ephems post about the impending demise of the Swan Hellenic cruise line, I have now put a not-too-serious diary of our first and last Swan Hellenic experience on this website (here), along with putting on the Web some photographs taken during the cruise (here).  This Baltic cruise included time ashore in St Petersburg, Gdansk, Tallinn, and several Nordic capitals and other ports, prompting reminiscences about visits to some of these cities in earlier years, as well as reflections on the relative attractions and drawbacks of Swan Hellenic (resolutely serious and scholarly) compared with more down-market cruises (sometimes beginning to resemble Butlins-on-Sea).  De gustibus non est disputandum, or anyway not much.

If you're brave enough to view the pictures, here once again is a Dummy's Guide to navigating around them.  When you have loaded the Flickr page of thumbnails (miniatures of the pictures), click on the first thumbnail to see a larger version, then click the left-hand thumbnail of the two (or three) over on the right of the screen to see the next one, and so on. To see any picture full size, click "All Sizes" at the top of the main picture; then use your browser's 'Back' button to get back to the previous screen for the next picture.  To see all the pictures as a slideshow, click “View as slideshow” to the right of the three thumbnail pictures on the right of the main picture, underneath the heading “BrianB’s Photostream”.   Otherwise just click whichever individual thumbnails on the first page that opens look worth viewing full size, remembering that there are three pages of thumbnails of cruise pictures (click 'Next' at the bottom of each).  

Any questions?


2 Responses

  1. tree says:

    Hi Brian, I came across your website while looking around for reviews for Swan Hellenic and found it very informative to read of your trip. I have been given the opportunity of cruising with them in Jan 2007 totally free of charge as a guest of a friend and can't quite decide if it's something I'd enjoy. The ship visits Barbados, Venezuela, Dutch Antilles, Panama, Equador and Peru which on the face of it sounds amazing but I don't know if I can bear to be on a floating hotel for 2 whole weeks, especially if the company is as 'dry' as you portray. I've always avoided a cruise for fear that there's no escape! However, sounds like I'd learn a good deal what with the lectures and escorted trips ( are they extra?) and I've never ventured that far afield, so …. Perhaps you could highlight the very best things about being on a cruise if you have a moment, followed by the very worst and that would help me to make a decision! Many thanks, Tree

    Brian replies:  Since it's totally free, I can't imagine any reason for not going.  The itinerary looks fascinating and the other passengers might not be quite as dry as they were on the Baltic cruise:  anyway, no great harm if they are.  Swan Hellenic dies in April so give it a go while you can!  Most of the excursions are included in the basic cruise price.  The good and bad features of cruising are best judged by each individual for him- or herself.  Have a look at the main cruise websites (P&O, Cunard, Swan Hellenic, Princess, Saga, the Cruise Line, etc.) and decide for yourself. 

  2. j says:

    you complain about civil libertys and yet you get holidays like that ? were lucky if we can take our kids to shipley glen you pretentious middle class champagne socialist try our lifestyle & then speak