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Ida & Neil Down - Answered a Question by Taylor (16 Sep 07 15:15)

Minerva was the second ships to run under the Swan Hellenic banner, it was probably the best liked by the academic group who used her. When Minerva II came into existence from the Renaissance stable, although Minerva II was a superior ship, Minerva was the preferred vessel. Passengers were constantly asked whether they were "Min oners" as this was a status symbol. Minerva is a small ship which will be run on the lines of a country house hotel and will probably gain as many points as it used to in "Berlitz" as it used to i.e. **** and 1476 scored points. She is a small ship of 12,500 tonnes good facilities and food although the cabins and bathrooms are quite small. She will hold about 400 passengers all of whom are normally offered free tours and one or two extra excursions which are charged for. Entertainment, in the form of floor shows will probably be non-existent but there will almost certainly be a small group plus a virtuoso instrumentalist. Where you will get the most value will be from the guest lecturers who are invariably top in their field and some of whom can send you to sleep in seconds, the rest will be very interesting if you like to be educated..... for that is what you go on Minerva for....to be educated not entertained as was emphatically explained to me by one previously encountered Fellow passenger (actually it was a female but she was also a Fellow if you get my drift. I once heard two passengers talking at dinner and one said " My dear, I've been through the Passenger List and looked in Who's Who and quite honestly there is nobody worth getting to know on this voyage". We still had a great time but there are other fish to fry. Hope that helps.....Neil Dow.

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