Following in the footsteps of Fred Olsen and Cruise and Maritime, Swan Hellenic have just announced that they’re going to offer cruises that sail both on the ocean and up river!
The Minerva will explore the White Sea and the Solovetsky Islands before sailing along the Loire, Seine and Garonne rivers – as well as the Thames!
Smaller ships like the Minerva have the advantage over “mega” cruise ships such as Anthem of the Seas because they are able to sail in shallower waters.
Speaking about the announcement, Sue Cherrier, (Vice President of marketing for Swan Hellenic) said: “We are excited to have Minerva offer a special combination of ocean and river cruises, which is possible due to her small size. Guests will be able to visit spectacular ports in France and enjoy more inland scenery as they sail along these three rivers, without switching ships. Or they can enjoy an ocean-river cruise all the way in to London offering an extended stay in port.”
The cruises will continue to be all inclusive (which includes shore excursions, port fees and gratuities) as well as offering renowned guest speakers and complimentary wine with dinner on gala evenings.
What’s interesting about this trend is that there’s been a shift in recent years towards ‘mega ships’ that smaller cruise lines (with more traditionally sized ships) have struggled to compete with. Ironically by now offering river cruises these smaller ships now dwarf traditional river cruise ships.
Will the trend for mega ships now reach river cruising or do you think ocean ships offering river cruises will remain a niche market?
Do you like the idea of combining ocean and river cruises?
Let us know in the comments below!