For the past few years, Swan Hellenic (which had long been owned by P&O) was part of Carnival Corporation after that behemoth acquired P&O. Carnival Corp. chairman Micky Arison's long stated belief that small cruise lines weren't part of his business model (and Swan Hellenic indeed was small; it operated just one ship) had sounded a preliminary death knell for the beloved line.
Don't ask for whom the bell tolls; it tolled for Swan Hellenic last year when it was announced that Carnival would transfer its Minerva II to sister line Princess Cruises -- and that effectively would be that. The ship will still transfer on April 7; after a refurbishment it will become known as Royal Princess.
Lord Sterling's next task will be to find a new ship for the line. We’ll keep you posted.
--by Carolyn Spencer Brown