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SH Vega Review

4.5 / 5.0
33 reviews
See all photos
Editor Rating
Very Good
Rebecca Barnes

Swan Hellenic relaunched in 2020 as an expedition cruise line offering a premium expedition cruising to all seven continents.

Featuring elegant, Scandi-inspired design and state-of-the-art technology that allows the ship to remain in place without having to drop anchor on fragile sea beds, the 152-passenger SH Vega features three dining venues, a 360-degree viewing platform at the bow and 76 spacious cabins including six suites. Eighty percent of cabins feature a balcony.

Facilities include 12 Zodiacs, eight kayaks, a small spa, gym, infinity pool, sauna with a view and large jacuzzi, while the ships’ small size enables it to make landings that bigger ships cannot.

SH Vega nicely fills a gap in the premium expedition market, appealing to those looking for an upscale expedition cruise experience with many inclusions, in a similar vein to Viking and Ponant.

SH Vega Deck Plan Reflects an Elegant Design Arranged Over Nine Floors

SH Vega is compact and easy to get around. The ship is arranged over nine decks and there are two lifts for accessing decks 3 to 8.

SH Vega Deck Plan Includes a Lounge, Pool Grill And Infinity Pool

SH Vega is compact and easy to get around. The ship is arranged over nine decks and there are two lifts for accessing decks 3 to 8.

Basecamp, a large, functional area on deck 3, is the starting point for landings and kayaking adventures – expect a locker for every stateroom, water machines, and plenty of space in which to get changed. Also on this deck is the beauty salon, library which doesn’t have much in the way of seating, and science lab.

The hub of the ship is reception on deck 4; here you’ll also find a self service launderette featuring three washing machines and three dryers; Swan Restaurant which can accommodate all guests in a single sitting and is positioned just above water level, and 16 Oceanview staterooms including one accessible stateroom.

Balcony staterooms, suites and premium suites are arranged over decks 5 and 6; also on deck 6 is the Swan’s Nest observation platform (accessed via deck 7). Forward staterooms on this deck (601-616) are situated underneath the Observation Lounge which is the main gathering hub after dinner, so some noise might be a possibility.

The Observation Lounge on deck 7 includes a bar, large screen and small shop, and affords excellent views thanks to its large windows, alongside lots of comfy seating. At the aft is the Club Lounge, which leads out to the Pool Bar & Grill and infinity swimming pool.

One deck up you’ll find the gym; sauna with windows overlooking the jacuzzi; spa and the Bridge, which often has an open bridge policy. Walk up the stairs to the split-level stargazing deck.

SH Vega Rooms And Suites Are Spacious And Elegant

Featuring a chic Scandi style, there are 70 spacious cabins and six suites arranged over three decks. All room categories including Oceanview, Balcony and Suites, feel high-spec thanks to the clever use of space and quality of the fixtures and fittings. The majority have large balconies, and all categories feature unique holographic flame-effect fireplaces which are a real focal point.

The majority of accommodation is on Deck 5. There are two mid-ship suites on this deck and four additional suites on Deck 6. Two of these (628 and 629) are situated in the aft, so are not ideal if you suffer from motion sickness since cabins at the front and back of the ship feel more movement – especially on Antarctica voyages, which seasickness can be a problem.

The most popular balcony staterooms are on Deck 5 and 6 midship. The one accessible stateroom (415) is an Oceanview, on Deck 4 near reception.

Rooms to avoid include the balcony cabins on Deck 6 forward as these are directly under the Observation Lounge and therefore might be subject to noise in the evenings. In addition, Oceanview staterooms 405,406, 407 and 408 are situated opposite the self-service launderette.

All room categories, including Oceanview, Balcony and Suites, feel high-spec. The majority have large balconies and all categories feature holographic flame-effect fireplaces which are a real focal point.

Cabins are styled in neutral tones, soothing soft woods and marble, with a separate living area, excellent storage, personalized lighting options including night lights and dimmer switches, robes and slippers, and a luxurious and spacious bathroom with full-sized Italian toiletries.

SH Vega Features Regional And International Dishes

Situated on Deck 4, Swan Dining Room is the main venue for breakfast, lunch and dinner, serving regional and international cuisine both buffet style and a la carte. There's an open seating policy with lots of space, seating for all guests and large windows.

There are daily "always available" items and Swan Hellenic's Culinary Ambassadors' Selection dishes, as well as vegetarian options. Internationally acclaimed chefs are behind the menu creations, so the food is of a very high standard and caters to all tastes and dietary requirements.

Guests looking for a lighter breakfast or lunch, as well as afternoon tea, head for the Club Lounge on deck 7, this informal living room-style space, includes seating booths and a feature fireplace. The Club Lounge leads out to the al fresco Pool Grill and Bar, the venue for occasional themed dining when the weather permits.

There is no coffee shop, but hot drinks are always available in the Club Lounge. Room service is also available 24 hours a day.

SH Vega COVID Rules

For the most up-to-date testing, masking, and vaccination requirements aboard SH Vega please refer to Swan Hellenic.


SH Vega is a new-build ship with excellent service and spacious staterooms.


Kayaking costs extra; there’s only one accessible stateroom.

Bottom Line

Small ship fans will appreciate the facilities, enrichment and curated itineraries on Swan Hellenic's elegant new polar-class expedition ship.


Passengers: 152
Crew: 120
Passenger to Crew: 1.27:1
Launched: 2021
Shore Excursions: 182


Included with your cruise fare:

  • * Return regional flights to the port of embarkation and/or disembarkation (where specified)

  • Group return transfers from the airport to the cruise port (via our included accommodation where applicable)

  • One night pre-cruise accommodation with breakfast in a 4/5-star hotel or onboard

  • All meals onboard

  • 24-hour room service

  • Coffee, tea, soft drinks and selected alcoholic beverages available 24-hours per day

  • Lecture programs by our experienced expedition team and guest speakers

  • Standard Wi-Fi

  • Onboard gratuities and port taxes

Not included with your cruise fare:

  • * Airfares to and from the destination port

  • Kayaking

  • Spa treatments

  • Premium wines and spirits

  • Boutique purchases

Fellow Passengers

Who Is On Board?

The guest profile is international and includes families, couples and groups. Ages range from teenagers to travelers in their 80s and 90s.

Some passengers have cruised before, while some are new to cruising. Many are on bucket list vacations, while some are last minute bookers due to travelling in and around Argentina.

For solo travelers there is a gathering on the first evening.

There is one accessible Oceanview stateroom including a fully operable wheelchair access wet unit. There are two lifts on board, however there is no special equipment facilitating access to the pool, jacuzzi and sauna.

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More about SH Vega

Where does SH Vega sail from?

SH Vega departs from Reykjavik, St. Maarten, Ushuaia, Buenos Aires, Cape Town, Lisbon, Kangerlussuaq, Dublin, and Portsmouth

How much does it cost to go on SH Vega?

Cruises on SH Vega start from $7,002 per person.
SH Vega Cruiser Reviews

A first class cruise

SH Vega fitted the bill completely and its circumnavigation of Svalbard was the perfect cruise. It did not disappoint.Read More

2-5 Cruises

Age 70s

An intimate and spectacular ship

Built with the latest state-of-the-art technology, and furnished with luxurious interiors, SH Vega is a dream ship.Read More

10+ Cruises

Age 50s

Beyond any expectations

If we ever get the chance to sail with SH Vega again, we will totally do it! Thank you for everything.Read More

First Time Cruiser

Age 30s

Crossing Drake’s Passage aboard the SH Vega

I highly recommend a cruise about the SH Vega traveling with the Swan Hellenic team!Read More

2-5 Cruises

Age 60s

Swan Hellenic Cruises Fleet
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