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Minerva Review

4.0 / 5.0
Editor Rating
26 reviews

Swan Hellenic’s Minerva

Review for Minerva to the Mediterranean
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10+ Cruises • Age 70s

Rating by category

Public Rooms

Additional details

Sail Date: Nov 2015
Cabin: 2 Bed Outside
Entering harbour at lisbon
Entering Tangier early in the morning

Minerva markets itself as a sea borne country house for those who want something a bit more traditional. This is highly accurate, apart from the lack of wallpaper. From the moment we set sight on our fellow passengers waiting to board our BA flight to Athens, for the ‘Mediterranean Escape’ cruise in November, we knew this would be a very British traveller’s experience. Previous reviews had lead us to understand that there would be a good supply of retired teachers, lecturers, civil servants and ex-armed forces passengers, and we were not disappointed. The cruise itinerary was changed some months prior to departure to miss out a call to Tunis, and this was replaced by a second call to Sicily.

Shortly after leaving Heathrow, things started to deviate from the plan when there was an announcement requesting “senior cabin staff to the cockpit”, and then an another indicating that there was a spot of bother, and we would be returning to Heathrow. “Don’t worry about the fire engines”, we were told, as these were purely routine. Later, someone remarked that the calmer the captain’s voice, the worse the emergency, and I later discovered a report on our spot of bother at http://eu.greekreporter.com/2015/11/09/flight-heading-to-athens-from-london-lands-safely-in-heathrow-after-midair-turmoil/

Regrettably support from Swan Hellenic was absent in the subsequent rescheduling of the flight, which was unable to take all passengers. Passengers drifted in to Athens over the remainder of the day and night: just as well we were scheduled for an outing the next morning in Athens. To their credit, after I made a call to their head offices, the Minerva laid on a splendid late night buffet meal for passengers as they arrived.

Cabin Review

2 Bed Outside

Cabin 05

Big enough and functional. Decoration a bit Spartan. Enough storage for two for two weeks. Television a bit small by current standards. Shower/Toilet adequate with some storage, and toiletries of good brand supplied. Light in the cabin a bit dim and reading light not very strong. Look out for a pair of binoculars which we did not find until the last day. Slightly forward of midships and therefore not too noisy. Air conditioning controls in ceiling and could be tricky for the short or disabled. On Baltic deck which is the deck most frequently used for disembarkation at ports, so very convenient when you get back on after excursions.

Port Reviews

Athens (Piraeus)

must see site that has no comparison


Still not spoilt by tourists

Malta (Valletta)

a fair overview of Mdina

Tunis (La Goulette)

Ship did not stop at Tunis


Mainly an experience of the Lisbon weekend rush hour. Some monuments not lit up on day we went for coincidental reasons

9 Helpful Votes
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