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SH Vega Review

-- / 5.0
Editor Rating
9 reviews
SH Vega render

Swan Hellenic's purpose-built SH Vega debuts in April 2022 as the second of three new-build expedition ships launching between November 2021 and late 2022. SH Minerva, which debuts first, and SH Vega will be identical and followed by a third slightly larger vessel.

The keel was laid for SH Vega at the Helsinki Shipyard in Finland in February 2021, marking the start of the ship's construction.  

The 152-passenger polar PC5 ice-class vessel (the highest classification awarded to an ice-strengthened hull) is named after the first ship to navigate the Arctic Northeast Passage and will travel to the world's most remote corners, including Antarctica.

The ship will carry a crew of 120, including a dedicated expedition team of guides, speakers and lecturers.

Like sister ship SH Minerva, the 10,500-ton SH Vega has been designed by Tillberg Design of Sweden, and will favor a tried-and-true Scandi-design of calming color schemes using softwoods and neutral tones.

Expedition sailings will cover the polar regions and Russia's Far East, plus 'Rest of the World' voyages that include the U.K., New Zealand, Iceland and exotic destinations such as Pacific Islands and Indonesia.

The inaugural sailing is the 11-day UK & Northern French Coast Highlights, departing April 16, 2022, from Portsmouth, England.


  • One night pre-cruise hotel accommodation with breakfast
  • Transfers from the airport to the hotel and from the hotel to the ship
  • Transfer from the port to the airport on return
  • All meals on board including room service 24 hours a day
  • Coffee, tea, soft drinks and select alcoholic beverages
  • Lecture program led by the expedition team and guest speakers
  • Shore excursion program led by expedition team
  • Branded Swan Hellenic expedition parka coat (Arctic & Antarctica only)
  • Use of rubber boots for shore landings (Arctic & Antarctica only)
  • Wi-Fi (Premium Wi-Fi option available for a fee)
  • Gratuities


SH Vega features 76 cabins in ocean, balcony and suite categories.

All cabins feature at least two twin beds or a queen; bedside tables; wardrobes, wall-mounted TV, a desk and a dressing and seating area. All bathrooms feature a glass-enclosed rain shower. Amenities include USB charging ports, gowns, hairdryers, safes and minibars. Complimentary reusable water bottles are also provided to all passengers.

Outside: Sixteen Oceanview cabins each sleep two passengers and measure 205 square feet, featuring two large porthole windows. All Oceanview cabins are located on Deck 4.

Balcony: Balcony cabins also sleep two passengers and measure a roomy 301 square feet, with a spacious bedroom and living area that features a two-seat sofa, coffee table, chair and dressing area.

The ship's 54 balcony cabins feature floor-to-ceiling balcony doors leading to a 65-square-foot private veranda. Balconies cabins are located on Deck 5 & 6.

Suite: Suites are available in two categories, with four 474-square-foot Suites and two 527-square-foot Premium Suites.

Suites feature a super king bed, separate living area featuring a flame-effect fireplace and separate bathtub and walk-in shower in the bathroom. Premium Suites also feature walk-in wardrobes.

Both suite categories feature a 129-square-foot balcony.

Launderette facilities are available on board.

There are no single cabins on SH Vega and there is one designated Oceanview cabin that is accessible. There are also two elevators on board for wheelchair access between decks (though they do not access the Stargazing Deck).


The Swan Restaurant (Deck 4): SH Vega's primary restaurant offers flexible seating for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Breakfast options will include cereals, fresh fruit, smoothies, made-to-order omelets, waffles or pancakes and pancakes, plus cooked items. At lunch passengers can dine off soups, made-to-order pastas and risottos, cheese and meat antipasti, fresh seafood and carved meats.

Dinner menus will focus on the destination, with local produce and dishes featured.  

A Chef's Table private dining experience with paired wines is available for an additional cost.

Club Lounge (Deck 7): The ocean-view Club Lounge will offer 24-hour casual dining, featuring booths and tables.

Items available will include pastries, specialty teas and coffees, afternoon tea, pizzas, burgers, wraps, salads and locally inspired tapas-style small plates.  

Pool Bar & Grill (Deck 7): This alfresco space located next to the pool will offer seating for outdoor dining on Deck 7 as an extension of the Club Lounge.

Room service: The In-Cabin Dining Menu will offer round-the-clock room service. Dishes from Swan Restaurant during dining hours can also be ordered to cabins.


There is no theatre on SH Vega and the bulk of the entertainment will take place in the Observation Lounge.

The focus of the ship's enrichment activities will be on the destination, with an on board expedition team and guest speakers leading talks and lectures. Topics will cover nature and wildlife, geology, climate and history.

Facilities include Base Camp with lockers and changing amenities and the Expedition Lab, which is more of a photography lab, where passengers will get to learn how to enhance expedition photos captured on personal camera.
Private photography tuition is available for an additional fee.

SH Vega will carry 12 12-passenger hard-hulled zodiacs (14 on SH Minerva).

There's a heated swimming pool on Deck 7, with seating and sun loungers.

Deck 9 is home to the ship's Stargazing Deck, which is the place for gazing up at the night's sky or taking in the passing scenery during the day, with seating and tables scattered on the deck. Stargazing sessions and telescopes will be available.

Additional amenities include a reception desk, shop and library.

Bars and Lounges

Swan's Nest (Deck 6): This small area on Deck 6 forward offers an alternative observation space with panoramic views.

Observation Lounge (Deck 7): The Observation Lounge will feature large floor-to-ceiling windows to allow light to fill the space and passengers the opportunity to gaze out. This is the place for relaxing during the day and into the night, with a bar and piano for live music, talks and gentle entertainment.

Pool Bar (Deck 7): Located next to the heat pool, the Pool Bar will offer bar stool seating.

Soft drinks, wines and beers are included and premium beers, wines and spirits are available for a fee.

Spa & Fitness

A spa thermal area will feature a sauna, which looks out onto two outdoor Jacuzzis, plus a treatment room for facials and massages and a beauty salon.  

For fitness there is a gym and classes for aerobics, yoga and stretching.


There are no kids clubs nor is there dedicated programing for children. The minimum age to sail is eight.

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