The cultural expedition cruise pioneer’s third purpose-designed expedition cruise ship is now on her way to Tromsø for an 11-day cruise of fjord exploration that opens her Arctic season before she voyages worldwide
COURTESY Swan Hellenic: Nicosia, Cyprus: 4th May 2023, Swan Hellenic announced that the Naming Ceremony of its third ice-class cultural expedition cruise ship, SH Diana, had taken place in Amsterdam.
The purpose-designed new vessel was named by luxury travel visionary and icon Valerie Ann Wilson, Founder and CEO of Valerie Wilson Travel, in the presence of Swan Hellenic Senior Management, local dignitaries, VIP guests, the media and members of the cruise and travel industries from around the world.
The sumptuous celebration Gala Dinner which followed on board also marked the official launch of Maris, an exciting new partnership with JRE-Jeunes Restaurateurs, which offers Swan Hellenic guests a unique experience of exceptional dining and discovery through the senses, lived with the gourmet organisation’s world-famous chefs.
Maris brings a different JRE leading light aboard in a series of exclusive cultural expedition cruises on Swan Hellenic’s elegant designer ships SH Vega and SH Diana. Here, they take guests on a parallel voyage of discovery, exploring the celebrated culinary creativity that has made their name, driven by a passion for tradition, sustainability and quality local ingredients.
Maris was introduced by Swan Hellenic CEO Andrea Zito, with speeches by JRE CEO Hans Van Manen and JRE Italy Vice President Daniel Canzian.
Five JRE-Jeunes Restaurateurs chefs then showcased the extraordinary creative variety of Maris gastronomy to mark the occasion: Edwin Soumang (Restaurant One, The Netherlands), Daniel Canzian (Ristorante Daniel Canzian, Italy), Sabrina Schanz and Patrick von Vacano (Original Beans, The Netherlands), and Michael Ammon (Gasthof Jakob, Germany). Michael remained on board after the celebrations as the Maris chef on SH Diana’s post-naming cruise.
SH Diana is the third in a series of three elegant, high ice-class, cultural expedition cruise vessels made for premium discovery experiences worldwide, with a strong bias for extreme latitude areas. Featuring a 4.6-megawatt diesel-electric propulsion system with selective catalytic reduction and a PC6 ice-strengthened hull, she is fitted with extra- large stabilisers for exceptional passenger comfort. At 125 m long, the 12,100-ton vessel has been specially designed to explore the most inspiring and inaccessible places on the planet.
Complying with the latest environmental regulations, SH Diana is completely self- sufficient for up to 40 days or 8,000 nautical miles, and equipped with exhaust gas cleaning, advanced wastewater treatment systems and the waste storage facilities required for operating in sensitive polar areas. Moreover, preparations have been made to implement zero-emission battery technology, which would also make it possible to operate silently in port, marine reserves and other sensitive natural areas.
Providing spacious 5-star accommodation for 192 guests in 96 spacious staterooms and suites, the vast majority with large balconies, SH Diana is operated by an onboard team of 141 to provide the highest levels of personal service.
Distinguished by the same elegant design as her acclaimed sister ships, with open-plan interiors, unobstructed sea views and extensive deck areas, SH Diana nevertheless boasts certain key differences, salient among them a dedicated presentation and lecture theatre overlooking the lounge, and on-board tender boats to take guests ashore in addition to the customary expedition zodiacs. Like her siblings, SH Diana features a state-of-the-art gym, spa, panoramic sauna, superbly equipped restaurant and cellar, club room and swimming pool with poolside grill.
SH Diana has now departed Amsterdam on the cultural expedition cruise “Norway Explored,” an 11-day odyssey through the fjords that will reach Tromsø, Norway, on the 14th of May 2022.
Capacity: 192 guests and 141 staff
Guest staterooms & suites: 96 including 11 suites (80% with large panoramic balconies)
Expedition team: Zodiacs:
Tender Boats: Kayaks:
Dr Terje Leiren will be accompanying the maiden cultural expedition cruise throughout, sharing his expert knowledge, insights and company with the guests on board. Terje is Professor Emeritus of Scandinavian Studies and History at the University of Washington, Seattle, and was the University’s first holder of the Sverre Arestad Endowed Chair in Norwegian Studies (2007-2017). Terje gained his Ph.D. in history at the University of North Texas and taught at the University of Oslo before joining the University of Washington in 1977. He served as Co-General Editor of the University of Washington Press book series, “New Directions in Scandinavian Studies”, and is the author of four books and over 40 academic articles on Scandinavian history. He has also contributed to several television documentary programmes broadcast on PBS and the History Channel on topics ranging from the Vikings to World War II.
At the conclusion of the naming ceremony Valerie Ann Wilson commented: “I really am so proud to be godmother to this wonderful new ship. It takes Swan Hellenic’s hallmark contemporary lifestyle elegance to new levels and is a fabulous expression of the way Swan Hellenic really want us to be explorers and discover the world. I’m not just excited to depart on the Norwegian cruise this evening, but also look forward to joining SH Diana’s explorations worldwide to places that even an industry veteran like me has never heard of!”
Swan Hellenic CEO Andrea Zito added: “I would again like to congratulate everyone at Helsinki Shipyard for their superb achievements in creating this exceptional new ship. We are delighted with the quality of their work, creating another unique presence on the waves, and very much look forward to the new era SH Diana heralds, taking cultural expedition cruising worldwide.”
Swan Hellenic was relaunched in July 2020 to proudly continue the spirit of cultural expedition cruising the company pioneered in the 1950s. Building on its British roots, the new company has a global cultural cruising outlook dedicated to providing guests with the opportunity to see what others don’t.
Swan Hellenic’s purpose-built ships feature elegant Scandi-design interiors, extensive outdoor spaces and dedicated expedition facilities. SH Minerva and SH Vega, two new 5- star Polar Code PC 5 expedition cruise ships with ice-strengthened hulls, launched in December 2021 and July 2022 respectively, each accommodate 152 guests in 76 spacious suites and staterooms, the majority with large balconies. A slightly larger PC 6 ice-class vessel, SH Diana, accommodating 192 guests in the same distinctive comfort and style in 96 staterooms and suites, was launched in April 2023.
While sharing the unique design features of her sister ships, SH Diana also boasts certain key differences, salient among them a dedicated presentation and lecture theatre overlooking the lounge, and on-board Tender boats to take guests ashore in addition to and in greater comfort than the customary expedition Zodiacs. Like her siblings, SH Diana features a state-of-the-art gym, spa, panoramic sauna, club room and swimming pool with poolside grill.
All three ships feature 3 dining venues – the Swan Restaurant, Club Lounge and Pool Bar & Grill – and are being built in full compliance with SOLAS Safe Return to Port requirements. Dedicated to guests with a passion for adventure and cultural exploration, the company’s meticulously planned itineraries explore the wild landscapes, wildlife, peoples and unique cultures of the world’s less travelled regions.
The crews each include a team of 12 seasoned expedition guides, expert speakers and lecturers, for a total complement of 120 and 140 persons respectively, offering outstanding staff-to-guest ratios to deliver the highest standards of attentive personal service.
Swan Hellenic’s cultural expedition cruises have always been distinguished by the company, guidance and expert lectures of famous explorers, seasoned expedition guides and leading authorities in their fields. Now, many of the cruises are also enriched by partnerships with unique organisations to bring very different experts on board in the same way, including JRE-Jeunes Restaurateurs and the SETI Institute.
Maris Culinary Discovery at Sea brings a different JRE gourmet chef aboard each in a series of exclusive cruises which take guests on a parallel voyage of gastronomic discovery. While the SETI Explore Space at Sea Series brings a different world- renowned scientist from the SETI Institute aboard each cruise to provide guests with expert insights into the history and latest discoveries in astronomy, astrophysics, astrobiology and planetary science, as well as the quest to find other forms of life within and beyond our solar system.
On many cruises, guests can also participate in Swan Hellenic’s Citizen Science partnerships, contributing valuable data obtained during their expeditions and on board, reporting cloud data with NASA, recording whale sightings with Happywhale, monitoring phytoplankton with the Secchi Disk Study, and Antarctic seabird numbers with Stony Brook University.
Headquartered in Cyprus with offices in London, Dusseldorf, Monaco, Fort Lauderdale (serving the North American market), Hong Kong (serving Greater China, India and South- East Asia), Sydney (serving Australia-New Zealand) and Copenhagen (serving Scandinavia and Iceland), together with a partnership serving Japan, Swan Hellenic supports the travel trade with local specialist partners to provide customers with expert personal service worldwide.
See sailings here Swan Hellenic Cruises (cruisecompete.com)
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