Swan Hellenic announces naming ceremony, and launch, of SH Diana to be held in Amsterdam on 4 May 2023

Swan Hellenic is the expedition cruise company to travel with to see the Arctic, Antarctic, and Rest of the World – from Brazil to Papua New Guinea, Norway to New Zealand, Australia to Africa, and Madagascar to the Mediterranean.

Following the successful launches of two state-of-the-art expedition ships, SH Minerva in November 2021, and SH Vega in July 2022, Swan Hellenic has just announced the naming ceremony, and launch, of brand-new expedition cruise ship, SH Diana, will take place in Amsterdam on 4 May 2023 – bringing Swan Hellenic’s cutting-edge fleet to three.

Operated by an onboard team of 141 experts, SH Diana will offer 192 guests elegant and spacious five-star accommodation in 96 generous staterooms and suites, many with balconies – making it Swan Hellenic’s biggest ship.

Named after the Ancient Roman goddess of light, the moon, hunting, and the wilderness, SH Diana has been specially designed to investigate the most inspiring and inaccessible places on earth, with extensive outside deck areas and multiple observation points for a truly immersive experience. She also features a state-of-the-art gym, spa, panoramic sauna, superbly equipped restaurant and cellar, club room and swimming pool with poolside grill. Although sharing similar traits to SH Minerva and SH Vega, SH Diana’s dedicated presentation and lecture theatre overlooking the lounge, plus on-board tender boats to take guests ashore in addition to the customary expedition zodiacs, show off the latest technology. Importantly, a Polar Class 6 ice-strengthened hull plus extra-large stabilisers make the journey as smooth as possible.

Luxury travel visionary and icon, Valerie Ann Wilson (Founder and CEO of Valerie Wilson Travel) will be Godmother of SH Diana and will lead the naming ceremony 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.

Valerie’s key role in the naming ceremony underlines the strong relationships the renascent Swan Hellenic has already built across the United States. Renowned not only as the Founder and CEO of Valerie Wilson Travel, she is also Chairman Emeritus of the Global Member Advisory Board of the Virtuoso® global network of luxury travel advisors, and Chairman Emeritus to the Virtuoso® Hotels & Resorts Committee. Valerie has earned countless awards including “Lifetime Achievement” from Virtuoso® and Travel Weekly. Valerie Wilson Travel is also proud to be part of FROSCH, a Chase company.

With more than 40 years of experience in the travel industry and serving on almost every travel related advisory board during her career, Valerie’s influence remains impactful around the globe and throughout her beloved community. Valerie is committed to her true belief that there is no greater power than providing first-hand knowledge and sharing experiences with clients and industry colleagues, while keeping the founding principles of integrity, trust and loyalty as the cornerstones of her business.

Following the high-profile events and entertainment after the naming ceremony, Valerie will remain on board as a VIP group host during SH Diana’s maiden cruise to Tromsø, “Norway Explored”, that sets sail on the evening of 4 May 2023.

Having visited Germany’s Heligoland archipelago, SH Diana will call at Mandal, the southernmost town in Norway, before making her way up almost the entire Norwegian coast. Benefiting from expert insights throughout, her guests will explore its longest, deepest, and most dramatic fjords, remote lakes, historic stave churches and charismatic fishing ports on their way to Tromsø, Gateway to the Arctic.

Dr Terje Leiren will be accompanying the maiden cultural expedition cruise, sharing his expert knowledge, insights and company with the guests on board. Leiren 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 PhD 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 more than 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.

Having completed her Arctic Season of seven cultural expedition cruises, SH Diana will make her way back down the western seaboard to the Mediterranean, marking Swan Hellenic’s historic return to the region for which the concept of cultural expedition cruising was originally created. Then she will go further, taking it worldwide as she continues through the Suez Canal to the Paradise Islands, Madagascar and Southern Africa on her way to Antarctica.

SH Diana is the third and largest in a series of three elegant, high ice-class, cultural expedition cruise vessels made for authentic discovery experiences worldwide, with a strong bias for extreme latitude areas. SH Diana features a 4.6-megawatt diesel-electric propulsion system with selective catalytic reduction and a PC6 ice-strengthened hull with extra-large stabilisers for exceptional passenger comfort. At 125 m, the 12,100-ton vessel has been specially designed to explore the most inspiring and inaccessible places on the planet.

SH Diana, like her sister ships SH Minerva and SH Vega, has been designed to meet the latest environmental regulations and is completely self-sufficient for up to 40 days or 8,000 nautical miles. 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. The vessels are equipped with exhaust gas cleaning, advanced wastewater treatment systems, and the waste storage facilities required for operating in sensitive polar areas.

Swan Hellenic’s CEO, Andrea Zito, says: “We’re truly honoured to have Valerie as Godmother to this very special new ship, considering her iconic status in the US travel industry and the importance of the US and worldwide markets for Swan Hellenic. SH Diana proudly takes us back to where our story began, while also opening a new chapter that takes cultural expedition cruising worldwide in exceptional comfort and style”.

For more information about SH Diana, please visit: https://www.swanhellenic.com/ship/SHDiana

For more information about Swan Hellenic, please visit www.swanhellenic.com or call. +44 (0) 207 846 0271.