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Swan Hellenic’s third purpose-designed expedition cruise ship has embarked on its maiden voyage following a naming ceremony in Amsterdam.

The new ship was named by its godmother Valerie Ann Wilson, founder and CEO of Valerie Wilson Travel, in a ceremony in Amsterdam on May 4, 2023, before departing on an 11-day cruise of fjord exploration that will open its Arctic season.

The naming ceremony also saw the official launch of Maris at an onboard Gala Dinner, a new partnership with JRE-Jeunes Restaurateurs that offers Swan Hellenic guests the opportunity to experience culinary creations by the gourmet organization’s world-famous chefs. Maris will bring a different JRE chef aboard in a series of cultural expedition cruises on SH Diana and SH Vega. The Gala Dinner featured five JRE chefs who showcased the creative variety of Maris gastronomy. Chef Michael Ammon (Gasthof Jakob, Germany) remained on board following the celebrations as the Maris chef on SH Diana’s post-naming cruise.

SH Diana offers spacious accommodation for 192 guests in 96 state rooms and suites, the majority of which include large balconies. The new ship follows the same design as its sister ships with open-plan interiors, unobstructed sea views and extensive deck areas, but with a few key differences. Exclusive to the SH Diana is a dedicated presentation and lecture theater overlooking the lounge, as well as on-board tender boats to take guests ashore in addition to the customary expedition zodiacs. Like its sister ships, SH Diana features a state-of-the-art gym, spa, panoramic sauna, restaurant and cellar, club room and swimming pool with poolside grill.

Cultural Expedition Cruises by Swan Hellenic

“I really am so proud to be godmother to this wonderful new ship,” said Valerie Ann Wilson in a press statement. “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!”

Following the ceremony, SH Diana departed on the cultural expedition cruise Norway Explored, an 11-day journey through the fjords that will reach Tromsø, Norway, on May 14, 2023.

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. Preparations have also been made to implement zero-emission battery technology, which would make it possible to operate silently in port, marine reserves and other sensitive natural areas.

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