SH Diana, Swan Hellenic's third ice-class ship, was launched in May 2023. The 192-passenger vessel -- the largest in the fleet -- is sister ship to the SH Minerva and SH Vega launched in 2021 and 2022 respectively.
Featuring elegant Scandinavian-design inspired interiors, extensive outdoor spaces and dedicated expedition facilities the vessel sails to global destinations in both polar regions and warm climates. The Swan Hellenic name was revived in 2020 and, under completely new ownership, has built on the reputation of its British roots dating back to the 1950s and now offers culture-rich voyages to international passengers.
SH Diana has 96 cabins, including 11 suites, and 80 percent have balconies. The staterooms are located across three of the six passenger decks and lead in with 215-square-foot oceanview cabins on deck 5 and 6 which have fixed windows that do not open and a pair of single beds. Balcony cabins, which can be configured as singles or doubles, are situated on deck 5 and measure 301 square foot. All cabins feature a novel flame effect fireplace, tea and coffee making facilities, a mini-bar, couch, flat-screen TV, Egyptian cotton sheets, towels and robes, a pillow menu and bathrooms with glass-enclosed rain showers. There is 24-hour room service. All cabins sleep two people and are decorated in sophisticated muted tones.
There are three suite categories. The 376-square-foot Junior Suites are situated on decks 5 and 6 and have a king-size bed and separate living room area. The Suites, also on the same decks, have the same amenities and measure 473 square feet. The Premium Suites are on deck 6 and measure 505 square feet.
The main dining venue is the Swan Restaurant, which serves international cuisine, and food is also available in the casual Club Lounge, where there is a 24-hour tapas menu, and Pool Bar & Grill. The top open deck is used for viewing scenery and wildlife spotting opportunities by day and as a stargazing deck at night. There are also extensive outdoor deck areas that offer additional observation points.
Like her sibling vessels, SH Diana also has a panoramic lounge, gym, spa, sauna and swimming pool. Other public areas include a mud room for preparing for expeditions, a basecamp information area, library, expedition laboratory, laundry and medical clinic. New features are a dedicated presentation and lecture theatre overlooking the lounge, onboard tender boats to take guests passengers ashore in addition to, and in greater comfort than, the customary expedition Zodiacs. An elevator serves all floors including the outside deck.
Constructed at the Helsinki Shipyard Oy in Finland, the ship has been designed to comply with the latest environmental regulations. It can be completely self-sufficient for up to 40 days, or 8,000 nautical miles, and is equipped with exhaust gas cleaning, advanced wastewater treatment systems and the waste storage facilities necessary for operating in sensitive polar areas. It has also been designed to be adaptable for zero emission battery powered technology when this becomes available, enabling it to operate silently in port, marine reserves and other sensitive natural areas.
The launch of SH Diana also marked the launch of Maris, an all-new collaboration between Swan Hellenic and the international gastronomic organization JRE-Jeunes Restaurateurs. Founded in France in 1974, JRE brings together young restaurateurs and chefs and comprises 350 affiliated restaurants in 16 countries with a combined tally of more than 180 Michelin stars.
With an emphasis on combining local produce with sustainability and regional culinary traditions, JRE chefs from around Europe will join sailings on SH Diana -- and sister ship SH Vega -- to create special menus reflecting the destinations being visited. They will also host onboard cookery classes during the Maris Culinary Discovery at Sea voyages.
The line says its cultural expedition cruises are designed to enable passengers to "to see what others don't" on itineraries that span the globe. Following the launch, SH Diana departed on a 10-night Norway Explored itinerary prior to a maiden season in the Arctic. Afterwards the vessel will sail on a variety of cruises to destinations in the Mediterranean and Indian Ocean.
In addition to a resident expedition team and onboard destination experts, the SETI Explore Space at Sea Series of sailings will feature a guest scientist from the California-based SETI Institute to explore astronomy. On many cruises passengers can also participate in Swan Hellenic's Citizen Science partnerships, collecting data such as recording whale sightings.
The ship is 12,100 gross tons and carries 192 passengers at full occupancy with 141 crew.
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