The vessel, complete with teal coloured hull, 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.
Following the quayside naming, guests were treated to a gala lunch onboard marking the official launch of Maris, a new partnership with JRE-Jeunes Restaurateurs.
Maris brings a different JRE leading light aboard in a series of exclusive cultural expedition cruises on both Swan Hellenic’s SH Vega and SH Diana.
Maris was introduced by Swan Hellenic CEO Andrea Zito, with speeches by JRE CEO Hans Van Manen and JRE Italy VP 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 departing Amsterdam late afternoon on an 11-day cruise through the Norwegian fjords that will reach Tromsø on May 14. The ship then starts a summer season sailing in the Arctic.
The godmother Wilson commented: ‘SH Diana 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 Zito added: ‘I would again like to congratulate everyone at Helsinki Shipyard for their superb achievements in creating this exceptional new ship.’
Asked why the name Diana? Wilson replied, ‘It’s named after the goddess of the moon, light and wilderness…what a wonderful description of what lies in store for future passengers.’ She called SH Diana, ‘a petite jewel in a world of mega cruise ships.’
SH Diana is slightly bigger than her sisters, Minerva and Vega, at 125mtr in length and carrying 192 guests and 141 crew.
While sharing the 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 three dining venues – the Swan Restaurant, Club Lounge and Pool Bar & Grill.