Cruise Ship Review: Swan Hellenic Diana

Cruise Ship Review: Swan Hellenic Diana

A historic identify in cruise, Swan Hellenic, sailed into the longer term final week with the naming of SH Diana, the third and largest ship of the reborn firm.

Swan Hellenic was based in 1950 and is gearing up for the seventieth anniversary of its first voyage in 1954. It has at all times been the go-to identify for these with a love of the previous, exploring the traditional world in a thought of method, fairly like touring the world in a comfortable clubroom.

The new-look firm takes that British historical past and combines the custom with a comfortable, up to date really feel, every ship newly constructed. And these are expedition ships, constructed to discover.

A visitor on the ceremony was Elizabeth, daughter of Kenneth Swan. Kenneth was the son of founder WF Swan (himself previously personal secretary of Sir Henry Lunn, who based the Hellenic Travellers Club with Lord Byron in 1906), becoming a member of the household agency within the Thirties whereas nonetheless in his teenagers and being central to the cruise firm’s earliest days.

About Swan Hellenic Diana

SH Diana, as with sisters SH Minerva (the third ship to bear the identify) and SH Vega, seems very a lot the half, strikingly stable as befits an icebreaker-class vessel that may sail from pole to pole and a part of a maritime custom in tern-blue livery.

While being the most important Swan Hellenic ship, SH Diana nonetheless solely carries 192 visitors (in opposition to 152 on the others), making her sufficiently small to go to the globe’s hidden delights, whether or not slipping amongst glaciers and ice floes or docking in vibrant ports up and down each the east and west coasts of Africa, a Swan Hellenic speciality.

SH Diana’s cool lounge and lecture room

The pale décor of the big lounge is dotted with busts of fossils and Mediterranean-inspired objects. Again very becoming as Swan Hellenic began when British journey agent Swan’s Tours, a father-and-son enterprise, was requested to rearrange a visit taking in Greece’s antiquities and chartered a ship. That developed right into a programme of ‘cultural cruising’, expeditions in type, concentrating on Greece and Turkey in addition to different spots within the Aegean and japanese Med, straying so far as Egypt.

That continued 30 years till the enterprise was purchased out and numerous ownerships noticed it lastly disappear in 2017. The identify was purchased by Italian cruise government Andrea Zito and three ships had been commissioned from a Helsinki shipyard with cruises beginning in 2022.

Even the gymnasium has panoramic views

SH Diana combines the texture of a boutique resort and a wise cruise ship with a small infinity pool on the rear, a spa with a sea-view sauna and gymnasium and outside scorching tub, a library and a lounge that extends backward and forward of the ship.

Most drinks are free, resulting in a chatty ambiance with everyone on board fortunately in the identical boat.

Adventures contain Zodiac inflatable excursions to see polar bears and abandoned bays, sun-drenched villages and deserted Antarctic camps, all led by a high workforce of guides.

One is Brit Anthony Jinman who has skied to each ends of the earth, his 2013 solo South Pole journey taking in 730 miles throughout 46 days. He got here on board in 2022 when his expedition to the Antarctic inside turned stranded and he and his workforce had been rescued by HM Minerva – and he’s barely been dwelling since.


There’s an tour included in each port and may embrace kayaking and mountaineering however most are for many who don’t really feel the necessity to exert themselves. A string of lecturers contains specialists on nature and science from California’s SETI Institute.

SH Diana’s sundeck has an exquisite infinity pool

Gastronomy on SH Diana

Food has additionally been designated an journey involving a brand new team-up with JRE-Jeunes Restaurateurs, a pan-European grouping of 375 eating places and feted younger cooks, together with Michelin-starred Kenneth Culhane, head chef of the Dysart Petersham, close to the Thames in Richmond.

The Maris programme not solely brings a unique chef on board every cruise, it additionally means cookery demonstrations, lectures and excursions taking in all the things from fishing to foraging plus many culinary traditions.

*SH Diana ( is spending summer time 2023 within the Arctic and the fjords earlier than heading down by means of the Med, alongside Africa and into Antarctica for the winter.

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