SH Diana

Former names: Vega 3, NB518

SH Diana current position

SH Diana current location is at North America West Coast (coordinates 9.77854 N / -84.88455 W) cruising en route to CURU. The AIS position was reported 1 minute ago.

Current Position

Specifications of SH Diana

Year of build2023  /  Age: 1
Flag state Panama
BuilderHelsinki Shipyard Oy (Helsinki, Finland)
ClassVega Class ice-strengthened cruise ship
Speed16 kn / 30 km/h / 18 mph
Length (LOA)125 m / 410 ft
Beam (width)23 m / 75 ft
Gross Tonnage12100 gt
Decks with cabins3
Sister-shipsSH Minerva, SH Vega
Former namesVega 3, NB518
Christened byValerie Ann Wilson
OwnerSwan Hellenic Cruises Ltd
OperatorSwan Hellenic Expeditions

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Review of SH Diana

The 2023-built SH Diana cruise ship is the third/last of Swan Hellenic's newbuilds, with fleetmates SH Minerva (2021) and SH Vega (2022). While Minerva and Vega are with PC5 ice-classed hulls and 76 staterooms (max passengers 152), SH Diana is slightly longer (125 vs 115 m), larger (12100 vs 10600 GT-tons/volume), with a PC6-classed hull (vs PC5), and 96 staterooms (max passengers 192).

The Diana vessel (IMO number 9921740) is currently Panama-flagged (MMSI 352002418) and registered in Colon. Before the delivery to Swan Hellenic, Diana was Malta-flagged (MMSI 215000000) and registered in Valletta

History - construction and ownership

Swan Hellenic Ltd (1950-founded as "Swans Tour Agency", relaunched in 2020 July) is a luxury travel brand and British company headquartered in Limassol Cyprus. The company has offices in Europe (London England UK, Dusseldorf Germany, Monte Carlo Monaco, Copenhagen Denmark), also in Fort Lauderdale Florida USA (serving North America/USA and Canada), Hong Kong China (serving Southeast Asia), Sydney NSW (serving Australia and New Zealand). Via partnerships are served the markets in India and Japan.

The company's ownership is split between three Cyprus-based companies (shareholders, also listed as shipowners) - Capstans Ltd, Valbridge Ltd, and Diamant Ltd.

Like the other two Swan Hellenic boats, Diana's hull (yard number NB518) is ice-strengthened (PC6 ice-class is the highest for passenger ships) and designed for worldwide navigation and operations in extreme weather conditions - from tropical climates to polar regions with heavy ice fields. Swan Hellenic's vessels are also specially designed to respect the ecosystems of the regions sailed.

SH Diana cruise ship (Swan Hellenic Cruises)

SH Diana was named after the Ancient Roman goddess of the Moon, and a patroness of the hunters, wilderness and crossroads. Equated with Ancient Greece's goddess Artemis, Diana was born on Delos Island. Her parents are Jupiter/Jove (the god of sky and thunder/equated with Zeus) and Latona/Leto (the goddess of motherhood), and her twin brother is Apollo (the god of oracles/prophecy, healing and diseases, archery, music and arts, sunlight, knowledge).

The brand Swan Hellenic has British roots and specializes in culture-themed cruising vacations. Its purpose-built, expedition-type, 5-star premium ships feature elegant interiors (with Scandinavian designs), large outdoor spaces (including dedicated for wildlife viewing decks), science and expedition facilities, 3 dining venues (Dining Room Restaurant, Club Lounge & Bar, Pool Bar & Grill). Each ship's crew includes 12x tour- and travel experts (expedition guides, guest speakers, lecturers).

Decks and Cabins

SH Diana staterooms (96 total) are all 5-star accommodations providing max passenger capacity of 192. All cabins (82) and suites (10) are double-occupancy, and most are with step-out balconies. The boat is maintained by 140 staff-crew, accommodated in 73 crew cabins.

The boat has 9 decks, of which 7 are passenger-accessible and only 3 with cabins.

(High to low) cabin categories include Premium Suite (47 m2/505 ft2 with 12 m2/130 ft2 terrace), Balcony Suite (44 m2/470 ft2 with 12 m2 terrace), Junior Suite (35 m2/375 ft2 with 7 m2/75 ft2 terrace), Balcony D6-M5-D5 cabins (28 m2/300 ft2 with 6 m2/65 ft2 terrace), Oceanview staterooms (20 m2/215 ft2). Each of the Oceanview cabins is fitted with two large vertical (elongated rounded) windows.

All staterooms are with modern hotel amenities and offer (as standard/complimentary) Queen-size double beds (convertible to 2 twins/single beds), bedside cabinets (2-drawer, with wall-mounted contemporary reading lamps), pillow menu, seating area with a 2-seater couch (with cushions), glass-top coffee table, mirrored vanity desk/dressing table with chair, electric/fake fireplace, wall-mounted smart HDTV (satellite Internet, Infotainment system), premium-brand sound system, espresso machine, direct-dial phone, premium carpet flooring, LED ceiling lights, binoculars, electronic safe box (in the closet), minibar/refrigerator, hairdryer, en suite bathroom (WC-toilet, mirrored single-sink vanity, glass-enclosed shower with rain heads, luxury brand bath products, towels, bathrobes, slippers), individually-controlled air-conditioning.

Cabin balconies (accessed via slide-opening, floor-ceiling windows) are furnished with two lounge chairs and a low table. All Suites are 2-Room, each with a separate bedroom (Super King-size double bed) and living room (3-seater couch, two armchairs, dry bar, coffee machine, walk-in wardrobe) and with 2x TVs (one in each room) and double-sized balconies accessed from both rooms.

Room Service is complimentary and 24-hour, with ordering from a separate In-Cabin Dining Menu (24 hours) and from the Restaurant's menu (during regular shipboard dining hours).

Shipboard facilities

Swan Hellenic's Diana cruise ship represents the next generation of polar expedition ships, designed for worldwide cruising with a focus on high-latitude areas.

SH Diana features a PC6 class (Polar Class 6) hull, 4,6 MW diesel-electric propulsion system (hybrid-ready) with selective catalytic reduction, 3 MW max battery package, max cruising speed 16 knots, draught 5,7 m (19 ft), LOA length 115 m, GT tonnage 10500 tons.

The boat's interior spaces and venues were designed by Tillberg Design of Sweden (1964-founded, Hoganas-based company that designs interiors for smaller-sized/luxury cruise ships, hotels and restaurants) while the exterior was designed by McFarlane ShipDesign (1986-founded, Monaco-based company).


Commonly to most small-sized expedition ships, SH Diana has an aft Marina Deck (serves the launching of the watercraft), Pool Deck/Sundeck with an aft-located Infinity Pool (heated swimming pool) and Pool Bar (with outside seating), indoor Bar Lounge, Lecture Hall (used for Cruise Director's port talks, itinerary-themed lectures and media presentations), Swan Restaurant (full capacity MDR-Main Dining Room, capacity 150 seats). The wellness complex consists of rooms for Spa massages, Gym (fitness room fitted with cardio machines and free-weights, complimentary are organized instructor-led classes) and Sauna Room (all are panoramic/with floor-ceiling windows) plus a large outdoor whirlpool/Jacuzzi with a sunbathing area. Forward on Deck 8 (bow-located) is the Navigation Bridge (Wheelhouse) and the Captain's Suite and officers' quarters.

All 9 decks (2 service/crew-only, 7 passenger-accessible, 3 with cabins) are interconnected via 2 elevators (midship Lifts) and stairs (forward-midship-aft). Deck 3 is divided into Marina Deck (aft platform for launching the Zodiacs and the Kayaks) and Expedition Deck (midship) with Mudroom (two Basecamps/expedition storage and tour preparation rooms/changing rooms which are heated and managed by dedicated concierges), Marine Life Library, Expedition Lab (educational facility that doubles as photo studio), Hair Salon, Clinic (Infirmary/ship's Hospital). The Mud Room facility is utilized for passenger embarkation-disembarkation on/from the Zodiacs and for tour preparations and equipment storage.

Swan Hellenic's ship Diana has 2x Tender Boats (each with capacity 48 passengers/both mounted on deck 9), 2x Lifeboats (fully enclosed), 8x Kayaks, and 15x Zodiacs (12-seat RIBs/Rigid Inflatable Boats used for landings, and coastal cruising as well as for passenger shipping on inland waterways).

The fore-located Observation Lounge is served by its own Bar and features floor-ceiling windows, plenty of comfortable seating (including window seats/sofas), a transparent (acrylic) Grand Piano, a large LED screen (for entertainment and media presentations), a drop-down projector screen.

Swan Hellenic cruise ship Observation Lounge

Swan's Nest is a bow-located (on Deck 6) observation platform providing 180-degree views. On Pool Deck (deck 7) are located the Observation Lounge (forward), Shop, Club Lounge (aft-starboard) and Pool Deck (aft) served by outdoor Bar (beverages) and Grill (food). Club Lounge doubles as Lido Cafe/Pizzeria/Patisserie offering 24-hour dining (fresh oven-baked pizzas, burgers, wraps, tapas, salads, desserts, 24-hour self-serve station for coffee-tea-water) and daily Afternoon Tea service (with pastries and light bites). Deck 9 is designed as a Stargazing Deck - a fore-located outdoor space with 4-seat tables and bar service. Aft on Deck 9 is the Helideck (helicopter landing platform used in cases of emergencies).

Swan Hellenic cruise ship Pool Deck

Midship on Lobby Deck (deck 4) are the two ship entrances (points for boarding/debarkation in seaports with docking facilities) and the Reception Desk (24-hour guest services). In the Oceanview cabin area (forward on Deck 3) is the Laundernet (self-serve Laundry Room). On Deck 5 are stored all service boats - 2x lifeboats (midship) and 6x Zodiacs (aft).

Wines by the glass are served complimentary with all meals, additionally (from a separate list) are offered for-fee premium brand wines. Also at extra cost is Chef's Table dining (gourmet food and wine pairing) experience offered in the Swan Restaurant.

Swan Hellenic cruise deals are inclusive of stateroom, all meals (including room service), open bar beverages, land tours/shore excursions, onboard entertainment (including professional lectures), gratuities, Wi-Fi. Expedition gear (rubber boots) are provided complimentary during the polar voyages, while each passenger receives a parka coat/anorak as a gift to take home.

Swan Hellenic Diana ship has no dedicated children's facilities and toddlers/babies and younger kids (1 to 8 years old) are not allowed. Kids 8 to 12 years of age travel for free when sharing a cabin with an adult, while teenagers/children 13-16 yo are daily charged (US$100 per child). Port taxes (if any) are charged to all passengers (including children) and automatically added to the onboard accounts.


SH Diana's itinerary program started with an inaugural season in Europe/Mediterranean. Traditionally for San Hellenic, Diana also has scheduled voyages to Antarctica.

The Maiden Voyage (10-night/11-day "Mysteries of Carthage and the Moors" itinerary) departs on April 14, 2023, from Palermo (Sicily Italy) and ends in Lisbon (Portugal). The inaugural cruise visits ports in Tunisia (La Goulette/Tunis), Algeria (Annaba, Bejaia, Algiers, Oran), Morocco (Tangier), Spain (Seville/overnight) and Portugal (Portimao, Lisbon). Prices started from GBP 5920 / EUR 6745 / USD 7340 per person (outside cabin with double occupancy).

However, like the sisterships Minerva and Vega, Diana will operate polar voyages to destinations in the European and Canadian Arctic territories, as well as roundtrips to Antarctica from homeport Ushuaia Argentina. Many of the Antarctic itineraries also visit the UK's Falkland Islands. The Antarctic route is via Drake Passage - a body of water between Cape Horn (mainland South America) and Livingston Island (part of South Shetland Islands). This seaway connects the Atlantic Ocean (via Scotia Sea) with the Pacific Ocean.

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Unlike the smaller-sized sisterships Minerva and Vega, Diana's steel parts were cut in Polland (at CRIST SA's yard in Gdynia), from where were shipped/barged for manufacturing/assembly into blocks (hull and superstructure/outfitting and painting) directly to the Helsinki Shipyard (in Helsinki Finland) for final assembly and outfitting. Minerva's and Vega's steel parts were cut and assembled at Western Baltija Shipbuilding in Klaipeda Lithuania.


Swan Hellenic ordered the third "Project Vega" unit (SH Diana/Vega 3) on October 20, 2020. The ship's name (SH Diana) was officially revealed on April 6, 2022.

The vessel's construction officially started on June 10, 2021, with the steel-cutting ceremony held at CRIST shipyard.

In May 2020, Helsinki Shipyard Oy (with all its assets) was acquired by Algador Holdings Ltd from Arctech Helsinki Shipyard Oy. Algador Holdings Ltd is owned by Rishat Bagautdinov (Ришат Диасович Багаутдинов/co-owner of Vodohod Ltd) and Vladimir Kasyanenko (Владимир Касяненко/Vodohod's owner) whose companies specialize in cruise shipping and shipbuilding businesses.

Swan Hellenic cruise ship construction

For Swan Hellenic's "Project Vega" boats, the shipbuilder subcontracted the companies MHI-MME (Japan), Valmet Oyj (Finland), ALMACO Group Oy (Finland).

  • MHI-MME (Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Marine Machinery and Equipment) to manufacture the retractable fin stabilizers. The units reduce the rolling/rocking while at sea.
  • Valmet Oyj to supply the marine automation and information management systems, as well as for the project's engineering, factory acceptance testing, commissioning, staff training. The 2013-founded Valmet Oyj (formerly part of Metso Corporation) generally specializes in developing and manufacturing of automation systems (technologies, equipment, services, spare parts) for pulp-paper mills and bioenergy production plants. In 2013, Metso Corporation was split into Valmet and Metso. After the demerger, Valmet Corporation took the pulp-paper-power businesses, while Metso Oyj kept the mining-construction-automation businesses. In June 2020, Metso partially demerged and Metso Minerals merged with Outotec Oyj into the new Metso Outotec Oyj.
  • ALMACO Group to design, build (as prefabricated modules) and deliver all crew cabins (and public spaces) and all passenger cabins.

The propulsion system is diesel-electric, with total power output 4,6 MW.

Swan Hellenic cruise ship construction

The ship has enough fuel capacity for an autonomous range of 8000 NM (9200 mi / 14800 km) and endurance of 40 days (without resupply).

Swan Hellenic was awarded the shipbuilder's tender for hull NB518 (SH Diana) on December 12, 2022. The documents were signed by Kim Salmi (Helsinki Shipyard's CEO) and Andrea Zito (Swan Hellenic Ltd's CEO).

On November 29th (2022), Helsinki Shipyard exercised its right (provided for by the shipbuilding contract with GTLK) to sell NB518 by tender after GTLK failed to take delivery of the boat.

  • Due to European Union's anti-Russia sanctions (implemented in April 2022), the Russian leasing company GTLK Europe defaulted on the payments as per the shipbuilding contracts of NB517 (SH Vega) and NB518 (SH Diana).
  • As all GTLK assets were frozen in the EU, GTLK was not able to take the ships' deliveries. In view of GTLK's default, Helsinki Shipyard started the due legal process of auctioning the units (NB517 and NB518), envisaged by the shipbuilding contract. In both tenders, Swan Hellenic (as the priority buyer) submitted the bids and won, taking full control over the vessels at the completion of the tenders.
  • GTLK (ГТЛК-Государственная транспортная лизинговая компания/State Transport Leasing Company).
  • JSC GTLK (Russia's largest leasing company) and its subsidiaries were included in the UK's and EU's sanctions list due to Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

Helsinki Shipyard Oy's contracts with GTLK called for the cruise ships to be owned by GTLK and long-term chartered to Swan Hellenic after their deliveries.

The ship was launched/floated out from drydock on January 23, 2023. The special ceremony was attended by Kim Salmi (shipbuilder's CEO) and Andrea Zito (shipowner's CEO).

SH Diana's delivery to Swan Hellenic was on March 31, 2023, held at Helsinki Shipyard. The inaugural cruise (10-night/11-day "Mysteries of Carthage and the Moors" itinerary from Palermo to Lisbon) is currently planned to start on April 14th.

(MAIDEN VOYAGE) Departing from Palermo/Sicily Italy (Apr 14th), the itinerary visited North African ports in Tunisia (La Goulette-Tunis), Algeria (Annaba, Bejaia, Algiers, Oran), Morocco (Tangier), also Spain (Seville/overnight), and Portugal (Portimao, and Lisbon/Apr 25/debarkation). The next voyage (before the naming ceremony) was the 9-night/10-day "Historic Ports of the Western Seaboard" (itinerary from Lisbon to Amsterdam/1pr 26-May 4) visiting ports in Portugal (Figueira), Spain (La Coruna, Gijon, Bilbao), France (Concarneau, Saint-Malo) and ending in Amsterdam (Netherlands).

The ship's official christening ceremony was on May 4th (2023) in Amsterdam Holland. The special event was led by godmother Valerie Ann Wilson and attended by Swan Hellenic's Senior Management (including Andrea Zito), VIP guests, Dutch dignitaries, media representatives and members of the travel and cruise industries. Valerie Ann Wilson is the Founder, Owner and CEO of Valerie Wilson Travel Inc (1981-founded, NYC USA-based travel management firm) and a former Chairman of Virtuoso's Global Member Advisory Board and Virtuoso's Hotels & Resorts Committee.

Following the naming ceremony, Valerie Ann Wilson remained onboard as a VIP group host during the 10-night “Norway Explored” itinerary. The itinerary started on May 4th from Amsterdam and ended in Tromso Norway on May 15th.