Swan Hellenic Cruises has entered a partnership with the SETI Institute to add astral views to the cruise line’s cultural expeditions. SETI, an acronym for Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, is a research organization that focuses on space and earth science, looking for the answers to questions that have perplexed us through the ages.
Bill Diamond, President and CEO of SETI, had this to say about the new partnership: “The SETI Institute’s work brings humanity’s relationship with our planet, our solar system, and the universe beyond into focus… Outreach and public engagement are also central to our mission, and we are delighted with the opportunity to have our scientists and thought leaders interact with the curious-minded adventurers who explore with Swan Hellenic.”
Ad Astra: To The Stars — From The Deck
Swan Hellenic’s adventurous travelers will learn about explorations on Earth and in the solar system. They will view the “great beyond” using state-of-the-art SETI Institute equipment, including a powerful telescope. They will get hands-on polar region experience onboard the ship. An expedition laboratory and science library support and expand the experience, which Swan Hellenic calls “Citizen Science.”
Swan Hellenic passengers gain insights that are not available on other cruises. They learn about discoveries in astronomy, astrophysics, astrobiology, and planetary science. Focus all those in one direction and you have the search for life beyond our solar system.
The New Frontier
SETI Institute scientists travel to far-flung corners of the Earth to explore. They regularly set up shop in remote areas, including Antarctica, where Swan Hellenic’s ships sail for part of the year.
Key scientists from SETI Institute are scheduled to join Swan Hellenic’s 2023 cruises. They include Dr. Simon Steel, an astronomer and astrophysicist. Steel is the director of education and outreach and deputy director of research specializing in the study of galaxies at SETI Institute. He plans to accompany SH Vega on cultural expedition cruises of Antarctica, the British Isles, and Iceland.
SETI Institute President and CEO Bill Diamond will accompany Swan Hellenic’s Arctic Odyssey cruise aboard SH Diana in June. Diamond works mostly in applied technologies with special expertise in photonics, optical communications, and X-ray and semiconductor processing technology.
Swan Hellenic was originally founded in Britain in the 1950s to offer cultural and historic cruises to its passengers. After several ownership and direction changes, it was relaunched in July 2020 to offer global, cultural, and scientific experiences to adventurous travelers. Since then, the company has grown to provide its passengers with an unparalleled worldview and experiences that are not offered by other cruise lines.
Swan Hellenic has three ships that are built for ice expeditions. The interiors feature Scandinavian design and there are large outdoor areas and dedicated equipment for polar expeditions. SH Minerva will cruise through the Pacific, SH Vega will sail on the Atlantic and off West Africa, and SH Diana will focus on the Mediterranean, Red Sea, and East Africa.
SH Minerva and SH Vega are two new five-star Polar Code PC 5 expedition ships with reinforced hulls that cut through ice. Each ship has room for 152 guests in 76 suites and staterooms, most with expansive balconies. SH Diana, arriving in early 2023, is a bit larger PC 6 ice-class vessel. It comfortably holds 192 guests in 96 staterooms and suites.
Pro Tip: If you are interested in Swan Hellenic’s cruises, visit their website for information about specific cruises with SETI programs.
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