Valerie Ann Wilson, the founder and CEO of Valerie Wilson Travel, will be the godmother of the SH Diana from Swan Hellenic.
Wilson, a respected powerhouse in the travel industry, will name the ship during a ceremony in Amsterdam on May 4. The maiden voyage was originally scheduled for April 15 but was delayed due to supply chain issues, according to the line.
Wilson has more than 40 years of experience selling travel, having grown her business to a network of more than 300 travel advisors and associate agents across the country. She is also chairman emeritus of Virtuoso’s global member advisory board and its hotel and resorts committee. Wilson, whose business is headquartered in New York, has earned lifetime achievement awards from Virtuoso and Travel Weekly.
The brand applauded Wilson for her dedication and work sharing firsthand knowledge and experiences with clients and industry colleagues and said her influence remains impactful in the travel community today. Her role as godmother underscores the relationships Swan Hellenic has built across the U.S., according to the line.
“We’re truly honored to have Valerie as godmother to this very special new ship, considering her iconic status in the U.S. travel industry and the importance of the U.S. market for Swan Hellenic,” said Andrea Zito, CEO of Swan Hellenic.
Wilson will lead a VIP group
Wilson will remain onboard the 192-guest ship following the naming as a VIP group host for the Diana’s maiden cruise to Tromso, Norway. After leaving Amsterdam, the ship will call at Mandal, the southernmost town in Norway, before making its way up the Norwegian coast while sailing fjords and offering opportunities to explore remote lakes, old churches and fishing ports.
The Diana is the third and largest ship in the line’s series of three expedition cruise vessel, including the SH Vega and the SH Minerva. The 12,100-gross-ton ship features a diesel-electric propulsion system and has a PC6 ice-strengthened hull and extra-large stabilizers. Swan Hellenic plans to implement zero-emission battery technology, which will allow the ship to operate quietly in port, marine reserves and other sensitive areas.
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