Silversea Cruises has announced that its new expedition ship, which starts operations under their colours this summer, will be named HSH Prince Albert II, in tribute to Prince Albert of Monaco.

The name is fitting for a ship – acquired as World Discoverer II – “that will be dedicated to the exploration and conservation of the planet’s oceans, wildlife and indigenous cultures,” according to the luxury cruise operator.

The Principality of Monaco, aside from being the world’s capital of wealth and luxury (and home to Silversea’s global HQ), has long been recognised as a leader in marine environment research. Prince Albert I, a pioneer in oceanographic science and exploration, first explored the Arctic’s Svalbard archipelago in the early part of the last century, and founded the world renowned Oceanographic Institute.

In 2006, Prince Albert II plotted a similar course on part of his journey to the North Pole, in an effort to add to the scientific body of work started by his ancestor – and to draw attention to the effects of global warming on the Arctic regions. As a result, the Prince is the first incumbent head of state to have reached the northern most point on Earth.

Silversea chairman Manfredi Lefebvre commented: “We are deeply honoured to have our new expedition ship named after His Serene Highness Albert II, Sovereign Prince of Monaco. His passion for environmental conservation is well known and we’re committed to supporting his mission by offering travellers the chance to discover and appreciate some of the world’s most remote and unspoiled regions.”

The ship will set sail on June 12 following a naming ceremony in Monte Carlo. She is purpose-built for expedition cruising and is currently undergoing an extensive multimillion-dollar renovation at the Fincantieri shipyard in Trieste, Italy.

To ensure an expedition cruise experience consistent with Silversea’s award-winning luxury standards, the refurbishment will include exterior design modifications, state-of-the-art technological enhancements and a comprehensive upgrade of all guest accommodations and public spaces.

The ship is also being outfitted with a new fleet of eight, latest-model Zodiac boats with Yamaha four-stroke engines (for lowest possible emissions) that will allow guests to enjoy up-close exploration and access to some of the world’s most remote landscapes.

The ice-class vessel will carry just 132 guests in 66 ocean-view accommodations, many featuring private verandas. With staterooms and suites ranging from 180 to more than 600sq ft, it will provide some of the largest accommodations of any expedition ship.

Guests will also enjoy many amenities found on larger ships, such as an elegant single-seating main dining room, library (with computers and Internet access), boutique, beauty salon, fitness centre, full-service spa and two Jacuzzis. The ship will also feature several lounges for drinks, music and entertainment, including a cigar lounge, like the Humidor on Silversea’s other ships.

The inaugural season of voyages (from 10-21 days) focuses on polar adventures, sailing first to the Arctic Circle, Svalbard, Iceland and Greenland, and then on to the east coast of North America, through the Panama Canal to Los Angeles before heading south to Ushuaia, Argentina.

Along this special repositioning route are opportunities to explore the Sea of Cortez (with an extension to Copper Canyon), the Falklands and South Georgia Island. Pricing starts at �1,966, per person, double occupancy, and includes shore excursions as well as Silversea’s signature all-inclusive amenities.