16 JUNE 2008

A new expedition ship named after Monaco's eco-warrior prince has been billed as the last word in adventure cruising. In a fitting tribute to Prince Albert II - whose passion is green causes - the vessel is dedicated to the exploration and conservation of the planet's oceans, wildlife and indigenous cultures.

A proud Albert was on hand to preside over the recent christening ceremony in Monte Carlo harbour, which was festooned with ribbons in the red and white colours of the Grimaldi clan for the occasion.

The principality's reputation for marine exploration began with Albert's pioneering grandfather, Prince Albert I, who first explored the Arctic archipelago in the early 20th century and founded the world renowned Oceanographic Institute.

And two years ago the action-man royal plotted a similar course, becoming the first incumbent head of state to visit the North Pole.

Wealthy adventurers are being invited to follow in his footsteps visiting the Arctic, Iceland and Greenland on board the luxury liner. Among the vessel's highlights are an elegant theatre, outdoor deck with whirlpools and spacious ocean-view cabins many of them with private verandas.

Photo: ©
His family's long-held interest in marine research and conservation was the reason Albert agreed to lend his name to the sumptuous vessel Photo: © Silversea Cruises
Photo: ©
The Prince Albert II will travel to the Arctic circle, Greeland and Iceland this summer Photo: © Silversea Cruises
Photo: ©
State-of-the facilities include this observation lounge, an internet cafe and spacious ocean-view suites Photo: © Silversea Cruises