Aurora Expeditions launches Sylvia Earle ahead of maiden voyage


Benjamin Tan/Aurora Expeditions

Sylvia Earle will welcome an average of 132 passengers

Aurora Expeditions has launched its second purpose-built small vessel, Sylvia Earle, which will embark on its maiden voyage from Ushuaia, Argentina to Antarctica on December 10.

The ship is designed to accommodate an average of 132 passengers per trip and offers a relaxed and informal setting on board.
“We look forward to introducing it to our loyal business and consumer partners around the world and, of course, to a new generation of global explorers seeking adventure, discovery and extraordinary, life-changing experiences,” said Michael Heath, CEO of Aurora Expeditions.

Sylvia Earle is the sister of Greg Mortimer which launched in 2019. It is named for American ocean conservationist Dr. Sylvia Earle who was also the first female Chief Scientist of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric United States administration. Each of the ship’s decks is named after other conservation pioneers.

“Our goal is to immerse our expeditionaries in some of the world’s most remote and fascinating places and, in doing so, create lifelong ambassadors for the planet,” said Hayley Peacock-Gower, chief marketing officer of Aurora Expeditions. “Over 30 years in the making, Aurora Expeditions has a proven track record of pioneering adventure and discovery – and respectful travel is at the heart of our ethos.”

Designed to be environmentally friendly, Sylvia Earle was built with the Ulstein X-Bow, an inverted bow designed for smoother, faster ocean crossings and aims to help reduce fuel consumption.

On board, the ship has several bars and restaurants, wellness areas, a library lounge and a heated outdoor swimming pool. There is also a dedicated science center that will be a hub for a variety of participatory and educational citizen science programs.

An experienced expedition team will guide passengers in small groups on multiple water and land excursions, with activities including hiking, scuba diving, skiing, photography and game viewing birds, among others.

In February 2023, Dr. Earle will lead an Antarctic climate expedition aboard his namesake in partnership with Ocean Geographic to raise public and government awareness of the environmental importance of Antarctica.

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