Aurora Expeditions launches Sylvia Earle ahead of inaugural voyage

The new small ship will sail from Argentina to Antarctica in December 2022

Aurora Expeditions launches Sylvia Earle ahead of inaugural voyage

Benjamin Tan/Aurora Expeditions

Sylvia Earle will accommodate an average of 132 passengers

By Amber Hickman |

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

The ship is designed to accommodate an average of 132 passengers per voyage and offers a relaxed and informal onboard setting.
“We cannot wait to introduce her to our loyal trade and consumer partners worldwide and, of course, a new generation of global expeditioners in search of adventure, discovery and extraordinary life-changing experiences,” said Michael Heath, CEO of Aurora Expeditions.

Sylvia Earle is the sister to Greg Mortimer which launched in 2019. It is named in honour of American ocean conservationist Dr Sylvia Earle, who was also the first female chief scientist of the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Each of the ship’s decks is named after other pioneering female conservationists.

“Our goal is to immerse our expeditioners 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 for Aurora Expeditions. “More than 30 years in the making, Aurora Expeditions has a track record for pioneering adventure and discovery – and respectful travel is at the core of our ethos.”

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

Onboard, the vessel features multiple bars and restaurants, wellness areas, a library lounge and an outdoor heated swimming pool. There is also a dedicated science centre which will be a hub for a variety of participative and educational citizen science programmes.

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

In February 2023, Dr Earle will lead an Antarctic Climate Expedition onboard her namesake in partnership with Ocean Geographic to raise public and government awareness of the environmental importance of the Antarctic.

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