Australia’s Aurora Expeditions has launched its second purpose-built small ship, Sylvia Earle, which will embark on her inaugural voyage from Ushuaia, Argentina to Antarctica on 10 December 2022.

The new Sylvia Earle, launched today (9 November), is designed to accommodate an average of 132 passengers per voyage in a relaxed and informal onboard setting.

“We are beyond thrilled to announce our newest ship, Sylvia Earle, is in the water and on her way to Antarctica,” said Aurora CEO Michael Heath.

“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.”

The vessel uses an Ulstein X-BOW inverted bow designed for smoother and faster ocean crossings, which helps to reduce fuel consumption, the ship offers stylish and comfortable staterooms and suites, most with private balconies.

Public spaces onboard include multiple restaurants and bars, as well as social relaxation and wellness areas. The vessel also has an outdoor heated swimming pool and jacuzzis, a gym, spa and sauna, a library lounge, a lecture theatre, and expansive decks offering panoramic views of wilderness and wildlife.

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“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,” says Aurora Expeditions chief marketing officer Hayley Peacock-Gower.

“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,” she adds.

A sister ship to the Greg Mortimer, the Sylvia Earle is named after one of the world’s leading ocean conservationists, the first female Chief Scientist of the US National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration.

Each of the new ship’s decks is named after six other pioneering female conservationists – Jo Ruxton (MBE), Dr Carden Wallace (AM), Sharon Kwok, Bernadette Demientieff, Dr Asha de Vos, and Hanli Prinsloo – with a deck dedicated to Dr Earle herself.

Aurora Expeditions is an Australian-owned expedition company pioneering experiential travel for over 30 years.