Aurora Expeditions has named their new ship Greg Mortimer, in honour of the Australian adventurer and Aurora Expeditions co-founder.
Greg Mortimer is the first expedition cruise ship to feature the patented ULSTEIN X-BOW®. The new 104-metre ice-class 1A expedition ship will launch in 2019, utilising the latest advancements in naval design and technology to make exploring remote destinations more comfortable and convenient.
Mortimer co-founded Aurora Expeditions in 1991 with his wife Margaret. Their aim was simple – to take small groups of travellers on voyages to regions that inspired them, thereby creating lifelong ambassadors for the preservation and protection of these sacred places.
As the first Australian to reach the summits of Mount Everest, K2, Annapurna II and Chongtar in the Himalaya – all without supplementary oxygen – and mounts Vinson and Minto in Antarctica, Greg Mortimer has accomplished many feats in often dangerous places in his lifetime, but concedes the naming of the new Aurora Expeditions ship is at the edge of his comfort zone.
On the naming of the ship, Mortimer said: “I’m both honoured and humbled to share my name with a vessel that marries the pioneering heritage of Aurora Expeditions with bold technology, aggressive design and innovation fit for purpose. I’m tickled pink that Aurora continues to be at the forefront of exploration.”
Robert Halfpenny, Managing Director of Aurora Expeditions, said: “We are excited to be the first to market with the ULSTEIN X-BOW® exciting new design and we’re delighted that our ship will bear the Greg Mortimer name. It’s a proud name that will ensure Greg’s legacy and vision for small group voyages continues to burn brightly into the future.”
The main advantage of the ULSTEIN X-BOW® is its ability to pierce waves with much greater stability than a traditional bow. While a traditional bow vessel rises on the waves and then drops violently onto the surface of the water, an ULSTEIN X-BOW® vessel is subjected less to the vertical motions induced by the waves. Because it uses less fuel to get through the waves, it also improves fuel efficiency and reduces air emissions.
While SOLAS regulations do not require return-to-port technology for a ship of this size, the ship will be fitted with the latest return-to-port propulsion system. Safety is a core principle for Aurora Expeditions.
“Greg Mortimer will be fitted with a duplicated propulsion system, enabling the ship to maintain operating conditions and comfort, in the case of any single failure of items relative to the propulsion or power generating system,” Halfpenny explained.
“If one fails, the other does not lose any functionality, providing for a safe return to port.”
Greg Mortimer is set to conduct its first sea voyage adventure in 2019/20.
The new ship will complement the company’s existing fleet of vessels and destinations. Itineraries for the new ship are expected for release in early 2018.