Aurora Expeditions will name its second purpose-built expedition ship after acclaimed marine biologist and oceanographer, Dr Sylvia Earle.
The new ship honours Earle as an accomplished marine biologist, oceanographer and explorer; the first woman to become chief scientist of the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and named by Time Magazine as its first Hero for the Planet in 1998. The vessel pays tribute to Earle’s long-standing conservation efforts for marine protected areas and ocean wildlife.
Built to world-class polar standards the ship, the Sylvia Earle, will launch in October 2021 in Ushuaia, Argentina.
Aurora Expeditions ships boast the lowest polluting marine engines in the world, due to a combination of low energy consumption, high fuel-efficiency and a streamlined design. The state-of-the-art Tier 3 engine delivers an 80% reduction in emissions (compared to Tier 1) and can utilise virtual anchoring to hold its position instead of dropping an anchor on the delicate sea floor.
Working in parallel with Greg Mortimer, the esteemed Australian mountaineer and Founder of Aurora Expeditions, Earle will be channelling her marine-conservation ethos into a fully immersive on-board guest experience, not only in the polar regions but in other destinations as the ship sails from south to north and vice-versa.
Activities will play a major part in the passenger experience – with expert-led kayak expeditions, polar ski touring, climbing, snowshoeing, hiking and exploration by Zodiac placing guests at the heart of the destinations in which they are sailing.
“Ninety-seven per cent of Earth’s water is ocean,” says Dr Earle. “It is our life support system and we need to learn everything we can about it. I see great synergy in working closely with a company that shares my vision for the future and which is, from the top down, passionate about the marine environment.
“Through travelling with Aurora Expeditions on the Sylvia Earle, I feel it is an incredible opportunity for people to learn about these marine habitats in situ, and as a result, become ambassadors for protecting them.”
Aurora Expeditions Managing Director Robert Halfpenny said the Australia polar expedition cruise company was thrilled to be working with Earle on plans for the new ship.
“Our ships are designed primarily to connect people with the environment and everything Sylvia does encapsulates what lies at the core of Aurora Expeditions own beliefs and practices. In keeping with Sylvia’s own vision and achievements, the Sylvia Earle will have a large focus on marine education and conservation,” Halfpenny commented.
The 126-passenger ship will be the second in the fleet to sail with the patented Ulstein X-Bow, which cuts through the swell, minimising vibrations and disturbances, and makes quicker transits through waves.
As well as improving comfort at sea the inverted Ulstein X-Bow offers an enhanced viewing experience by bringing passengers much closer to the immediate environment than that which can be achieved on ships with a traditional, bulbous shaped bow. Aurora Expeditions’ ship, Greg Mortimer, was the first passenger ship to incorporate this innovative marine technology.
The second ship of this design will break ground yet again. The Ulstein X-Bow on the Sylvia Earle will feature a unique two-level glass atrium lounge in the bow, offering extraordinary views to the front to the ship.
Aurora Expeditions will continue to name its new ships after explorers who are passionate about their environmental commitment and who share the company’s vision for the future.