Aurora Expeditions joins Virtuoso’s global partner network

Australian expedition cruise line expands partnership with luxury travel network

Aurora Expeditions' second X-Bow hub ship, Sylvia Earle (render)

Aurora Expeditions has reinforced its position with the luxury travel network, Virtuoso, upping its scope from a Regional Preferred Partner in Asia Pacific to a global scale.

The Australian expedition cruise company forged ties with Virtuoso only a few months ago, with Aurora Expeditions’ CEO Monique Ponfoort saying at the time that “Virtuoso members are certainly an outstanding fit for Aurora. It was a really natural progression for us and a perfect fit.”

Quizzed at the time by LATTE if the Regional Preferred Partner arrangement could be a foot in the door to expand to the global Virtuoso audience, Ponfoort told us: “We always have an eye to the future, and that would be a great next step, and certainly a good fit with us, but the immediate focus will be to increase advisor awareness and knowledge in this region of Aurora’s unique proposition.”

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Following today’s confirmation as one of Virtuoso’s newest Global partners, that breadth of awareness has expanded to over 50 countries where the luxury network operates.

“Becoming part of Virtuoso’s global network is a milestone accomplishment for Aurora Expeditions,” Ponfoort said.

“We’ve been afforded the opportunity to work with their incredibly talented and reputable member agencies in other areas of the world such as the Asia-Pacific, and our home country of Australia, so adding the Global Team and its adventurous client base to the mix is a true honour for us.”

Beth Butzlaff, Vice President of Global Partner Relations at Virtuoso said the consortia was “thrilled” to expand its relationship with Aurora Expeditions.

“Aurora’s passion for adventure, one of the leading drivers of post-pandemic travel, conservation and perspective-altering experiences, are what our advisors and their clients continue to seek out and embrace with open arms,” Butzlaff remarked.

Matthew Upchurch, Chairman and CEO at Virtuoso added that the expedition and luxury travel space has evolved in a significant way.

“In a new landscape where travellers are looking for more life-changing and transformative experiences, Aurora Expeditions helps to ignite this curiosity. Our shared value of experiential travel resonates with the Virtuoso family, making Aurora an ideal fit for our network,” Upchurch said.

Virtuoso travel advisors can now access the Aurora Expeditions profile which includes voyages, pricing sheets, images, trip notes and other relevant collateral via their portal.

Aurora Expeditions operates in destinations including Antarctica, South Georgia and the Falklands, the Arctic (European and Canadian), Alaska, the Russian Far East, Costa Rica, Baja California and West Papua.

Monique Ponfoort, CEO Aurora Expeditions
Beth Butzlaff, Vice President of Global Partner Relations, Virtuoso
Matthew D. Upchurch, Chairman and CEO, Virtuoso

The next scheduled departure of Aurora’s vessel Greg Mortimer is a 22-day Falklands, South Georgia & Antarctica Peninsula voyage operating roundtrip from Punta Arenas, Chile on 5 November 2021.

The company says it expects to unveil details of the maiden voyage for its new ship, Sylvia Earle – named after marine biologist, oceanographer and explorer Dr. Sylvia Earle, in the near future.

Lead image: Sylvia Earle rendering

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