Aurora Expeditions‘ second new-build vessel, Sylvia Earle, has successfully completed its sea trials in China.
The trials were held over five days in the South China Sea and were used to test Sylvia Earle‘s systems and technology. There were around 150 people onboard the ship during the trials from the China Merchant Heavy Industry’s shipyard where the vessel was constructed, SunStone Marine Advisors and more.
SunStone Ships, the owner of Sylvia Earle which is under a long-term charter arrangement with Aurora Expeditions, said the vessel completed the sea trials “to high satisfaction”.
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Monique Ponfoort, CEO Aurora Expeditions said: “We are so excited to be welcoming our brand new, purpose-built expedition ship, the Sylvia Earle to join our fleet alongside the Greg Mortimer. Scheduled for her debut in June 2022, the Sylvia Earle will be sailing to several new global destinations for Aurora Expeditions, including Alaska, the Russian Far East and Raja Ampat & West Papua.
“The Sylvia Earle is named after the renowned marine biologist, oceanographer and explorer, and each of the vessel’s public decks will bear the names of other pioneering female conservationists from around the world. Also home to our dedicated Science Centre, the ship will be a roving ambassador for the conservation for the planet,” Ponfoort added.
Configured with 72 cabins and a capacity of 132 passengers, Sylvia Earle also features a lounge, library, sauna, spa and gym, and an outdoor top deck swimming pool.
She is currently scheduled to enter service on 10 June 2022, operating a 14-night Alaska sailing from Vancouver to Anchorage, ahead of a series of sailings in the Arctic and Russian Far East.
Sylvia Earle is the fourth Infinity-class vessel built by SunStone Ships and features the distinctive Ulstein X-Bow hull design. The other Infinity-class ships already delivered include Aurora Expeditions’ Greg Mortimer, Vantage Deluxe World Travel’s Ocean Explorer and Albatros Expeditions’ Ocean Victory, the latter of which was handed over last month.
A further three Infinity-class ships are in production for Vantage Deluxe World Travel (Ocean Odyssey), American Queen Voyages (Ocean Discoverer) and Albatros Expeditions (Ocean Albatros).