Australian polar adventure cruising company Aurora Expeditions has announced its first brand new, purpose-built, expedition vessel. With 25 years' experience in expedition cruising to Antarctica and the Arctic, Aurora Expeditions worked with U.S.-based ship builders SunSone Ships Inc. to create a custom-designed expedition ship.
The state-of-the-art ice class 1A ship will be built to the latest polar code specifications, offering high levels of safety and environmental protection. Exclusively designed for expedition cruising, the 104-meter vessel will allow Aurora Expeditions to continue to provide small-ship experiences for travelers. While a traditional bow vessel rises on the waves and then drops onto the surface of the water, an X-BOW vessel, less subject to the motions induced by the waves, continues on course more smoothly while maintaining its speed.
Aurora Expeditions' new ship will allow for greater adventure opportunities with a custom-designed platform to cater to additional numbers of kayakers and divers, and a mud room for easier preparation for climbers and skiers. The ship will also have small, inflatable Zodiac crafts to carry travelers between ship and shore, with a sea-level Zodiac loading platform for boarding.
Onbaord, the ship will offer familiar Aurora amenities including private bathroom facilities, cabin balconies, a 180-degree indoor observation deck, wellness facilities, a sauna and spa, and several outdoor viewing areas.
The yet-to-be-named ship will be delivered in time for Aurora Expeditions’ 2019/2020 Antarctic season (November to March) and will complement the company’s existing fleet of vessels and destinations. Itineraries for the new ship are expected for release later this year. The new ship will be the first in a new series of high-performance vessels designed to make cruising the polar regions as safe and comfortable as possible.