Aurora Expeditions Launches New Ship, the Sylvia Earle

Aurora Expeditions has launched its second purpose-built small ship, Sylvia Earle, which will embark on its inaugural voyage from Ushuaia, Argentina to Antarctica on December 10, 2022. Named after the renowned marine biologist, oceanographer, explorer and conservationist Dr. Sylvia Earle, this expedition ship will be focused on education and conservation.

The new ship is designed to accommodate an average 132 passengers per voyage in a relaxed, fun and informal onboard setting. Featuring the Ulstein X-BOW, an inverted bow designed for smoother and faster ocean crossings which helps to reduce fuel consumption, the ship offers comfortable staterooms and suites, most with private balconies.

Public spaces include multiple restaurants and bars, social relaxation and wellness areas, an outdoor heated swimming pool and jacuzzis, a gym, spa and sauna, a library lounge, lecture theater, and expansive decks offering panoramic views of wilderness and wildlife, making it the ideal "base camp" for exploring. Zodiac docks, a changing room and mudroom prepare passengers for off-ship and on-shore activities, while a dedicated Science Centre is the hub for a variety of participative and educational Citizen Science programs.

Sylvia Earle Library
Sylvia Earle Library (Aurora Expeditions)

An experienced Expedition Team will guide passengers in small groups on myriad excursions by water and land, with exciting activities ranging from Zodiac cruises to walks and hikes, sea kayaking, scuba-diving, snorkelling, paddling, skiing, photography and birdwatching, among others.

A sister ship to the Greg Mortimer, launched in 2019, the Sylvia Earle is named after one of the world’s leading ocean conservationists, the first female chief scientist of the U.S. National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration. Dr. Earle has been a National Geographic explorer-in-residence since 1998 and was named by Time magazine as its first ‘Hero of the Planet’. Her own conservation initiative "Mission Blue" is creating a global network of marine protected areas known as "Hope Spots."

Fun fact: Each of the new ship’s decks is named after six other pioneering female conservationists—Jo Ruxton, Dr. Carden Wallace, Sharon Kwok, Bernadette Demientieff, Dr. Asha de Vos and Hanli Prinsloo—with a deck dedicated to Dr. Earle herself.

In February 2023, Dr. Earle, in partnership with Ocean Geographic will lead a world-first ‘Antarctic Climate Expedition’ on the new ship to raise public and government awareness of the environmental importance of the Antarctic. This special voyage aims to deliver resolutions to inspire transformative changes for global net-zero emission by 2035 from an ocean perspective.

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