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Crown Cruise Vacations | February 29, 2024

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Aurora Expeditions launches new ship – the Sylvia Earle

Aurora Expeditions launches new ship – the Sylvia Earle
Jackie Sheckler Finch

Renowned marine biologist, oceanographer, explorer and conservationist Dr. Sylvia Earle now has a new honor. A state-of-the-art expedition ship that will be a floating ambassador for planet conservation has been named the Sylvia Earle.

Launched by Aurora Expeditions, the Sylvia Earle will embark on her inaugural voyage from Argentina to Antarctica on Dec. 10, 2022. With a strong focus on education and conservation, the new Sylvia Earle is designed to accommodate about 132 passengers in a relaxed, fun and informal onboard setting.

“We are beyond thrilled to announce our newest ship, Sylvia Earle, is in the water and on her way to Antarctica,” Aurora’s Chief Executive Officer Michael Heath said in a news release.

“We cannot wait to introduce her to our loyal trade and consumer partners worldwide and, of course, a new generation of global expeditionary in search of discovery and extraordinary life-changing experiences,” Heath added.

A highly experienced Expedition Team will guide passengers in small groups on myriad excursions by water and land. Activities range from Zodiac cruises to walks and hikes, sea kayaking, scuba-diving, snorkeling, paddling, skiing, photography, bird watching and more.

“Our goal is to immerse our expeditioners in some of the world’s most remote and fascinating places and, in doing so, create lifelong ambassadors for the planet,” Chief Marketing Officer Hayley Peacock-Gower said in a news release.

“More than 30 years in the making, Aurora Expeditions has a track record for pioneering and discovery and respectful travel is at the core of our ethos,” she said.

A sister ship to the Greg Mortimer, launched in 2019, the Sylvia Earle honors the first female chief scientist of the US National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration. A National Geographic explorer-in-residence since 1998, Earle 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.”

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

In February, 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 important of the Antarctic. The special voyage aims to deliver resolutions to inspire transformative changes for global net-zero emission by 2035 from an ocean perspective.

Featuring the revolutionary Ulstein X-BOW, an inverted bow designed for smoother and faster ocean crossings which helps to reduce fuel consumption, the new ship offers stylish and 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, library lounge, lecture theatre 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.

“Female scientists are leading the way in global initiatives,” Peacock-Gower says. “And we want to honor seven extraordinary women who work tirelessly to make the world a better place.”

Photos courtesy of Aurora Expeditions

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