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Get to know our new, purpose-built small expedition ships

 

Our vessels are small enough to go where others simply can’t. Designed in close consultation with our expedition team, we drew on centuries of collective experience to map out our ships: purpose-built for expeditions to the most remote places on earth.

With the revolutionary ULSTEIN X-BOW® to cross oceans more comfortably, expansive observation decks, inviting communal areas and unsurpassed environmental credentials, our ships offer the perfect base camp for adventures at the outer limits of human exploration.

With on average 132 passengers on the Greg Mortimer and the Sylvia Earle, and on average 154 passengers on the Douglas Mawson (setting sail in 2025), our fleet is redefining expedition cruising for the future.

Designed for rugged, remote areas

Crossing the notorious Drake Passage or the Denmark Strait, our expeditions face some of the most extreme conditions. Our ships are at the cutting edge of nautical technology: robust, powerful and up to the task.

The ULSTEIN X-BOW® is an inverted bow design that has been used on over 100 vessels in commercial shipping industry, and we are excited to have the first passenger vessels to incorporate this innovative marine technology.

The bow cuts through the swell so you feel fewer vibrations, make quicker transits through sea passages and helps reduce fuel consumption. This, in combination with Rolls Royce dynamic stabilisers offers unrivalled stability and comfort* on ocean crossings.

Designed for active expeditions

Our ships are built to world-class polar standards and designed in close consultation with our expedition specialists, to ensure that every aspect of the ship’s design enriches your expedition experience.

Our Zodiac access points and activities platform allows for faster disembarkation from the ship – to get out on your adventure quicker, whether by Zodiac or by kayak.

In our mudroom you will have access to a locker when you can hang your gear up to dry, and store your boots between excursions. You will also have access to lockers and rapid drying areas for wetsuits, to give your gear the best chance to dry between excursions.

Designed for wildlife watching

While on board, the ship is your base camp in the most incredible environments on earth. Make yourself comfortable, your floating home is yours to enjoy!

As you explore the ship you will find indoor lounge areas with floor-to ceiling windows and panoramic views, and multiple open decks with expansive 270-360 degree views. There is no shortage of spaces to take in the majesty of the incredible world outside!

Designed for education & learning

On all expeditions you will meet naturalists and local specialists, who offer presentations on their area of expertise to deepen your understanding of the region you’re visiting.

Join the team in the lecture theatre for presentations covering topics as broad as history and culture, biology and climate change, but they have one thing in common: they all aim to engage, educate and entertain.

With floor-to-ceiling windows, the library is a peaceful sanctuary where you can find non-fiction books to read up on the day’s destinations and wildlife, plug in and organise your photos or play board games with newfound friends.

Designed for a comfortable onboard experience

When you are not busy on regular shore excursions why not indulge in our wellness centre, use the gym, relax in the sauna. There are also 2 Jacuzzis on the top outside deck with amazing views of the world outside.

Our comfortable open seating dining area is where you will share tales of the day and be fuelled with delicious meals cooked by our onboard chefs.

Our staterooms are beautifully appointed, with a simple, neutral colour palette taking inspiration from nature in the polar regions. Choose from a range of configurations and features, including twin and double-bed options, private balconies and interconnecting staterooms.

Responsible travel features

Our ships operate with a combination of low energy consumption, high fuel-efficiency and a streamlined design.

Our state-of-the-art Tier 3 engines deliver a reduction in emissions.

Our onboard desalination plants convert seawater to freshwater that’s safe to drink. This means we can carry less freshwater on sea crossings, further reducing our fuel consumption.

Kayakers next to Greg Mortimer

Safety features

Your safety is a critical consideration and our ships feature industry-leading safety technology that exceeds the requirements for ships of this size. Our ships are Ice Class
1A and Polar Code 6 compliant, hold BV^ class and are fully compliant with the latest SOLAS requirements.

A world class return-to-port system enables the ships to maintain operating systems at all times. As our expeditions take place in remote areas far from traditional medical facilities, we have a fully-resourced medical clinic, open 24 hours a day and staffed by qualified medical professionals.

^Bureau Veritas

*Aurora Expeditions do not claim that this will prevent or cure motion sickness or seasickness.                                                                                                  

 

Discover our innovative expedition ships

Our ships are named after pioneers in exploration, science and conservation. The Greg Mortimer (2019) is named after our co-founder and well-known mountaineer, Greg Mortimer (OAM); while the Sylvia Earle (2022) is named after Dr. Sylvia Earle, world-renowned oceanographer and explorer. Our newest small ship, the Douglas Mawson (2025), honours the legendary Australian geologist and explorer. Built to travel to the outer reaches of our planet and remote, rugged places, our fleet of small expedition ships all feature the ULSTEIN X-Bow®, allowing for faster and smoother sailings, that minimise fuel consumption. Our ships are built with some of the latest advancements in naval design and stunning Nordic interiors.

The Douglas Mawson

The Douglas Mawson is designed for global discovery. Featuring the latest Ulstein X-BOW® and purpose-built with enhanced sustainability features, it takes on average 154 adventurers to the world’s wildest places in smooth, quiet comfort. It boasts our most extensive range of staterooms yet, including single staterooms two restaurants and bars, Jacuzzis, an outdoor heated pool, multiple observation areas, enhanced interior design and more.

The Sylvia Earle

Carrying a maximum of 132 passengers, the Sylvia Earle features the revolutionary ULSTEIN X-BOW®, providing improved stability in rough seas, enhanced ship speed and reduced environmental impact. The ship showcases other innovative features including a glass atrium lounge, dedicated Zodiac access points for efficient loading off the ship, a sauna and much more!

The Greg Mortimer, Antarctica, Tyson Mayr.jpg

The Greg Mortimer

Accommodating a maximum of 132 expeditioners, the Greg Mortimer is the first passenger vessel to feature the revolutionary ULSTEIN X-BOW®, providing improved stability in rough seas, enhanced ship speed and reduced environmental impact. The ship showcases other unique features such as custom-designed hydraulic platforms, dedicated Zodiac access points for efficient loading off the ship, two jacuzzis and more.

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