Aurora Expeditions, a leading provider of polar expeditions, has proudly unveiled its latest purpose-built small ship, the Sylvia Earle, in honour of world-renowned marine biologist and oceanographer, Dr Sylvia Earle.
The ship was officially christened by Dr Earle herself in Antarctica, in recognition of its pioneering design and commitment to environmental conservation.
Dr Earle, the first female Chief Scientist of the US National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration and a National Geographic explorer-in-residence since 1998 has dedicated her life’s work to raising awareness of the importance of marine conservation. She is the founder of Mission Blue, a global initiative creating marine protected areas known as “Hope Spots,” and has been named Time magazine’s first “Hero of the Planet.”
In partnership with Aurora Expeditions and Ocean Geographic, Dr Earle is leading a world-first “Antarctic Climate Expedition” aboard the Sylvia Earle, aimed at inspiring transformative changes for global net-zero emissions by 2035 from an ocean perspective. The voyage seeks to raise public and government awareness of the environmental significance of the Antarctic.
Sylvia Earle’s design reflects its focus on education and conservation, accommodating an average of 132 passengers per voyage in an atmosphere of equality, fun, and informality. The ship features a dedicated Science Centre, which serves as the hub for various participative and educational Citizen Science programs.
In another world-first, each of Sylvia Earle’s decks is named after six other pioneering female conservationists, including Jo Ruxton (MBE), Dr Carden Wallace (AM), Sharon Kwok, Bernadette Demientieff, Dr Asha de Vos, and Hanli Prinsloo. A deck is also dedicated to Dr Earle herself.
Aurora Expeditions CEO Michael Heath expressed his gratitude for having Dr Earle as the ship’s ambassador, saying, “We are privileged to have Dr. Earle as the namesake of our stunning second purpose-built expedition ship. I thank Sylvia for joining us on board to officially christen the ship and be on board for the inaugural Antarctic Climate Expedition.”
Passengers aboard the Sylvia Earle can expect a highly personalized and informative experience, with a highly experienced Expedition Team guiding small groups on various excursions by water and land. Activities include Zodiac cruises, walks and hikes, sea kayaking, scuba diving, snorkelling, paddling, skiing, photography, and birdwatching.
The Sylvia Earle marks a significant milestone in Aurora Expeditions’ commitment to sustainable travel and environmental conservation. With Dr Sylvia Earle as its ambassador, the ship will undoubtedly continue to inspire and educate future generations about the importance of marine conservation.
WRITTEN BY: JILL WALSH