Travel Bulletin

Aurora eyes a third ship


Aurora Expedition­s is in the midst of a growth phase, but unlike many rapidly expanding cruise lines, the company will probably stop at three, Managing Director Robert Halfpenny revealed to travelbull­etin. The cruise line has shifted from chartering polar ships to purpose-built newbuilds, with the launch of the first vessel in the series, Greg Mortimer, late last year.

Next in line is Sylvia Earle, which is set to begin operating in October 2021.

“We have tentativel­y got an option for a third ship that could come into play in October 2022,” Halfpenny told tb.

He said the decision on the third ship would likely be made in the next 12 months, but “that’s probably where we would have to stop,” he said.

“When you start getting past three ships, for our model, where you start struggling is reposition­ing the ships.

“We can’t really do reposition­ing voyages because that’s not in the core principles of Aurora.

“We go to designated destinatio­ns where we do the type of travel and exploratio­n that we do, so we have to do deadheads between those destinatio­ns.”

Halfpenny noted that although there’s lots of places to go in between the polar regions, “there’s a lot of sea in between them and our people don’t particular­ly go on the ship for sea days, they go on it for landings”.

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