Australian Expedition cruise company Aurora Expeditions recently became one of the few companies to complete its first Antarctic cruise season since 2020. The company’s expedition cruise ship, the Greg Mortimer, sailed eight voyages ranging between 10- and 23-days.
Aurora is one of the companies that managed to complete its Antarctic Season this year, with many vessels plagued by disruptions due to COVID, and strict measures in place in the principal homeport for Antarctic Cruises, Ushuaia in Argentina.
Antarctic Cruising has become extremely popular over the last few years. Since 2018 there has been a massive boost in new expedition-style ships sailing to the white continent, bringing guests there in complete luxury. Some even include helicopters and submarines.
Greg Mortimer Successfully Completes Antarctica Season
Award-winning Australian adventure travel company Aurora Expeditions celebrated the conclusion of the first successful Antarctic Season since the global pause in operations in place since March 2020. The Greg Mortimer completed all voyages with a 100% success rate.
The ship sailed eight voyages that ranged between 10 and 23 days, from January to April 2022. Along the way, the vessel visited the spectacular scenery in the Antarctic Peninsula, South Georgia, and the Falkland Islands.
“Aurora Expeditions is thrilled with the success of our return season to Antarctica, getting back to what we do best in our 30th year of operation,” commented Aurora Expeditions’ VP of Operations, Tomas Holik.
“Our exceptional safety record and lack of interruptions during this season is a testament to our team’s commitment, planning, and expertise in ensuring that our expeditions were as safe and enjoyable as possible for our passengers. It was undoubtedly a combination of our strengthened health and safety measures and the fantastic cooperation of our passengers that ensured our incredibly successful return to operations.”
Expedition Travel Becomes Increasingly Popular
Over the last few years, there has been a shift from traditional cruises to more adventurous options such as cruises to Antarctica, the Arctic, and the Kimberley region in Australia, Greenland, and Canada’s Northwest Passage.
Hayley Peacock-Gower, Chief Marketing Officer for Aurora Expeditions:
“We know that travelers are increasingly returning to their ultimate travel wish lists and looking to make up for lost time, explore and push their own personal boundaries. Expedition travel is a type of travel like no other, taking passengers on true adventures to some of the wildest and most remote reaches of our planet.
More and more companies are bringing out new vessels with increasingly luxurious options. Luxury cruise line Seabourn, which operates under the Carnival Corporation, is bringing out two expedition ships and has been operating in Antarctica with the Seabourn Quest since 2012.
Silverseas, operating under the Royal Caribbean flag has been operating in the expedition market for many years now. Viking Ocean has released an expedition ship, the Viking Octantis. And the recently bankrupt Crystal Cruises operated the Crystal Endeavor for the first and last time this year in Antarctica.
Then there are the traditional expedition cruise companies such as Quark Expeditions, which operates the Ultramarine. This expedition ship features two helicopters, zodiacs, kayak options, and stand-up paddleboarding.
Aurora Expeditions reports that many voyages for the Antarctic 2022-2023 season are already close to being sold out. Testament to the increasing popularity of Antarctic Cruising. Aurora Expeditions’ second purpose-built expedition ship, the Sylvia Earle, is due to debut in late 2022.