Step into the frozen beauty of Antartica where you will marvel at your first steps onto the ice. You’ll feel the crunch underfoot and feel the timelessness of this remarkable white continent. Stare into the iridescent blue heart of an iceberg and feel the thrill of meeting the eye of a leopard seal. You’ll be entranced by the sound of calling penguins whilst they trundle between their nests and the shoreline. With AE Expeditions, your Antartica cruise is no longer just a dream but an experience you’ll treasure forever.
You’ll sail in a purpose-built ship to sea some of the most incredible scenery and seascapes, accompanied by an international expedition team of experts. You’ll venture out in Zodiac boats and search for wildlife in remote lands, hopefully visit colonies of penguins or perhaps enjoying panoramic views from atop a ridge after hiking to the summit. The expedition team is by your side the whole time, enriching your experience with fascinating presentations and insights into remarkable places.
Gary Buchanan has sailed the Seven Seas during his 33-year career as an award-winning specialist cruise writer. Author of four books about cruising, he regularly contributes to prestigious newspapers such as The Telegraph and magazines including American Express Departures. He is a pundit on all things cruise and is looking forward to enhancing the content library for Panache Cruises.
“It’s difficult not to be impressed by Aurora Expeditions' vision of sustainability and preservation of eco-sensitive areas. Nowhere is this more evident than in the design of their pioneering new vessel, Greg Mortimer. The first cruise ship to be equipped with X-bow technology, it also features dynamic positioning technology which allows it to float in situ without lowering anchors. Adrenalin-junkies get their kicks polar snorkelling during Antarctic expeditions.”
To explore these lands, you will require plenty of fuel and this is provided by Aurora. Hearty meals plus morning and afternoon teas will be cooked by your chefs for your enjoyment. You can use this a time to enjoy some camaraderie with fellow adventurers in the open-seating dining area. You will be invited to an informal Captain’s Welcome and Farewell drinks where you will enjoy drinks, cocktail appetisers and then a delicious three course meal.
Aurora ships offer a range of staterooms and suites for you to choose from. All staterooms onboard include:
Your accommodation options are as follows:
In between landings you will be welcome to visit the wellness centre, where you can use the gym, visit the sauna (which comes highly recommended after taking the polar plunge!) or you can even treat yourself to a massage for an additional cost. There is an incredible view to enjoy from the two Jacuzzis on the top outside deck and you can take a dip in the heated saltwater open air swimming pool on board the Sylvia Earle.
A range of activities are included within your cruise to ensure you experience the very best your destinations have to offer. They include:
Certain itineraries include other activities such as:
You can also spend time in the library whilst onboard. With floor-to-ceiling windows, this sanctuary holds books to educate you about that day’s destinations. Alternatively, you can take time to organise photos or maybe even meet new friends to play some games.
Choose from the range of informative non-fiction titles, wildlife guidebooks, travel journals, novels and a selection of children’s books and board games.
Binoculars, wildlife guides and books can also be found in the observation lounge.
There are certain activities available at an additional charge whilst on your expedition. Group sizes are limited so it is best advised to get in touch before your cruise to guarantee your place.
The available activities will ensure you make the most of your days in some of the most dramatic and stunning places on earth whether it be on sea or land.
Rest-assured, all the guides are fully qualified from either national or internationally renowned organisations.
The mountain and ski guides all hold the relevant qualifications from countries which form part of the International Federation of Mountain Guides Association (IFMGA). Ssea kayak guides are all certified sea kayak instructors and guides too.
If you’d like to capture what you see a little more effectively, you can also make use of the photography guides onboard. Whether it be for a digital SLR or an iPhone, you’ll get handy hints to help you get the most out of your camera.
Finally, 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. The lecture theatre is your home for presentations on culture, history, climate change and the biology of the local environments you will visit. You’ll be enthralled, educated and entertained all at once.
Aurora Expeditions is committed to providing guests with the experience of a lifetime via respectful travel. They want to create ambassadors who will protect the planet and the remote and diverse places they visit.
The fleet boasts the lowest polluting marine engines in the world, and state of the art engines deliver an 80% reduction in emissions.
The revolutionary ULSTEIN X-BOW® reduces vibrations and cuts through the swell to enable faster sailing to reduce fuel consumption by up to 60%.
The onboard desalination plant converts seawater to freshwater that’s safe to drink. This means they can carry less freshwater on sea crossings, further reducing fuel consumption.
The fleet also uses virtual anchoring via steering technology, thrusters, propellers and GPS, to allow the ship to hold position with the damage created by traditional anchors.
On board many single-use plastic products have been replaced with sustainable alternatives and the aim is to eliminate them altogether.
All of seafood onboard is sustainably sourced in accordance with the Marine Stewardship Council guidelines. They also cater for vegetarian and vegan diets.
For their onboard cleaning products, Aurora aim to use biodegradable, phosphate free and non-bioaccumulative products as much as possible.
They are also proud to provide Stream2Sea’s mineral-based sunscreen, which is tested and proven safe for fish and coral larvae onboard.
Recycling bins are used onboard to separate waste and reduce landfill, waste is recycled at every port.
Aurora is a member of the SeaGreen recycling initiative in Ushuaia, and is proud to participate in clean-up initiatives of beaches such as Clean up Svalbard.