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Aurora Expeditions Announces Third Small Ship

Aurora Expeditions
Douglas Mawson, Port Render

Aurora Expeditions announced that it will soon welcome "Douglas Mawson," its third purpose-built small expedition ship, to its fleet.

Due to begin sailing in late 2025, Douglas Mawson’s inaugural season will also mark Aurora Expeditions’ return to East Antarctica for the first time in 15 years, with new itineraries to include a Mawson’s Antarctica voyage to East Antarctica in honour of the ship’s namesake, departing from Hobart.

Douglas Mawson will carry an average of 154 passengers and will be the newest Infinity Class vessel to enter the market, joining Aurora’s sister ships, also named after pioneers in their field, Greg Mortimer and Sylvia Earle.

The small ship will feature the latest and greatest revolutionary Ulstein X-BOW®, designed for smoother and faster ocean crossings and world-leading fuel efficiency, and will offer Nordic interior design features with stylish and comfortable staterooms and suites across 11 different categories, most featuring private balconies. For the first time, Aurora will also offer several single-berth cabins to cater to the growing solo traveler segment.

Public spaces include two restaurants, two bars, an outdoor heated swimming pool, pool bar and Jacuzzis, a gym and sauna, relaxation and wellness areas, a library lounge, a citizen science center and lecture theater, and expansive observation decks offering panoramic views of wilderness and wildlife.

“We’re thrilled to be launching the newest and final Infinity Class vessel, which we have named in honor of pioneering Australian geologist and explorer, Sir Douglas Mawson,” said Michael Heath, chief executive officer, Aurora Expeditions. “We are equally delighted to be offering passengers new itineraries departing from Australia as part of the ship’s inaugural season, including an exploration of Mawson’s Antarctica, which will visit Mawson’s Huts at Cape Denison, Commonwealth Bay, and New Zealand’s Subantarctic Islands.

“Aurora has pioneered expedition travel to the world’s most remote places for more than three decades, and we know that exploration is not just about what you see, but how you see it,” Heath added. “ That is why we are committed to delivering life-changing experiences with the newest, most advanced technology available, and with the most experienced and passionate team in the industry.”

“Aurora Expeditions takes great inspiration from the incredible legacy of Sir Douglas Mawson. Indeed, it was Mawson’s SY Aurora vessel that inspired our founder, Greg Mortimer, to name our company Aurora. Like its namesake, Douglas Mawson will be a ship that’s on the forefront of global ocean discovery,” said Hayley Peacock-Gower, chief market officer, Aurora Expeditions. “We also look forward to our partnership with the Mawson’s Huts Foundation – a custodian of Australia’s Antarctic heritage and advocate for Antarctic science education for children – and supporting the fantastic work they do to preserve the Mawson’s Huts complex and bring the stories and achievements of Sir Douglas Mawson and his Australasian Antarctic Expedition 1911-14 to life. We can’t wait to welcome Douglas Mawson to our fleet of small ships, and we look forward to announcing the full program of voyages for the new ship, which will offer passengers incredible expeditions in the polar regions, as well as some exciting new destinations.”

Like Aurora’s sister ships, Douglas Mawson is designed to be a comfortable base camp for adventure, with Zodiac access points, a changing room and mudroom preparing passengers for off-ship and on-shore activities, while a dedicated science center is the hub for a variety of participative and educational Citizen Science programs.

Aurora Expeditions plans to commence voyages on Douglas Mawson in December 2025, with the inaugural voyage and full program to be announced soon.

Those who pre-register their interest in Douglas Mawson’s inaugural Antarctica 2025/2026 season before April 18, 2024, are eligible to receive an additional USD $2,000 per couple* off their trip with Aurora Expeditions.

Douglas Mawson Pre-Registration: www.aurora-expeditions.com/pre-register-douglas-mawson

Learn more about Douglas Mawson at www.aurora-expeditions.com/ship/douglas-mawson

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