Le Havre
Port Everglades

Aurora Expeditions: 30 Years of Cruising

Aurora Expeditions is celebrating two notable occasions in 2021: the cruise line’s 30th anniversary and the delivery of its second ship, the Sylvia Earle.

“It’s certainly something to celebrate. In 2020, we were picked as the world’s leading polar expedition operator in the World Travel Awards. That was really special because it was voted by the industry and general public,” the CEO of Aurora Expeditions Monique Ponfoort said, according to 2021 Expedition Market Report by Cruise Industry News.

Ponfoort described Aurora Expeditions as an “Australian homegrown company, where the Australian team spirit is very much alive.” She added that she’s fascinated with what Aurora does and where it sails.

“I think expedition cruising is quite niche, quite unique,” Ponfoort said. “Curiosity is an intrinsic part of expeditions. I really love the fact that you can be taken on a true adventure and, from the very first day, really leave behind the life you live in and step into the most beautiful world – and it opens your mind to the world around you.”

Aurora Expeditions likes to turn its guests into “ambassadors” of the areas they visit, Ponfoort noted.

“We get a lot of guests coming back and talking to other people. And we get phone calls through word of mouth all the time of people saying, ‘I heard about these incredible travels, I now want to learn.’,” she explained.

Among the biggest milestones for the company, Ponfoort listed the upcoming launch of the Sylvia Earle, a 130-passenger ship that will join her sister, the Greg Mortimer, as a second ship in the fleet.

“She’s scheduled to sail her maiden voyage in November 2021. Importantly, she’s named after Dr. Sylvia Earle, a marine biologist. She’s an incredible woman and has brought so much to the world and to learning about our oceans and protecting them,” Ponfoort said.

Ponfoort added that having smaller ships is an advantage in the expedition cruising market.

“I do see strong demand for small ships, and we’re certainly one of the smallest in the expedition space, as far as passenger numbers go. Continuing to really listen to our guests and bring to life extraordinary experiences gives us time to really focus on our product, as well as keep adding to it and making it even better based on feedback from our guests. There’s certainly a lot to do, (and) we look forward to continued growth,” Ponfoort said.


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