The Ocean Explorer is currently on its way to Norway’s Svalbard Archipelago for Aurora Expeditions to take over for the Greg Mortimer, which has suffered propeller damage and is being drydocked.
Formerly operated by Vantage Deluxe World Travel, the 140-guest Ocean Explorer has been out of service since late May. The ship will now finish the Arctic season in place of the Greg Mortimer.
Both ships are owned by SunStone Ships and part of SunStone’s six-ship Infinity Class.
According to AIS data, the Explorer is set to arrive at Longyearbyen – the biggest city in the archipelago and a popular homeport for expedition cruise lines in the Arctic – on July 24.
Owned by SunStone Ships, the 8,000-ton Ocean Explorer had been chartered for Vantage Travel since being delivered in mid-2021.
Along with its sister ship Ocean Odyssey, it was set to offer a series of itineraries to traditional and remote regions of the globe, including Europe, North America, the Caribbean and Antarctica.
During the 2023 summer the Ocean Explorer was originally scheduled to sail in the Arctic and Northern Europe before repositioning to the Great Lakes for a fall program.
Instead, with Vantage Travel ceasing operations in late May, the vessel entered what was believed to be an extended lay up period at the port of Caen, in Northern France.
Earlier this month, however, the vessel left the French port for Stavanger, in Norway. After a few days at the port, it continued to head north on its current voyage to Svalbard.