After moving to a two-ship operation in late 2022, Aurora Expeditions is set to continue to expand its fleet.
In a social media post, the company’s Chairman Neville Buch, said that the brand will get a third ship in 2025.
Commenting on the plans for Aurora’s new Vantage Explorations brand, Buch said that the new vessel is expected to operate in Australia and the South Pacific during the Northern hemisphere summer.
Specific itineraries and plans are expected to be released early in 2024, he added, noting that Aurora operated in the region before the COVID-19 pandemic.
Buch didn’t specify which ship is entering service for its company. Industry sources, however, point to SunStone Ships’ seventh Infinity Class newbuild.
Currently under construction in China, the 186-guest ship will be delivered in 2025 and is expected to be chartered out.
The new vessel is also a sister to Aurora’s Greg Mortimer and Sylvia Earle, which are operated by the company as part of long-term charter agreements.
The first ship in Sunstone’s Infinity Class, the Greg Mortimer entered service in late 2019. Replacing the 1985-built Polar Pioneer, the 160-guest ship currently offers a series of cruises to polar destinations, including Antarctica and Svalbard.
Virtually doubling the company’s capacity, the Sylvia Earle kicked off its inaugural season in December 2022. After debuting in Antarctica, the 130-guest ship repositioned to the Arctic – where it’s presently sailing.
Following a second season sailing across the Antarctic Peninsula, the Sylvia Earle is set for another full season in the Arctic in 2023. The program features expeditions to Svalbard, Iceland, Greenland and also the Northwest Passage.
SunStone’s Infinity Class also includes four additional ships: the Ocean Explorer, the Ocean Odyssey, the Ocean Victory and the Ocean Albatros.
While the first two were initially in service for Vantage Deluxe World Travel, the Ocean Victory splits its time sailing for American Queen Voyages and Albatros Expeditions and the Ocean Albatros sails for Albatros Expeditions on a year-round basis.