Aurora Expeditions is beyond thrilled to officially christen its newest purpose-built small ship, the Sylvia Earle. Namesake and godmother, Dr Sylvia Earle did the honours, in Antarctica in recognition of the ship’s pioneering nature.
Dr Earle is a world-renowned marine biologist, oceanographer and explorer. She was the first female Chief Scientist of the US National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration and a National Geographic explorer-in-residence since 1998. Named by Time magazine as its first ‘Hero of the Planet’, her own conservation initiative Mission Blue is creating a global network of marine protected areas known as ‘Hope Spots’.
“Thank you, Aurora for the approach that you use to keep people inspired about the ocean,” Dr Earle commented. “Exploring the ocean, using knowledge to take care of all this on our planet. This is an experience that I am happy to share with everyone here and I’m looking at Aurora as the voice of the ocean.”
Aurora Expeditions CEO Michael Heath said having Dr Earle as the ship’s ambassador was an honour.
“We are privileged to have Dr Earle as the namesake of our stunning second purpose-built expedition ship,” said Mr Heath. “I thank Sylvia for joining us on board to officially christen the ship and be on board for the inaugural Antarctic Climate Expedition.”
In another world first, each of the Sylvia Earle’s decks is named after six other pioneering female conservationists – Jo Ruxton (MBE), Dr Carden Wallace (AM), Sharon Kwok, Bernadette Demientieff, Dr Asha de Vos and Hanli Prinsloo – with a deck dedicated to Dr Earle herself.
With its strong focus on education and conservation, the new Sylvia Earle is designed to accommodate an average of 132 passengers per voyage in an atmosphere of equality, fun and informality. A highly experienced Expedition Team guides passengers in small groups on myriad excursions by water and land, with exciting activities ranging from Zodiac cruises to walks and hikes, sea kayaking, scuba diving, snorkelling, paddling, skiing, photography and birdwatching, among others. A dedicated Science Centre is the hub for a variety of participative and educational Citizen Science programs.