The Arctic awaits: Aurora Expeditions

Aurora Expeditions offer guests the opportunity to experience the polar regions onboard their latest ship, with brand new itineraries for 2020/21

As expeditionary voyaging emerges as the bucket-list holiday of choice for the well-travelled and well-resourced Gen X cohort, the need for those operating in this travel space to distinguish themselves has become greater than ever.

Aurora’s guiding principle of small-ship, expert-led expeditions sets it apart from the competition by allowing guests to maximise their time ashore and profit from the most enriching experience possible. Where larger ships are forced to split landings and adhere to timetables, their new 120-capacity ship, Greg Mortimer, affords flexibility.

Robert Halfpenny, managing director, says: “Itineraries are our guidelines. For example, our expedition leaders have the ability to stop the ship if they see a pod of whales. It’s a true expedition experience.”

Aurora Expeditions believes it is this expeditionary spirit which keeps customers coming back and acts as a point of difference for agent partners.

“Agents want to take care of their clients and create repeat business,” says Halfpenny. “At Aurora, we provide an experience that brings clients back for more. We have clients that have joined us 11 to even 20 times.”

Aurora has sought to expand its reach even further with new itineraries for 2020/21.

Greg Mortimer, launching in October 2019, comes equipped with kayaks and zodiacs to get guests right into the heart of the destination and its patented Ulstein X-BOW design allows for more gentle sea crossings, improved comfort and reduced emissions. Greg Mortimer will also feature two hydraulic viewing platforms which emerge from the bow of the ship offering unobstructed views of the stunning surroundings.

Craig Upshall, director of UK and European sales, says: “One of our taglines is ‘pioneering to the heart of nature’, so we’re not afraid to try new things. This applies to the ship build, our experiential activities and our itineraries too. For example, we are responding to mounting consumer interest in the Arctic by expanding our offering to include new and more remote destinations.”

Launching in summer 2020, each of Aurora’s new and innovative Arctic itineraries offers an exciting opportunity to experience the destination from a fresh perspective.

“The new itineraries will allow travellers to explore regions previously unvisited by cruise companies,” says Robert Halfpenny. “This new product will see the Aurora spirit of small ship expedition cruising with wildlife, nature and adventure at the heart of these experiences.”

The Franz Josef Land Explorer is one such new itinerary and takes passengers to a world few have seen, delving deep into the heart of the Russian High Arctic. Franz Josef Land is a stark yet beautiful world of glaciers, mosses and lichens and home to two of the Arctic’s giants – the walrus and the polar bear.

Similarly, Aurora Expeditions is one of the first polar voyaging specialists to offer an Iceland Circumnavigation. With most of the country uninhabited and with many deep fjords and glaciers to explore – including Europe’s largest, Vatnajökull – a circumnavigation of Iceland is an experience not to be missed.

Another highlight of the 2020/21 Arctic programme is the West Greenland Explorer itinerary. Boasting the Ilulissat Icefjord, a Unesco World Heritage Site, West Greenland offers an adventure-filled experience that includes thrilling zodiac cruises along gleaming ice-filled fjords, unbeatable photographic opportunities and meeting friendly Inuit locals living in some of the world’s remotest and harshest environments.

These are just some of the innovative Arctic itineraries offered within Aurora Expeditions 2020/21 programme, all of which are available to book now.

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