AURORA’S big reveal
Aurora Expeditions has opened reservations for its inaugural polar season of its purpose-built expedition vessel, Greg Mortimer.
The cruise line revealed the 120-passenger ship will introduce four new itineraries during the season, including the 11- or 12-day Antarctic Explorer and 15-day Franz Josef Land Explorer and it will offer a fly-fly option in Antarctica, allowing passengers to avoid the Drake Passage.
Greg Mortimer will begin sailing in late Oct 2019 and has been designed “by expeditioners for expeditioners”.
It will be the first passenger vessel to feature the Ulstein X-Bow, which will provide greater stability and speed in rough seas.
Carnival Australia shakes up leadership
Carnival Australia has reshuffled its senior ranks, with Sture Myrmell moving into the role of president and Stuart Allison promoted to senior vice president, Asia Pacific planning and operations, for Princess Cruises.
Myrmell takes over from Ann Sherry, who stepped back earlier this year to the part-time position of executive chair.
Previously president of P&O Cruises Australia, Myrmell now assumes responsibility for P&O’s sister lines and Carnival’s shared services group which supports the cruise brands in this market.
Ponant orders icebreaker
Ponant will expand its luxury expedition fleet in the second quarter of 2021 with the addition of an electric hybrid icebreaker, propelled by liquefied natural gas.
The 270-passenger ship will be designed to take passengers to “never explored polar destinations”, such as the true geographic North Pole (90 degrees north latitude), the Weddell Sea, the Ross Sea and Peter I Island.
It will be built by Fincantieri’s subsidiary Vard and feature two panoramic restaurants, a grill restaurant, spa and wellness facilities, 16 Zodiac dinghies and two helicopters.
Ponant says the vessel will be designed to fulfil the highest standards for environmentally friendly and safe operations.
The contract value is approximately NOK2.7 billion (A$421 million).