In the maritime world, there's a long-standing tradition of naming ships after influential women. This practice can be traced back to ancient times and is believed to stem from various sentiments – whether it's the perceived beauty of ships, the affectionate bond between sailors and their vessels, or the maternal symbolism of a ship safeguarding its crew. Enter the "Sylvia Earle," the latest addition to the Aurora Expeditions fleet.
The Sylvia Earle is named in tribute to Dr. Sylvia Alice Earle, an esteemed marine biologist, oceanographer, and conservationist. Dr. Earle was the first woman to hold the position of chief scientist at the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and was recognized by Time Magazine as its first "Hero for the Planet" in 1998. Each deck of the Sylvia Earle commemorates a trailblazing woman connected to the oceans, with plaques and photos detailing their contributions.
Launched in 2022 from Ushuaia, Argentina, this remarkable vessel has been channeling her marine-conservation ethos into a fully immersive on-board guest experience, not only in the Polar regions but in other destinations as the ship sails from south to north and vice-versa.
From an environmental perspective, the Sylvia Earle is ahead of the curve. Boasting a climate-neutral stance, the ship focuses on reduced energy consumption, fuel-efficiency, and a design that ensures minimal emissions. Instead of traditional anchoring, the ship employs a sophisticated virtual anchoring system, leveraging GPS, steering tech, and thrusters, thus sparing the sea floor from potential damage. Furthermore, the Sylvia Earle is outfitted with the innovative ULSTEIN X-BOW®. Paired with Rolls Royce stabilizers, this unique bow design ensures exceptional stability and comfort during ocean journeys. The design also enables faster transits through waves, contributing to a potential fuel savings of up to 60%.
With a maximum of 132 guests and 71 cabins, activities play a major part in the passenger experience – with expert-led kayak expeditions, Polar ski touring, climbing, snowshoeing, hiking and exploration by Zodiac – the activities onboard are some of the most spectacular in the field of polar cruise travel. Did we mention Scuba Diving? In Antarctica -- yes, exactly. Aurora Expeditions is one of the few operators where experienced guests are offered the opportunity in polar regions to discover dive sites that vary from shallow ice diving, diving along a wall or around a grounded iceberg, with a maximum depth of 20 meters / 65 feet. Within your quest for activity, the transition from ship to sea or shore will be as smooth as possible. With the consultation of expert guides, the Sylvia Earle built the spacious activity preparation areas and loading platforms whereas you will also have access to individual lockers and rapid drying areas for dry suits and wet suits in the mudroom, to give your gear the best chance to dry between excursions.
Aurora Expeditions' Citizen Science Program invites passengers to engage in hands-on research during their journey, like tracking wildlife and collecting water samples, contributing to active scientific studies. Collaborating with academic and conservation entities ensures the validity and impact of the data gathered. The program includes preparatory workshops and educational talks to equip passengers with the skills needed for data collection, enhancing their travel experience and fostering environmental conservation awareness.
After an exhilarating day of exploration, guests can retreat to the ship's luxurious amenities. From dining in one of the two restaurants, unwinding in the bar lounge, engaging in art, reading in the library, rejuvenating in the wellness center, or soaking in a whirlpool hot tub – the Sylvia Earle ensures a well-rounded, indulgent experience at sea. Embarking on a journey aboard the Sylvia Earle is a fusion of luxury and adventure. With top-tier amenities paired with unparalleled outdoor escapades, the vessel promises an unmatched experience. For those seeking both comfort and thrilling exploration, the Sylvia Earle stands as an excellent choice.