Published on : Friday, November 17, 2017
Aurora Expeditions, Australia’s leading expedition cruising company, has today announced that its new world-class expedition ship will be named Greg Mortimer in honour of the Australian adventurer and Aurora Expeditions co-founder.
As the first expedition cruise ship featuring the patented ULSTEIN X-BOW®, the state-of-the-art Greg Mortimer is set to redefine expedition cruising. The new 104-metre ice class 1A expedition ship will launch in 2019, utilising the latest advancements in naval design and technology to make exploring remote destinations even easier and to create a more enjoyable and comfortable expedition experience.
Mortimer co-founded Aurora Expeditions in 1991 with his wife Margaret, with a shared passion for adventure, exploring wild places and sharing the experience with friends. Their aim was simple – to take small groups of travellers on voyages to regions that inspired them, thereby creating lifelong ambassadors for the preservation and protection of these sacred places.
As the first Australian to reach the summits of Mount Everest, K2, Annapurna II and Chongtar in the Himalaya – all without supplementary oxygen – and mounts Vinson and Minto in Antarctica, Greg Mortimer has accomplished many adventurous feats in often dangerous places in his lifetime but concedes the naming of the new Aurora Expeditions ship is at the edge of his comfort zone.
On the naming of the ship, Mortimer said: “I’m both honoured and humbled to share my name with a vessel that marries the pioneering heritage of Aurora Expeditions with bold technology, aggressive design and innovation fit for purpose. I’m tickled pink that Aurora continues to be at the forefront of exploration.”
Robert Halfpenny, Managing Director of Aurora Expeditions, said of the announcement, “We are excited to be the first to market with the ULSTEIN X-BOW® exciting new design and we’re delighted that our ship will bear the Greg Mortimer name. It’s a proud name that will ensure Greg’s legacy and vision for small group voyages continues to burn brightly into the future.”
The main advantage of the ULSTEIN X-BOW® is its ability to pierce waves with much greater stability than a traditional bow. While a traditional bow vessel rises on the waves and then drops violently onto the surface of the water, an X-BOW vessel, less subject to the vertical motions induced by the waves, continues on course more smoothly, while maintaining its speed. Because it uses less fuel to get through the waves, it also improves fuel efficiency and reduces air emissions. Furthermore, it is a top-class ice ship.
While SOLAS regulations do not require return to port technology for a ship of this size, the ship will be fitted with the latest return to port propulsion system. Safety is a core principle for Aurora Expeditions especially as the new purposely built expedition ship will be able to reach some of the most isolated and unspoiled destinations in the world.
“The Greg Mortimer will be fitted with a duplicated propulsion system enabling the ship to maintain operating conditions and comfort, in the case of any single failure of items relative to the propulsion or power generating system,” Halfpenny explained. If one fails, the “other does not lose any functionality, providing for a safe return to port.”
The ship will also be fitted with state-of-the-art offshore dynamic positioning technology, meaning that computer-controlled systems allow the ship to automatically maintain its position with its own propellers and thrusters, so it can float atop the delicate sea floor while launching zodiacs, kayaks and other water craft without using anchors.
Featuring sea-level Zodiac and activity loading platforms, dedicated observation decks and plenty of outdoor viewing areas, the emphasis of getting up close to nature will be at the core of the ship’s experience.
Greg Mortimer is set to conduct its first sea voyage adventure in 2019/20.
The new ship will complement the company’s existing fleet of vessels and destinations. Itineraries for the new ship are expected for release in early 2018.