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Chinstrap Penguins from Zodiac

Aurora Expeditions

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From the start, Aurora Expeditions was destined to be different. Co-founders Greg and Margaret Mortimer had a passion for adventure, exploring wild places, and sharing the experience with friends. In 1991, Aurora Expeditions, named in honor of Sir Douglas Mawson's ship, was born.

Their aim was simple – to take small groups of travelers on voyages of discovery to regions that inspired them, thereby creating lifelong ambassadors for the preservation and protection of these sacred places. More than two decades later, that pioneering spirit burns just as brightly, as does their preference for small-group, personal expeditions.

Less people means more solitude and greater flexibility if tides, currents, ice, or weather dictate a schedule change. And because they have fewer people to ferry ashore, they often make more landings.

They make the most of their size advantage to create intimate expeditions varying in length from 10 to 26 days. Travelers can simply choose the region they'd like to explore, the amount of time they've got, and what activities they enjoy. They can focus on one destination or combine back-to-back trips for the ultimate adventure.

Travelers are accompanied by Aurora Expeditions' expedition specialists, who are believed to be the world's best. These remote area specialists provide onboard lectures that entertain and expand travelers' knowledge.

Whether travelers are joining Aurora Expeditions for the first time or returning for another thrilling adventure, the original goals of the company remain unchanged: to explore wild places that stir the soul, offer personal attention on unforgettable expeditions, and welcome new friends into the Aurora Expeditions' family.


Aurora Expeditions Cruises

Aurora Expeditions Ships

Photo Gallery

Chinstrap Penguins from Zodiac Sylvia Earle The Sylvia Earle Kayaking at Viewpoint King Penguins in South Georgia Polar Bears in Ytre Norskoya The Greg Mortimer in the Greenland Northern Lights, Greenland

Aurora Expeditions' Pioneering History

1991: Aurora Expeditions was established by Greg & Margaret Mortimer. One of the first operators to become an IAATO member. 
1992: First Aurora Expeditions Antarctic voyage
1994: First to introduce ice camping & kayaking on the Antarctic Peninsula 
1995: First commercial climbers expedition to the Antarctic Peninsula 
1997: First Aurora Expeditions Arctic voyage 
1998: First diving trip to the Antarctic Peninsula 
1998: First trip to the Northern Territory and the Kimberley Coast 
2001: First passenger expedition to retrace Shackleton's footsteps
2003: One of the first operators to become an AECO member 
2005: First British Isles expedition 
2012: Introduced trips with flights to Antarctica 
2016: Introduced polar snorkeling in the Arctic 
2019: Launched the first passenger vessel to feature the Ulstein X-Bow
2020: Names "World's Leading Polar Operator" in 2020 in the World Travel Awards 

Sustainability in Action

Our Planet - Minimal Footprint
  • 100% Climate Neutral
  • X-BOW Reduced fuel consumption
  • Responsible travel ashore; care for the places we visit
Education & Enrichment
  • Participative Citizen Science Program
  • Women in Conservation Program
  • Creating ambassadors for the planet
People & Community
  • A team of diverse, motivated people
  • Volunteering for the environment
  • Forming partnerships
Environmental Management Systems
  • Efficient energy, water and waste management
  • Reduced single-use plastics
  • Eco-friendly products and cleaning onboard
  • Eco-friendly supplies in head-office


What is The Aurora Experience? 
Small Groups:
Traveling in small groups with Aurora Expeditions, where the average number of passengers is 132, allows travelers to join every excursion, enabling them to immerse themselves in the environment and explore through shore landings, Zodiac cruises, kayaking, or diving. With a staff-to-passenger ratio of approximately 1:8, this provides more one-on-one time with the expedition team.

Expert Guides: 
Aurora Expeditions' highly acclaimed expedition specialists are regarded as some of the best in the business. Many of them are recognized as world leaders in their respective fields, and they enthusiastically share their knowledge to ensure that every moment spent with Aurora Expeditions is interesting and educational. Furthermore, they have a genuine passion for being with people.

Flexibility & Freedom: 
Aurora Expeditions stops for breaching whales and their itineraries are designed to be adaptable. In the event of adverse weather conditions or sea ice blocking their way, the company has contingency plans, including Plan B, C, and D. They are continually seeking new places to explore and are not hesitant to adjust their schedule to maximize the opportunities presented by unexpected wildlife displays.

Spirit of Adventure: 
No matter where Aurora Expeditions is, they encourage a true sense of exploration. They offer opportunities to Zodiac cruise into a craggy cove to take a closer look at rockhopper penguins scaling a cliff or to take guided hikes across the tundra in search of the elusive arctic fox. Travelers can also choose from a large selection of optional activities to make the most of their adventure.

Relaxed Onboard Atmosphere:
Aurora Expeditions' approachable expedition team makes every effort to ensure that travelers feel right at home. Whether it means sharing tales of adventure at the bar, dining in friendly groups, or heading up to the bridge in their pyjamas for a polar bear sighting, the small groups and warm camaraderie create a relaxed, informal atmosphere on board.

Solo Travelers 

Will the group be full of couples or solo travelers?
On Aurora Expeditions' expeditions, the average ratio between solo travelers and other passengers (whether couples or friends) is approximately 30:70. However, this ratio can vary.

What age will the rest of my group be?​
The age groups of passengers on Aurora Expeditions' voyages vary widely. Traditionally, the majority of passengers have been over 50. However, in recent years, the company has seen an increase in younger guests, especially those attracted by the adventure activities, photography workshops, and the opportunity to add voyages to a round-the-world trip. It can be expected that the age range will be diverse, and it's worth noting that having a good, mixed range of ages on the expedition makes the experience all the more enjoyable.

Ship Health & Safety Features 

What is 100% Fresh on Board feature? 
Aurora Expedition's vessels have ultra-modern systems that includes 100% fresh air in every cabin – passenger and crew. There is no recirculation of air throughout our vessels.

Do you have a medic on board?
As part of Aurora Expeditions continued commitment to providing expedition experiences in the safest and most enjoyable way possible, in each landing passengers will be accompanied by a medic.

Do you have a clinic on the ship? 
An emergency medical team, which includes a doctor and a nurse with current training in public health protocols and outbreak prevention and management protocols, will be on board every voyage with Aurora Expeditions.

The company's ships are equipped with a fully equipped Medical Centre that has facilities for emergency care. 



2022: World's Leading Polar Expedition Operator - World Travel Awards 
2022: Silver Travel Awards Winner 
2022: Best Expedition Cruise Line - Wave Awards 
2022: World's Leading Polar Expedition Operator - World Travel Awards 
2019: Greg Mortimer - Best New Cruise Ship - CruiseCritic Australia
2018: Best Itineraries - CruiseCritic Australia


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This was my first experience with Adventure Life - and I couldn't have been more pleased with the trip. The guides and local staff in both Buenos Aires and Uruguay were terrific - extremely helpful and accommodating. I really enjoyed meeting the friendly staff in Buenos Aires in person (I left my bags with them for the afternoon).
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