Aurora Expeditions' Greg Mortimer cruise ship, first with X-bow design, sets sail

The world's first cruise ship featuring a revolutionary 'X-bow' design has set sail on its inaugural passenger cruise.

Aurora Expeditions' Greg Mortimer, named after the company founder and adventurer, set off from Ushuaia at the southern tip of Argentina on October 31 for a 12-day cruise around the Antarctic Peninsula.

The unusual bow, created by Norwegian ship designer Ulstein, is designed to absorb the force of waves more consistently across its surface than traditional ship bows, improving the steadiness of the ship as well as fuel efficiency (that said, the Aurora website features a disclaimer that says the ship won't prevent or cure seasickness).

Greg Mortimer cruise ship, first with X-bow design, sets sail

The world's first cruise ship featuring a revolutionary 'X-bow' design has set sail on its inaugural passenger cruise. Vision: Aurora Expeditions.

Although the X-bow technology has been used on more than 100 ships around the world, the Greg Mortimer is the first cruise ship to use the design.

The 104-metre ship also features "anchorless" technology, which allows it to float in place without lowering anchors using a dynamic positioning system. According to Aurora, this will make it easier to launch Zodiacs (inflatable boats), kayaks and other watercraft for expeditions.

Managing director of Aurora Expeditions, Robert Halfpenny, says the ship's technology means less environmental impact.

"Integral to Aurora Expeditions' DNA is sustainability and preservation of natural areas, and that is showcased in the design of the Greg Mortimer with anchorless technology and reduced emissions," he says.

Built to accommodate 126 passengers, the Greg Mortimer also features hydraulic platforms that fold out from the ship to offer unobstructed views of wildlife and the landscape. Passengers will also enjoy access to an observation lounge, an elegant dining room, a library and a wellness centre. There are also 15 Zodiacs on board to get passengers up close with wildlife or take them ashore.

The ship's inaugural season features 20 expeditions in the Antarctica peninsula, South Georgia and the Falkland Islands. It will then sail the Arctic, including Svalbard, Franz Josef Land, East Greenland, Iceland and Norway.

Advertisement

The ship was christened by Margaret Mortimer, co-founder of Aurora Expeditions and Greg's wife, at a ceremony in Ushuaia alongside her husband and various guests. Rather than the traditional bottle of champagne, a chunk of Antarctic ice was smashed against the hull in the ceremony.

Aurora Expeditions has announced it will build an as-yet-unnamed second X-bow ship, to launch in 2021.

See https://www.auroraexpeditions.com.au/ship/greg-mortimer

See also: Greg Mortimer: What travel has taught me

See also: The world's first hybrid cruise ship launches

Comments