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Tuesday, 18 June 2019

Aurora Expeditions takes NASA scientists on 2021 Antarctic solar eclipse voyage

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Aurora Expeditions has today announced NASA astronomer Dr Michelle Thaller and NASA Engineer Dr Andrew Booth as special guests for the expedition company’s total solar eclipse voyage in December 2021.

Assistant Director for Science Communication at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Centre, Dr Michelle Thaller will act as the main lecturer for the voyage. Dr Thaller will conduct a series of talks together with Dr Andrew Booth on the solar eclipse, Antarctica and general astronomy in the staggering surroundings of Antarctica.


Witnessing a solar eclipse from Antarctica is a once-in-a-lifetime event. 

Travellers on this voyage will be part of a once-in-a-lifetime event as the full eclipse will only be visible from Antarctica. Taking place in the early hours of December 4, 2021, Aurora Expeditions’ soon-to-be-launched polar-class ship, the Greg Mortimer will be in prime viewing position to see the moon transition in front of the sun, shrouding the white Antarctic wilderness in surreal darkness.

“The extreme environment of Antarctica is used by NASA to simulate places as far away as Mars and the moons of Jupiter, and we promise to take the passengers along for a scientific journey they’ll never forget,” said Dr Thaller. Her husband and NASA Engineer Dr Andrew Booth continues:

“At this moment in history, world-class science is converging in Antarctica. From the changing ice of our planet, to extreme environments that simulate extra-terrestrial worlds, to observatories buried under the ice to detect the deaths of stars millions of years ago, to long dark nights that allow astronomers to peer to the edge of the known universe, Antarctica is where it's all happening now.”

About Dr Michelle Thaller

  • Dr. Michelle Thaller is an astronomer, science communicator and long-time eclipse enthusiast. She has degrees in astrophysics from Harvard and Georgia State University and began working for NASA in 1998 during a post-doctoral research fellowship at the California Institute of Technology. 
  • After 12 years at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, she moved to NASA's largest base in 2009, the Goddard Space Flight Centre, and has recently returned there after three years at NASA Headquarters in Washington, D.C. 
  • Dr Thaller has hosted several television shows, including The Universe on the History Channel, The Known Universe on Nat Geo TV, and currently, How the Universe Works and Space's Deepest Secrets, both on the Discovery Science Channel. 
  • Dr Thaller also hosts the Orbital Path Podcast from Public Radio Exchange and contributes blogs and articles to many popular science publications and websites.
About Dr Andrew Booth

  • Dr Booth graduated from Oxford University in 1982 with a doctorate in Astrophysics, with a focus on the fundamental properties of stars, including the properties of atoms for interpreting stellar spectra.
  • He moved to Sydney University in 1988 as a professor in Astronomy and was part of the team building the Sydney University Stellar Interferometer, used for measuring the sizes of stars.
  • In 1998 he moved to JPL in Pasadena California to work on the Keck Interferometer project in Hawaii for NASA, linking the world’s two largest telescopes into a single instrument. After moving to GSFC in Maryland in 2010, he worked on the James Webb Space Telescope, the Laser Communication Relay Demonstration mission which is a space telescope that is planned to be the successor to the Hubble Space Telescope
  • Dr Booth is currently one of the lead engineers on the WFIRST mission, which is a NASA observatory designed to unravel the secrets of dark energy and dark matter and search for exoplanets. WFIRST will have a panoramic field of view of the universe that is 100 times wider than the Hubble Space Telescope.
  • The 22-day total Solar Eclipse in Antarctica voyage departs Ushuaia, Argentina on 24 November 2021 and includes planned visits to the South Shetland Islands, the Antarctic Peninsula, Elephant Island, South Georgia and the Falklands-Malvinas. *In true expedition style, itineraries are always subject to change due to ice and weather conditions.

For more information, contact your preferred wholesaler or Aurora Expeditions: 1800 637 688, +61 (0)2 9252 1033 or agents@auroraexpeditions.com.au


New brochure: Lindblad Expeditions-National Geographic 2020-21 Antarctica

Lindblad Expeditions-National Geographic has launched its 2020-21 Antarctica brochure inviting adventurers to visit one of the most exhilarating places on Earth.

BlackWolf Strato 40 Technical Daypack: comfort, safety and practicality

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The Ideal Expedition Cruising Daypack

Whether you are hiking in the bush or tackling an urban adventure, BlackWolf’s Strato 40 Technical Daypack is the perfect backpack for all conditions. Made for both urban and outdoor settings, the Strato Daypack is built with comfort, safety and practicality in mind.

While the BlackWolf Strato 40 may seem like an ordinary backpack, it’s equipped with handy features for adventures in the outdoors and city living. For sticky situations in the bush, the Strato 40 comes with a safety whistle to easily signal for help and a night reflective daisy loop to be easily seen in the dark. Built with an internal pocket for a hydration tank, BlackWolf’s new backpack is hydration compatible for those long stints away.

Not only is the Strato 40 good for hikes; it’s protected with RFID protection for security from digital theft during busy commutes in the city. Designed with a waterproof rain cover, you can count on the BlackWolf’s new daypack to keep your valuables dry if you get caught in some wet weather. Heavy duty no. 10 zippers ensures that after countless adventures in the city and great outdoors, your backpack will last. 



Say goodbye to an aching back and say hello to relaxed shoulders thanks to the outstanding comfort features of the Strato 40 Daypack. Engineered for all-day comfort, the padded waist and shoulder straps mean you can feel balanced, secure and confident no matter the terrain. For heavier loads, the sternum strap across your chest takes the pressure off your shoulders and give you extra cushioning.

To cap it off, the padded laptop holder and hard case ensure your laptop is protected from scratches and kept in place. Additionally, you can spend less time searching for your keys and headphones at the bottom of your bag thanks to the removable key holder and external headphone port.

Whether you are travelling through city streets or going on a hike, the BlackWolf Strato 40 Daypack is the must-have travel essential. Renowned for designing tough, practical and reliable travel and adventure gear, you can count on BlackWolf backpacks in delivering durability and premium urban design.

BlackWolf Strato 40 Technical Daypack RRP: $199.99

Available colours: blue, black, chilli and forest

For more information on BlackWolf and their range of products, or to find your nearest stockist visit www.blackwolf.com.au

Monday, 17 June 2019

Coral Expeditions expands solo traveller program as fleet grows

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Coral Expeditions, Australia's pioneering cruise line, is expanding its solo traveller program with a variety of new options and offers that cater for the varied circumstances and expectations of the contemporary solo traveller.

Saturday, 15 June 2019

PONANT opens sales for inaugural Arctic voyages on board Le Commandant Charcot

PONANT opens sales for the first expedition cruises to the Arctic in 2021 aboard Le Commandant-Charcot, the world's first luxury polar exploration vessel with hybrid propulsion



Today sees the opening of sales for Arctic 2021 cruises aboard Le Commandant-Charcot, a truly exceptional luxury polar exploration vessel.

Friday, 14 June 2019

Oceanwide launches Polar Class 6 Hondius

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 It's been a very exciting week for polar cruising enthusiasts, with the launch of the the m/v Hondius. Two years in the making, Hondius recently sailed from the Brodosplit shipyard in Split, Croatia to her Dutch homeport of Vlissingen, home of her owner Oceanwide Expeditions. After a gala welcome ceremony on 03 June 2019 it was time for the inaugural guests to board before setting off on her maiden voyage to the Arctic.

David Sinclair to lead expert team on line’s new expedition ship

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Crystal Expedition Cruises has appointed seasoned explorer David Sinclair as expedition leader for its upcoming ship Crystal Endeavor launching in August 2020. Sinclair has spent over two decades traversing all seven continents with an emphasized expertise in the polar regions. He has shared his knowledge and passion for wilderness discoveries with travelers on bold expeditions to the Antarctic Peninsula, Ross Sea, Adelie Coast, South Georgia, Macquarie Island, the Falkland Islands, Greenland, Svalbard and the Canadian Arctic. In his role, he will be involved in the planning and development of the vessel’s shoreside excursions, as well as leading a team of skilled expedition guides and experts.

Finally! Scenic Eclipse completes sea trials [video]

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Scenic Luxury Cruises & Tours has today announced that Scenic Eclipse, the World’s First Discovery Yachts, continues to move closer to her official launch on August 15 2019, with the successful completion of extensive sea trials.

Wednesday, 12 June 2019

Lindblad Expeditions-National Geographic launches Wild Escapes,

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Lindblad Expeditions-National Geographic has announced Wild Escapes, a collection of 11 action-packed shorter voyages to experience wildness, wellness and wonder in less time. The Wild Escapes adventures – including four new itineraries – range from 5 to 9 days and explore many of the same exhilarating regions Lindblad has explored for over 40 years with their traditional programs.

UnCruise Adventures Adds Belize, Guatemala and Colombia for 2020

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Small ship adventure cruise line expands further into Latin America

UnCruise Adventures adds additional Latin American destinations in 2020 with Belize, Guatemala and Colombia chosen for new adventure cruise routes. The line’s 2020 schedule of small ship cruises is open for booking with nine ships sailing in Alaska, Columbia and Snake Rivers, Coastal Washington, Mexico, Hawaii, Galápagos, Costa Rica, Panamá, Colombia, Belize and Guatemala.

Friday, 7 June 2019

Lindblad Expeditions is Carbon Neutral

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Lindblad Expeditions announced today that they will become a carbon neutral company beginning in 2019. This announcement continues the company’s legacy in ecotourism, demonstrating their long-standing and growing commitment toward defining travel industry standards for sustainability and environmentally responsible operations.

Lindblad’s announcement also supports National Geographic’s ongoing efforts to identify greenhouse gas emissions associated with its travel programs, and decrease that impact by offsetting carbon emissions that cannot be eliminated.

Lindblad Expeditions’ investments will effectively offset 100% of emissions from their ships (eight from the Lindblad-National Geographic fleet and five leased), all land-based operations, employee travel, offices in New York and Seattle, and additional small but measurable emission contributors.

“As a company, recognizing that global climate change is arguably the greatest threat humanity has ever faced, we all need to urgently step up our efforts whether big or small,” said Sven Lindblad, CEO and Founder of Lindblad Expeditions.

“Our goal is to reduce and offset our carbon footprint, and to commit to carbon neutrality throughout the many layers of our business. It has become increasingly more apparent that we, human beings, and our planet which sustains us are out of balance. Climate change and its resulting impacts on global biodiversity and human health and livelihoods has provided a clarion call and awakening. The message is clear; we must rebalance and rebalance urgently.”

“We are thrilled with Lindblad’s commitment to be a carbon neutral company,” said Nancy Schumacher, EVP Travel and Tour Operations of National Geographic Partners. “We recognize that travel contributes to the overall human footprint that affects the Earth’s climate, and have been actively working to reduce this impact over the past decade, investing more than $1.5 million in verifiable carbon offset projects. We look forward to working together to spur further climate action.”

Working in partnership with South Pole, a leading developer of international emission reduction projects, Lindblad Expeditions now has a portfolio of six carbon project investments that align with the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals. These investments focus on renewable energy (solar and wind), reforestation, and community-based projects in six countries, including Mexico, Peru, and Vietnam, countries that Lindblad-National Geographic travelers visit.

South Pole requires independent third-party verification and regular monitoring of all projects in their portfolio to ensure they deliver the stated impacts and adhere to the highest internationally recognized standards. Further, South Pole ensures emission reductions are accurately measured and verified to deliver transparent annual public reporting.

Carbon neutrality joins a diverse portfolio of corporate sustainability programs recently expanded under the direction of Amy Berquist, Vice President of Conservation, Education, and Sustainability, at Lindblad Expeditions.

“We are always looking for creative and meaningful ways to support the health of the environment and the people and ecosystems reliant on it,” Berquist states. “Committing to carbon neutrality is a natural extension of our core beliefs, especially in the face of increasing threats posed by climate change.”

Thursday, 6 June 2019

Heritage Expeditions Returns to Commonwealth Bay and Mawson’s Huts for Christmas

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Commonwealth Bay and Mawson's Huts (c) R Eime

Pioneering expedition cruise company Heritage Expeditions is returning to East Antarctica with a visit to Mawson’s Hut planned for Christmas Day during its 25-day voyage ‘In the Wake of Mawson’ following the historic region’s first ice free summer in eight years.

Coral Expeditions confirms fifth ship Coral Geographer

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Launches maiden voyage series, “Small Islands of the Indian Ocean”, departing January 2021


Australia’s pioneering expedition cruise line, Coral Expeditions, continues to expand their Australian-flagged fleet announcing the order of a fifth ship, Coral Geographer, to be delivered in December 2020.

The new build, which is currently under construction at VARD Shipyard, will be a sister ship to the company’s recently launched Coral Adventurer, which arrived in home waters in Darwin, Australia, earlier this month.

Aurora Expeditions Orders Second X-Bow expedition ship for Spring 2021


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Aurora Expeditions’ second X-Bow ship will be similar in design to the soon-to-be-launched Greg Mortimer

Aurora Expeditions has today announced it has entered into an agreement with shipbuilder Sunstone to build a second X-Bow expedition ship, for delivery in spring 2021.