A New Antarctic Expedition Ship with an Unusual Shape

Aurora Expeditions, who specialise in expeditions to the polar regions, yesterday named their new ship, the Greg Mortimer, in a ceremony set against the snow-capped mountains of Ushuaia, Argentina.

The new ship has a striking profile because she is the first passenger vessel in the world to utilise the patented Ulstein X-BOW® technology, an inverted bow design that enables a ship to pierce waves with much greater stability than a traditional bow.

The Greg Mortimer, named after the renowned mountaineer and explorer, will hopefully transform the experience of navigating the world’s heaviest seas, particularly the Drake Passage. The novel-shaped X-BOW® created by Norwegian ship designer, Ulstein, absorbs the force of waves more consistently across its surface, improving steadiness, comfort and fuel efficiency while minimising vibrations and disruption to marine life.

The reverse-sloped bow of the Greg Mortimer

Managing Director of Aurora Expeditions, Robert Halfpenny, said: “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.”

The ship has a Tier 3 engine which is the lowest pollution marine engine in the world, giving off 80% less emissions. And while SOLAS regulations do not require return to port technology for a ship of this size, the ship is also fitted with a duplicated propulsion system enabling the ship to maintain operating conditions and comfort. “If one fails,” Halfpenny explains “the other does not lose any functionality, providing for a safe return to port.”

The ship is 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.

And it even has a bio-secure “mudroom” with individual lockers to ensure that the 120 passengers do not bring back or take ashore, any contaminants from the pristine Antarctic environment, on their clothing & boots.

The Greg Mortimer begins her cruise programme today.

(Photos: Aurora Expeditions)

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