Aurora Expeditions have three exciting voyages to commemorate the centenary of Sir Douglas Mawson's Australasian Antarctic Expedition. In January 1912, explorer Douglas Mawson and 17 others landed at Commonwealth Bay. For the next year, they braved appalling conditions, when the wind speed averaged nearly 80 km/h, occasionally peaking above 320 km/h. Their expedition ranks as one of the most successful in polar exploration history.
Each of Aurora Expeditions' Centenary voyages visits three outstanding regions: Macquarie Island, where Mawson set up a communications base; the East Antarctic coast, a vast region where the polar plateau offers a dramatic backdrop to Mawson's Hut; and New Zealand's exquisite subantarctic islands.
Passengers departing on the first Mawson's centenary voyage will mark the departure from Hobart of the 1911-14 Australasian Antarctic Expedition (AAE) led by Sir Douglas Mawson on Dec 2 1911—exactly 100 years to the day after the AAE sailed for Macquarie Island.
"The Mawson's Huts Foundation is looking forward to welcoming all passengers to the Sir Douglas Mawson Centenary dinner in Hobart on Thursday Dec 1. Over 500 guests are expected to attend the dinner which is being supported by the Federal and Tasmanian governments and a flotilla of hundreds of ships will farewell your ship as you sail down to the Derwent on the first leg of your voyage to Mawson's Huts at Cape Denison.
Patron of the Foundation the Governor General of Australia Ms Quentin Bryce AC has been invited to attend the dinner which will also mark the beginning of the "heroic era" celebrations for Antarctic exploration which saw the Norwegian Amundsen reach the South Pole ahead of the British Explorer Robert Falcon Scott, his demise and then Mawson's own incredible feat of survival after the loss of two colleagues". David Jensen, Mawson Hut Foundation.
These 26-day voyages are Aurora Expeditions' most adventurous in scope, with extended sea crossings and the chance to explore the pack ice edge, where much of Antarctica's marine life, including whales, seals and penguins, can be found. The voyages will visit Mawson's Hut and the abandoned French base at Port Martin, and the working research station of Dumont d'Urville. Prices start from US$17,475 per person twin share.
The voyage, "Emeralds of the Subantarctic" is a 13-day expedition, which takes you to Macquarie Island and Campbell Island, the Auckland Islands and, depending on sea conditions, a rare Zodiac cruise of the Snares Islands. This region contains the greatest diversity of seabirds in the world, often in astounding numbers. It's a tremendous opportunity to visit a wildlife wonderland. Prices for this voyage start from US$7,325 per person twin share.
Aurora Expeditions will be utilising their ship Akademik Shokalskiy for the East Antarctica voyages The decision to use small, ice-strengthened ships allows Aurora Expeditions to visit areas that other large cruise ships can't. For many years, Aurora Expeditions has been a leading expedition cruise company specialising in Antarctic and European Arctic expeditions. Since the early 1990s, Aurora Expeditions have shared their love of Antarctica with small groups of adventurous individuals keen to explore one of the wildest places on Earth.
Aurora Expeditions' dynamic team all share a great respect for natural and cultural environments. Aurora Expeditions continues to approach expedition travel as a catalyst for making a difference in one's life, and in the world.