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Sylvia Earle


Featuring industry-leading technology and streamlined cruising design the Sylvia Earle is one of the most modern and technologically advanced vessels sailing the polar regions. Named after the first female Chief Scientist of the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the Sylvia Earle lives up to her namesake with a deep focus on protecting the natural environment. The ship features one of the lowest polluting marine engines in the world, with low energy consumption and higher fuel efficiency bringing an overall 80% reduction to emissions compared to Tier 1 engines. The ship also utilises virtual anchoring technology along with thrusters and propellers to minimise damage to the ocean floor caused by conventional anchors. 

The Sylvia Earle carries an average of 126 passengers and has 74 on board cabins. Between landings, guests will be able to enjoy time in the gym, sauna or wellness centre. For zodiac excursions the vessel has four dedicated, sea-level launching platforms making boarding as efficient and safe as possible, allowing you to get off and experience the magical sights of fjords, glaciers and icebergs as quickly as possible. Cabins and suites are elegantly designed and spacious to give guests the most comfortable experience possible.



Length: 104m

Speed: 10-12 knots

Passengers: 126

Ship Region:Polar



All expeditioners will be asked to undertake a pre-voyage medical screening with a GP seven days prior to the voyage departure, and then as much as is possible, expeditioners are asked to self-isolate and limit social interaction from that screening until boarding the vessel. Expeditioners must also undertake a COVID-19 test 72 hours before embarkation and present proof of a negative result. On the day of embarkation, all expeditioners will be required to undergo another COVID-19 test, as well as additional health screening.

Once the voyage starts, there will be daily temperature checks for all on board and further testing may be required depending on the voyage. In the event an expeditioner presents with COVID-19 like symptoms, the person will be isolated and tested immediately for COVID-19.

The health and safety of our guests, employees and the communities we visit are our highest priority. We have implemented the following measures to secure the highest degree of safety on board. Our policies and procedures may be subject to change due to as we monitor the evolving scientific and medical advice.

Fit to Travel Certificate: All expeditioners will be required to obtain a ‘Fit to Travel’ certification from their doctor before travelling with us, within 3 months of travel, which outlines any pre-existing medical conditions. Please contact us for more information.

Pre-Boarding Questionnaire: Expeditioners will be required to complete two questionnaires - 72 hours before departing for your trip and another before boarding. Those travelling from/through known high risk COVID-19 affected areas or with acute illness will be denied boarding.

Temperature Checks: Thermal infra-red scanners will be used to check temperatures for all expeditioners and crew prior to boarding and during the voyage.

Cleaning and Sanitation

  • All cabins, communal spaces and surfaces will be disinfected regularly using proven antiviral disinfectants and an appropriate virucidal. Baggage (outside surface only) will be disinfected prior to boarding using antiviral disinfectants.
  • Continuous cleaning of frequent touch points including elevators, handrails, public furniture and fitness equipment, as well as intensive cleaning of cabins with the use of an appropriate virucidal.
  • All vessels will undergo extensive cleaning in between voyages in accordance with Centre of Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) protocols.
  • Our vessels are new and have been built with the latest and highest standards of care, therefore each section of the ship, and each expeditioner's room/cabin has its own supply of fresh air. The air is pumped directly into each room from outside the ship, which then flows from the room directly out of the ship again. This avoids any recirculation of air within the ship. Thus, each room of the ship has its own air-conditioning system, including isolation cabins and the ship’s medical clinic.

Face masks are to be worn by all passengers up until they have cleared the Pre-Boarding Health Screening. 

The current medical advice stipulates that masks are to be worn at all times when social distancing is not possible therefore, face masks are mandatory on board Zodiacs. Ashore, when social distancing of 1.5m is possible, face masks are optional however, when social distancing of 1.5m is not possible, face masks are to be worn at all-times.

An emergency medical physician/doctor and paramedic with current training in CDC public health protocols, outbreak prevention and management protocols will be aboard every voyage.  Free medical consultations will be provided on board for anyone who becomes ill with any symptoms (initial consultations only). Medical clinic with PCR testing facilities, the latest available medications for COVID-19 and emergency care equipment; with oxygen, cardiac monitoring capability and a ventilator.

If required, an adequate supply of Personal Protection Equipment (PPE), used to prevent the spread of viruses, will be available for all expeditioners and crew. Masks will be available for each expeditioner, if they wish to wear one, and usage is encouraged.

For all departures on the Greg Mortimer all embarking crew, Expedition Team and our guests to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 prior to embarking on any of its cruises. Full vaccinations must occur four-weeks prior to the embarkation date of the voyage and proof of vaccination will be required to be provided to Aurora Expeditions in advance of the voyage.

Vaccinations acceptable include World Health Organization (WHO) COVID-19 Vaccines approved for emergency use and those approved by the national public health authority in which we are operating.

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