World Oceans Day, which takes place annually on 8 June, is a day for humanity to honour the ocean. However, for the team at Aurora, the ambassadors we champion and their inspiring conservation initiatives, ice honour the ocean every day.

Aurora Expeditions acknowledges that female scientists are leading the way in global conservation initiatives, so much that we have dedicated our new expedition ship to seven of the world’s leading women conservationists – the ship itself is named after the renowned marine biologist, oceanographer and explorer Dr. Sylvia Earle, while each of the vessel’s public decks bears the names of other female pioneers.

All of the women we honour aboard our new purpose-built ship are leaders in their fields, and in shining a light on them we hope to help educate passengers on the important conservation work they are involved in. Find out more about other inspiring women in conservation and what they are doing to protect our oceans and everything it sustains.  

Meet our favourite women in conservation

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Dr. Sylvia Earle: ‘Hero for the Planet’

Named by Time magazine as its first ‘Hero for the Planet’, Dr. Sylvia Earle was the first female Chief Scientist of the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and has been a National Geographic Society Explorer-in-Residence since 1998. Her key conservation initiative Mission Blue is creating a global network of marine protected areas known as ‘Hope Spots’, richly biodiverse marine environments that are critical to the health of our oceans.

Mission Blue’s goal is to shed light on these vital ecosystems and ignite government and public support to safeguard them as marine protected areas. In doing so, Sylvia aims to educate and inspire people to become ambassadors for the marine world. Mission Blue is currently working towards financing two world-first, state-of-the-art, deep-dive submersibles that will deliver crucial scientific data of as-yet unseen ocean environments. This will hopefully lead to more ‘Deep Hope’ submarines for ocean exploration by the wider public.

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Dr. Carden Wallace AM: Coral Conservative Champion

Principal Scientist Emeritus at the Queensland Museum since 2014, Dr. Carden Wallace is a pre-eminent Australian scientist and was the first curator/director of the Museum of Tropical Queensland from 1987 to 2003. She was part of a team that discovered the mass spawning of coral in 1984 – a discovery that continues to inform research and education about coral reefs worldwide. In recognition of her contribution to marine science, Dr. Wallace was appointed a Member of the Order of Australia in 2021.

Carden warns that we must reduce the terrible ways we pollute our oceans to give coral reefs a chance to withstand the ongoing rise in ocean temperatures. Her taxonomy work continues today, with her latest research focusing on fossil corals. She believes that people should be aware of what’s under the water surface and its contribution to the strongly wellbeing of the planet.

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Hanli Prinsloo: Freediver & Ocean Conservationist

Hanli Prinsloo is the founder and executive director of I AM WATER, an ocean conservation foundation based in Cape Town, South Africa. Dedicated to protecting oceans through human experience, I AM WATER helps children in local communities to experience the transformative beauty of the ocean for the first time. The goal of the program is to support and encourage more informed, engaged, whole young people, and create behavioural change that is more conservation minded.

A champion freediver, Hanli believes the greatest threat to the planet is that humans feel disconnected from nature and don’t understand how our largely disposable lifestyles affect the environment. In 2017, Hanli co-founded I AM WATER Ocean Travel with her husband to help fund the foundation and to facilitate inspirational and educational animal encounters that empower participants to go home and effect change in their lives and communities.

Join our Antarctic Climate Expedition!

In February 2023, during the Sylvia Earle’s inaugural season, Dr. Earle will herself be joining a special Antarctic Climate Expedition. This voyage will see a collection of thought leaders in the fields of conservation, science, art, education and economics come together to bring about public and government awareness of the importance and the splendour of the Antarctic, and to address the warming climate and loss of sea ice in the southern polar region as a direct threat to the future of human life on this planet. Expedition members will help formulate a number resolutions to inspire transformative changes for global net-zero emissions by 2050.

To celebrate World Oceans Day, we’ve released an additional 10 staterooms for this once-in-a-lifetime voyage*. We are seeking those that have a healthy appetite for adventure, a passion for the natural world and all that it contains, and  the desire to help make the world a better place.  

Expressions of interest must be received by 30 June 2022.

*Terms and conditions apply

Travelling with Aurora Expeditions is an incredible opportunity for people to learn about these extraordinary marine habitats in situ and, as a result, become ambassadors for protecting them. Immerse yourself in the ocean and be connected to the places that you go. And don’t go just to absorb, go to give back and share what you’ve learned elsewhere, connect with the locals and open people’s minds. It’s a wonderful opportunity to embrace the world and see it with new eyes.

How Aurora is helping to protect our oceans

At Aurora Expeditions, we have an ongoing commitment to responsible, respectful travel. As founding members of IAATO and AECO, we take our responsibility seriously. We are curious, we are passionate. We care about reducing our footprint environmentally. We are taking real actions for the care of the planet.

Below are just a handful of the actions we’re taking to be a more sustainable company and protect our oceans.

  • We were certified as 100% Climate Neutral as part of an ongoing sustainability plan to help make a positive impact on the planet
  • We are working towards B-Corp Certification 
  • Our new purpose-built ship will be a floating ambassador for the conservation of the planet, with a large focus on marine education and conservation in line with Dr. Earle’s own longstanding efforts
  • We seek to enrich the passenger experience through onboard lectures and interactive Citizen Science programs
  • Our voyages visit ‘Hope Spots’ in a number of destinations including Svalbard and Costa Rica – marine protected areas designated by Sylvia Earle’s key conservation initiative Mission Blue
  • We are building a sustainable food model on our ships
  • We offer volunteer days for Aurora team members so they can contribute to sustainable projects in their local communities


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