SYDNEY-based Aurora Expeditions will introduce a third small polar cruise ship in 2025, named after Australian Antarctic explorer Douglas Mawson.

The 154-pax Douglas Mawson will be the ninth and last Infinity-class expedition ship, developed by SunStone Ships of the USA and built by China Merchants Heavy Industry in Jiangsu, and the third taken on long-term charter by Aurora.

It will follow the pioneering Greg Mortimer (named after the company founder) delivered in 2019 and Sylvia Earle (marine biologist and oceanographer) which entered service in 2021. All three feature the revolutionary Ulstein X-BOWâ, claimed to ensure smoother and faster ocean crossings and world-leading fuel efficiency.

Aurora says Douglas Mawson will offer Nordic interior design features with stylish and comfortable staterooms and suites across 11 different categories, most featuring private balconies. For the first time, Aurora will also offer several single berth cabins to cater for the growing solo traveller segment.

Due to begin sailing in late 2025, Douglas Mawson’s inaugural season will also mark Aurora Expeditions’ return to East Antarctica for the first time in 15 years, with new itineraries to include a Mawson’s Antarctica voyage to East Antarctica in honour of the ship’s namesake, departing from Hobart.

The company noted Aurora Expeditions takes “great inspiration from the incredible legacy of Sir Douglas Mawson. Indeed, it was Mawson’s SY Aurora vessel that inspired our founder, Greg Mortimer, to name our company Aurora. Like its namesake, Douglas Mawson will be a ship that’s on the forefront of global ocean discovery.”