Roxi and Jaimie McDonald; Jaimie & Roxi Cruise and Travel; Daniel Collins, Fine Travel Roxi and Jaimie McDonald; Jaimie & Roxi Cruise and Travel; Daniel Collins, Fine Travel

Aurora roars in for trade

‘If your clients enjoyed Africa, they will love Antarctica.’


That was the message from Wild Earth Travel’s Sarah Porter to trade attending a lunch co-hosted with Aurora Expeditions in Auckland this week. ‘Being in a zodiac is like being in a safari jeep,’ she says. The lunch coincided with Aurora’s new ship, Greg Mortimer, beginning its inaugural season in the Antarctic. The 120-passenger ship carries 15 zodiacs, as well as kayaks, from which passengers can observe wildlife close up. But Aurora’s advice to agents is to book early. ‘We don’t have flash sales,’ explains Aurora’s business development manager, Alex Fayan. ‘We have early bird prices where clients can save up to 20%.’ And clients who wish to participate in specific optional activities such as kayaking should definitely check availability well in advance, advises Fayan.


All zodiac excursions and landings are included in the cruise price, along with alcohol with dinner, a polar jacket to keep and a souvenir log book of the voyage. ‘Past logbooks are available to view on the Aurora website which make them a great selling tool,’ says Porter. The books record the wildlife that was seen, the weather and temperature, and often answer other questions that prospective clients may have. After the six Antarctic expeditions, Greg Mortimer will head to Patagonia and the Chilean Fjords followed by Costa Rica and the Panama Canal. ‘If you have clients who are unsure whether they would enjoy expedition cruising, the Costa Rica voyage is a good one to try,’ explains Fayan. Arctic itineraries will run from May through to September/October 2020 starting with Greenland, then Iceland where clients can enjoy ‘long days off the ship to explore.’ Clients on combination Iceland, South Greenland and East Coast Canada itineraries in September have a good chance of seeing the Northern Lights and polar bears.