Aurora Expeditions has suspended its operations in Australia until November in another blow to hopes that more ships might sail in our waters this year.

Hope isn’t totally lost as CEO Monique Ponfoort described the suspension as a “postponement, not a cancellation.” 

However, given the current cruising situation in Australia, Ms Ponfoort views suspending operations as taking a “leadership position to deliver a clear and committed pathway forward.”

She told Cruise Weekly that the line “remains unable to give clarity to passengers on departure voyage dates” despite ongoing talks with state and federal governments to bring its cruise operations back into Australia. 

Positively, she continued that Aurora “remains committed to operating a full Antarctic Peninsula program starting in November 2021,” however the current suspension will continue until things are clearer. 

Guests who have cancelled voyages will be entitled to a full refund or can otherwise apply their deposit towards another booking or credit with the line. 

Ms Ponfoort said the suspensions were motivated by ensuring as much as certainty as possible for stakeholders, with the “utmost respect to both the Government and our guests, staff, expedition team and our travel trade partners.”

“We are so looking forward to getting back to what we do best – endlessly exploring on our ships designed for discover – and returning to Antarctica in our 30th anniversary as a world leader of polar expeditions in November 2021.”

Aurora Expeditions celebrates its 30th anniversary in 2021, as well as the introduction of its second ship, the Sylvia Earle

Sylvia Earle is an 130-passenger ship, set to sail for the first time this November, named after Sylvia Earle, a famous marine biologist and conservationist.