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Aurora expeditions launches adventurous 2025-26 Antarctica season

Aurora Expeditions
Image credits Tyson MayrAurora Expeditions

Aurora Expeditions introduces its most adventurous Antarctica season yet, featuring new itineraries and departure ports for 2025-26.

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA – Aurora Expeditions, the Australian-owned adventure travel company known for immersive, responsible exploration, has today released its new Antarctica 2025-26 season, which is set to be its most adventurous yet.

The season, which also features Australia and New Zealand, includes 32 voyages across three purpose-built small ships – the Greg Mortimer, Sylvia Earle and the brand-new Douglas Mawson. Along with Aurora’s best-selling Antarctic Explorer and Spirit of Antarctica voyages to the Antarctic Peninsula, there are eight new itineraries visiting regions including East Antarctica, the Ross Sea and the New Zealand Subantarctic Islands, as well as a circumnavigation of Tasmania.

Two new departure ports have also enhanced the travel options available to Antarctic adventurers, with four Antarctic voyages departing from Hobart, Australia or Dunedin, New Zealand.

The season is packed with a variety of ‘choose your own adventure’ options, including three Ultimate Adventures with land and sea combinations, eight voyages offering a ‘Fly the Drake’ option, and two new all-inclusive activity voyages for travelers who want to supercharge their trips with as much action as possible, including camping, snorkeling, snowshoeing, paddling and more.

There are also 36 single berths on offer across the season on the Douglas Mawson, a new feature of Aurora’s soon-to-come third vessel, catering to the growing solo traveler segment.

We have so much to be excited about with our most comprehensive and adventurous season yet,” said Hayley Peacock-Gower, CMO of Aurora Expeditions. “Not only will we be introducing our third purpose-built vessel, the Douglas Mawson, but we will explore more of Antarctica’s regions than we have before in a single season, visiting the Antarctic Peninsula, the Weddell Sea, East Antarctica, the Ross Sea, Antarctic Circle, South Georgia, the Falklands and the New Zealand Subantarctic Islands.

We’re particularly thrilled to be offering passengers the chance to travel to Antarctica from Australia and New Zealand for the first time in 13 years, reconnecting our company to its founding inspiration as well as opening up another lesser explored part of Antarctica to both local and international travelers,” continued Peacock-Gower. “In these new regions, passengers will have the chance to witness the Ross Ice Shelf – the world’s largest floating body of ice, some of the largest Adélie and emperor penguin colonies, follow in the footsteps of some of history’s greatest explorers, as well as witness the incredible biodiversity of New Zealand’s subantarctic islands. We also look forward to doing this the Aurora way, with our small ships and focus on responsible travel, adventure, and enrichment.”

“There is something for first-time Antarctic visitors to seasoned explorers alike across this season, while adventure and exploration remain the core theme,” said Justin Ewin, Aurora Expeditions’ Global Head of Product. “We are offering a nine-day express itinerary, Antarctic expedition and Patagonia trek combinations, all the way up to an epic 34-day adventure departing Dunedin, sailing through the New Zealand subantarctic islands and the Ross Sea, traveling east to the Peninsula and ending with the Drake Passage to Ushuaia. Along with several new destinations and itinerary options, we are excited to be meeting our passengers’ frequent requests by offering two all-inclusive activity voyages to complement our existing individual activity programs, which are incredibly popular.”

New expeditions include:

Mawson’s Antarctica offers a 24-day voyage from Hobart/Dunedin, from December 11, 2025, to January 3, 2026, aboard the Douglas Mawson. Travelers will retrace the historic route of Sir Douglas Mawson’s Australasian Antarctic Expedition, crossing the Antarctic Circle to reach Commonwealth Bay and Cape Denison. Weather permitting, participants will explore the remains of Mawson’s main base, experiencing the legacy of Antarctic exploration during the festive season.

The Ross Sea Odyssey is a 25-day expedition from Dunedin, running from January 16 to February 9, 2026. This journey offers an immersive experience into the heroic age of Antarctic exploration, featuring encounters with diverse wildlife including yellow-eyed penguins and royal albatross at New Zealand’s Auckland and Campbell Islands, and orcas and seals within the icy Ross Sea.

Subantarctic Discovery spans 15 days from January 2 to January 16, 2026, departing from and returning to Dunedin. This voyage explores the subantarctic islands at the convergence of the Antarctic, where unique wildlife such as sea lion harems and southern royal albatross thrive, alongside a visit to New Zealand’s magnificent Fiordland.

Epic Antarctica: Crossing the 7th Continent, from February 8 to March 12, 2026, is a 34-day voyage from Dunedin to Ushuaia on the Douglas Mawson. This extensive expedition follows in the wake of legendary explorers like Scott and Shackleton, venturing beyond the Antarctic Circle to explore the Ross Sea and Antarctic Peninsula.

Antarctica Active offers two 15-day all-inclusive activity voyages from Ushuaia aboard the Greg Mortimer. These trips focus on active exploration with Zodiac excursions, guided walks, kayaking, and even an overnight ice camping experience, allowing travelers to engage intimately with the Antarctic environment.

Coastal Tasmania: Untamed Wilderness is an 11-day trekking adventure from Hobart, running from December 1 to 11, 2025. Participants will explore Tasmania’s wild coastlines and remote islands, experiencing some of the region’s most scenic trekking routes and enjoying the comforts of their ship each night.

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Vicky is the co-founder of TravelDailyNews Media Network where she is the Editor-in Chief. She is also responsible for the daily operation and the financial policy. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Tourism Business Administration from the Technical University of Athens and a Master in Business Administration (MBA) from the University of Wales. She has many years of both academic and industrial experience within the travel industry. She has written/edited numerous articles in various tourism magazines.