Aurora Expeditions reveals 2020 UK ship visit plans

Aurora Expeditions plans four trips to take agents to see its new ship Greg Mortimer next year.

Three ship visits will run in June 2020, and one will take place in September, 2020, but final details have not yet been confirmed.

Craig Upshall, the line’s sales director for UK and Europe, said he was looking at either flying agents to Reykjavik for a day or hosting them overnight.

He said: “There is no better way than to showcase our products than to actually see it.”

He also added that it was the line’s “goal” to host a fam trip for up to 10 agents in the Arctic next year.

Places would be filled by either valued travel agencies or through incentives. In addition to Greg Mortimer, which is due to launch in October, Aurora will launch a second purpose-built expedition ship in autumn 2021.

It is also looking to add two on-the-road business development managers next year.

Managing director Robert Halfpenny said: “In three years’ time we are going to increase capacity five-fold. We are selling out these ships a year in advance.”

Halfpenny hinted that more ships could be on the way as part of a deal with Miami-based shipyard SunStone.

SunStone plans to build 10 ships in total with X-Bow technology over the next five to eight years. Aurora partly owns two of these vessels – Greg Mortimer and a second ship, due in 2021 – through an agreement with SunStone.

Halfpenny said that the line is eyeing a third SunStone-built ship but no deal has been agreed as yet.

Aurora’s UK sales now make up 20% of its business. They previously made up 10% before Upshall joined from Rocky Mountaineer in March last year and launched the UK office.

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