Meet the guest experts hopping aboard Aurora Expeditions’ upcoming adventure voyages

By AG Staff 9 August 2022
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Known for their intimate, small-ship experiences, Aurora Expeditions has announced who’ll be accompanying their passengers to some of the world’s most remote destinations over the next 12 months.

For more than 30 years, Aurora Expeditions’ team of on-board experts (including naturalists, historians, marine biologists, glaciologists, geologists and palaeontologists) have shared their knowledge and passion with guests exploring the word’s most remarkable and isolated environments.

Activity professionals also join each expedition, facilitating everything from sea kayaking, scuba diving and polar snorkelling to alpine trekking and rock-climbing.

Aurora Expeditions’ recently announced Special Guest Program is a natural extension of this, with each personality matched with the voyage most aligned with their talent and expertise.

“Education and enrichment are at the heart of the way we explore, and we are thrilled to share our Special Guests program featuring experts in the fields of exploration, conservation, science, photography, art, culture and more to enrich our expeditions with their unique perspectives, insights and experiences,” says Michael Heath, CEO of Aurora Expeditions.

“We want our expeditioners to be inspired and connect more deeply to the places, wildlife and their fellow travellers, and to leave our voyages richer in knowledge and understanding of our planet than when they stepped on board,” he adds.

A total of 10 special guests will be joining different expeditions for the remainder of 2022 and into 2023, including a few people very well-known to the Australian Geographic family, including:

Dr Karl Kruszelnicki

Dr Karl Kruszelnicki

The popular science communicator, author, broadcaster and Australian Geographic columnist, is known for his infectious passion for all things science related.

Dr Karl will join Aurora Expeditions’ South Georgia & Antarctic Odyssey voyage (10–30 March 2023).

While sailing around the Antarctic Peninsula, Falklands~Malvinas and South Georgia, there’ll be wildlife encounters galore when guests disembark the ship to take a beach stroll with elephant and Antarctic fur seals, stand on the edge of the world’s largest king penguin colony or snorkel with marine life.

Zodiac and sea-kayak adventures will also get explorers up close to towering, iridescent blue icebergs.

On board, Dr Karl will share with passengers a series of talks including lectures on climate change, space exploration, travel and more.

Richard Morecroft

Richard Morecroft

Broadcaster, speaker, author and artist, Richard Morecroft is a familiar face to Australian television audiences. Most well-known for his more than two decades as presenter of ABC TV’s 7pm NSW news bulletin, Richard has also hosted many documentary and educational programs as well as the popular SBS quiz show, Letters and Numbers.

He is also an accomplished visual artist, with works included in several public collections, including that of Parliament House, Canberra.

Richard has a long-standing commitment to wildlife and the environment. For some years, he hosted his own wildlife show, Richard Morecroft Goes Wild, on ABC-TV, as well as writing and presenting documentaries for the ABC’s Natural History Unit. He has authored or co-authored several books on wildlife and has been a Trustee of WWF (World-Wide Fund for Nature). Richard will share his passions with guests onboard Aurora Expeditions’ Antarctic Explorer voyage (19 February–2 March 2023) through a series of talks on a range of subjects, including landscapes, wildlife and art.

Lisa Blair

Lisa Blair

Having only just returned to Sydney after sailing her own boat around Antarctica, Lisa will be setting sail again, this time with the Aurora Expeditions team.

Lisa has circumnavigated Antarctica twice now. In 2017 she become the first woman to solo circumnavigate Antarctica and last month she returned home having completed the journey in record-breaking time, earning her the mantle of ‘fastest person to sail solo around Antarctica’. All while conducting scientific research in the name of climate change. Other achievements include leading the first all-female Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race crew in 16 years at the 2017 event, and being the first woman to sail solo, non-stop and unassisted, around Australia.

Her book, Facing Fear, was published by Australian Geographic. Lisa also received our Spirit of Adventure award in 2017.

Having now sailed over 70,000nm in total, Lisa will add some more sea-hours to her tally when she joins the Spirit of Antarctica voyage (9–20 December 2022).

This is one of Aurora Expeditions’ classic voyages, a quintessential Antarctic experience for adventure lovers.

After sailing across the famed Drake Passage and admiring the frozen continent from the ship, passengers have plenty of opportunities to set foot on the ice, with activities including snowshoeing across the slopes and even camping under the polar skies.

On board, Lisa will be holding talks inspired by her travels and experiences.

Dr Paul Willis

Dr Paul Willis

Palaeontologist Dr Paul Willis is no stranger to the Aurora Expeditions family, having been on 11 of their past Antarctica voyages.

Paul is a former ABC science reporter and presenter, and until 2011 was the Director of the Royal Institution of Australia.

A prolific science communicator, Paul now spends his time teaching other scientists how to communicate their research, as well as running his own documentary company, Palaeo Pictures, which raises funds for palaeontological research

He’ll be be joining Aurora Expeditions’ Wild Antarctica voyage (28 February–11 March 2023), interpreting for passengers the palaeontological treasures found in the Antarctic Peninsula’s fossil-rich volcanic islands.

This expedition also attempts to venture towards the icy perimeter of the Weddell Sea, often guarded by impenetrable pack ice and home to grand tabular icebergs.

Lucas Handley

Lucas Handley

Lucas Handley will be joining three Aurora Expeditions’ voyages: Antarctic Climate Expedition (13–24 February 2023), Wild Antarctica (4–15 February 2023), and Antarctic Explorer (18–28 January and 26 January–6 February 2023).

Lucas is a marine biologist, underwater photographer, philanthropist and Master Freediver Instructor, passionate about saving ocean environments and sustainable underwater tourism.

He has also appeared as a host on the Discovery Channel and contributed to the award-winning ocean documentary, BLUE.

As well as delivering talks on board Aurora Expedition voyages, Lucas will also take intrepid passengers exploring in Antarctica’s waters.

Dr Sylvia Earle

Dr Sylvia Earle

Dr Sylvia Earle needs no introduction.

An oceanographer, marine biologist, explorer, author, and lecturer with an insatiable passion for underwater exploration and marine conservation, Sylvia is known worldwide as ‘Her Deepness’ and has received more than 100 national and international honours and awards

Named Time Magazine’s first ‘Hero of the Planet’, as well as her long list of academic and leadership accomplishments, her physical achievements include living underwater for a week, and walking on the sea floor at a record-breaking depth of 381 metres.

Launching in November this year, the new addition to the Aurora Expeditions fleet has been named Sylvia Earle in her honour.

The purpose-built vessel‘s six public decks also bear the names of six pioneering female conservationists alongside Dr Earle.

A rendered image of Sylvia Earle, Antarctica. (Image credit: Aurora Expeditions)

Dr Sylvia Earle will be boarding her namesake ship for the Antarctic Climate Expedition (13–23 February 2023).

Joined by a principal expedition team of conservationists, celebrities, and ocean luminaries, this is a once-in-a-lifetime voyage, a floating climate summit during which expert guests and passengers will confront the effects of climate change on the Antarctic. Over the course of the expedition, each person on board is expected to help formulate 23 resolutions to inspire transformative changes for global net-zero emissions by 2050. 

The exhibition will also be the breeding ground for a future series of lectures, a feature documentary, exhibitions, and a book.

“February 2023 will be a moment in time of a gathering of great minds for commitments to resolve what it takes, to move from where we are now to get to a better future,” says Dr Earle.

“This can be your legacy; you can help change the current course from a catastrophic outcome to a healthy, habitable planet. Please do this for the next generation, for the future of humanity.”

This article is brought to you by Aurora Expeditions, an Australian-owned pioneer in polar expeditions.

For more information on Aurora Expeditions’ life-changing voyages, destinations, Special Guests Program and more, visit: