Australia’s Antarctic flagship, the bold, orange ice breaker, Aurora Australis, will ply the Southern Ocean between Hobart and Antarctica for another five years, under a new contract between the Australian Antarctic Division and P&O Maritime Services.
The contract was renewed after a competitive ‘Request for Proposal’ process, which attracted responses from around the world. It enables the Antarctic Division to use the ship for 180 days per year over the next five years.
Since 1989 the Aurora Australis has delivered personnel, supplies and equipment to Australia’s Antarctic and sub-Antarctic stations, and carried intrepid marine scientists safely through the Southern Ocean rollercoaster.
Now docked in Hobart, the ship is undergoing a facelift, with refurbishment of cabins, recreational areas and laboratories, addition of a new marine laboratory on the trawl deck, and repairs to plumbing and telephone systems.