Chimu – Aurora and L’Astrolabe tours

Welcome to the Chimu group!

As part of the Antarctic Festival we have arranged special tours of the Antarctic Reseach vessels Aurora Australis and L’Astrolabe on Sunday 11th September 2016, starting at 9am at Prince Wharf, Hobart.

Aurora Australis and L’Astrolabe – Buy Tickets Below!

We are very excited to announce that the two best-known ships on the Hobart waterfront, the Australian Class 1A icebreaker Aurora Australis and French Antarctic Program’s L’Astrolabe will be open for public tours during the Australian Antarctic Festival, courtesy of P&O Maritime, the Australian Antarctic Division, IMAS and the CSIRO Marine Laboratories.

Numbers are strictly limited and you must pre-book, but this is an extraordinary chance to have a close look at these two hard-working ships, veterans of years of service in the punishing conditions of the Southern Ocean and the Antarctic icepack.  You will meet the crew, the scientists and the expeditioners who take these ships into the most challenging environment on the planet.

Aurora_Australis_and_penguinsAurora Australis is not just a crew transport servicing Australia’s four ANARE stations, but also a fully-equipped floating marine science lab and a tanker capable of transporting 1 million litres of fuel to re-supply our Antarctic bases. The ‘Big Orange Taxi’ is familiar to generations of Antarctic expeditioners and the ship has endured both being trapped in thick sea ice and battling the mountainous seas of the Southern Ocean over a 25-year career.

L'AstrolabeL’Astrolabe has been carrying crew and supplies to the French Antarctic Station at Dumont D’Urville for longer than that, and the two vessels have often come to each other’s aid in the unpredictable conditions of the Antarctic region.

Bookings Open 1 August 2016 – Limited Numbers

Advance bookings are the only way to tour these two vessels – you must hold a ticket in order to board either ship.  There are important conditions you should be aware of:

  • These are working ships, not designed for passengers, so physical access may be challenging.
  • These guided tours are not suitable for children under the age of 8 years.
  • You must wear closed footwear with non-slip soles.  Trousers or leggings are recommended for all tour members.
  • You will be asked to produce photo ID (driver’s licence, youth card, student ID) before being allowed to board.
  • Groups sizes are limited to 20 aboard Aurora Australis and 10 aboard L’Astrolabe.
  • You must have a reasonable level of mobility and take responsibility for your own safety.  There are ladders to climb and hazards to avoid.

Bookings will open on Monday 1 August 2015 on the Australian Antarctic Festival website and are available until sold out. Tours will be offered for Friends of Chimu on Sunday 11 September. You must have a valid ticket to board your vessel. A $10 donation to the Mawson’s Huts Foundation will go towards preservation of Australia’s oldest Antarctic heritage site, at Denison Point in East Antarctica.  A booking fee of $1.50 applies and there are no concessions.  The Antarctic Ship Tours are entirely supported by volunteer labour and all proceeds go to the Foundation.

Tickets (to be booked by Chimu staff)

There are two vessels – Aurora Australis and L’Astrolabe – as above. Aurora tours have a maximum of 20 pax and L’Astrolabe is 10.

The first tour for each vessel will depart at 9am. Then those pax who have booked for both vessels will be taken by their guide to the second vessel. We have made the second L’Astrolabe tours 9.45 and 9.55 however they will commence as soon as everyone is in place. (We have the public tours due to start at 10am.)

These Chimu tours are private and the link is not available to the public so you can complete ticketing in your time. Your pax will need to have photo id to join the tour.


Buy Tickets – Aurora
Chimu - Aurora

Buy Tickets – L’Astrolabe
Chimu - L'Astrolabe