Antarctica explorer named godmother of the Silver Endeavour

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Felicity Aston in 2012 became the first person to cross Antarctica by muscle power alone.
Felicity Aston in 2012 became the first person to cross Antarctica by muscle power alone. Photo Credit: Silversea

The former Crystal Endeavor has a new name with Silversea, and now a godmother to usher in a new era for the expedition ship.

Silversea named British explorer Felicity Aston, the first woman to ski solo across Antarctica, as godmother of the Silver Endeavour. She will name the polar-class ship during a ceremony in Antarctica ahead of the Endeavour's maiden voyage on Nov. 21. 

"Her explorations are more than a test of physical stamina; they are a test of oneself. They will be a source of great inspiration for travelers as they set forth on their journey to polar regions and beyond with Silversea," said Roberto Martinoli, president of Silversea Cruises. 

Aston, an authority on polar exploration, became the first woman to ski solo across Antarctica in 2012, pulling two sleds 1,084 miles. She completed the journey in 59 days. She is also the first person to cross Antarctica by muscle power alone. She was awarded the Polar Medal in 2015.

Aston has also served as the leader of the first British women's team to cross the Greenland ice sheet and record-breaking teams of women ski expeditions in the South and North poles. 

"With each of my expeditions, I am driven to push boundaries, to explore new frontiers, and to experience the planet's most spectacular places. Guests traveling aboard Silversea's newest ship will exercise these same ambitions with the charting of each course, the launching of every Zodiac, and the arrival in each destination," Aston said.

Aston is a climate scientist and author of five books about her explorations. Beginning in 2000, she spent 39 continuous months at the Rothera Research Station, where she monitored climate and the ozone layer as a meteorologist for the British Antarctic Survey. She is now studying airborne microplastic pollution on polar sea ice and is based at the National Oceanography Centre and the University of Southampton in the U.K. 

Aston is also a part of the B.I.G (Before It's Gone) North Pole expedition to collect material for research on Arctic Ocean sea ice. She has co-presented a two-part BBC documentary titled "Operation Cloud Lab: Secrets of the Skies" and retraced the route of the 1896 Klondike Goldrush across the Yukon for a documentary mini-series for BBC History that she co-presented. 

She is also a fellow of the Royal Geographical Society in London and The Explorers Club in New York and an elected member of the Society of Women Geographers. 

The 200-passenger Silver Endeavour, a former Crystal ship, is undergoing renovations, including the introduction of new suite categories.
The 200-passenger Silver Endeavour, a former Crystal ship, is undergoing renovations, including the introduction of new suite categories. Photo Credit: Silversea

The luxury expedition ship entered service for Crystal Cruises in July 2021 and sailed for the brand until the company collapsed in January. The highly coveted ship was acquired by Royal Caribbean Group for Silversea this summer for $275 million.  

The godmother of the Crystal Endeavor was Manuela Schwesig, the prime minister of the German state of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania. /Cruise-Travel/German-leader-named-godmother-Crystal-ship   

The 200-passenger Endeavour is undergoing renovations, including the introduction of new suite categories, ahead of its November debut. The Silver Endeavour will sail Antarctica cruises of five to 20 days, including voyages with air-cruise packages that fly over the Drake Passage and land at King George Island; an extended expedition from Puerto Williams that attempts to cross the 69th parallel; and a 10-day voyage to the Antarctic Peninsula departing from Puerto Williams. 

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