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Aurora is a mid-sized cruise ship, with an overall length of 270.0 metres (885 ft 10 in), moulded beam of 32.2 metres (105 ft 8 in) and draught of 7.90 metres (25 ft 11 in). Her gross tonnage is 76,152 and her deadweight tonnage is 8,486 tonnes. The ship can accommodate up to 1,878 passengers in 939 cabins, with a maximum crew complement of 936.    
Aurora is powered by four MAN B&W 14V48/60 medium-speed diesel engines with a total power output of 58,800 kilowatts. These engines provide power for various ship's services and for two STN AEG propulsion motors. The propulsion motors drive two propellers , each of which measures 5.8 metres (19 ft 0 in) in diameter. For manoeuvring, the ship has three bow thrusters and a stern thruster. The ship's service speed is 24 knots (44 km/h; 28 mph), though during sea trials she reached a maximum speed of 29 knots (54 km/h; 33 mph).  
Aurora was designed to appeal to the British market, and was built as an extended and improved version of P&O Cruises' Oriana . The ship's hull and superstructure were designed to be attractive to this market with features similar to more traditional ocean liners , such as her raked, tiered stern.