A true Discovery voyage including the southern Antarctic Peninsula, the rarely visited volcanic Peter I Island, exploratory program along the outer fringes of the pack-ice in the Amundsen sea, Roald Amundsen’s starting point from where he gained access to the ice-shelf and finally reached the South Pole in 1911, sailing voyage in the Ross sea, the huts of British explorers Ernest Shackleton and Robert Falcon Scott, Mc Murdo Station, the Dry Valleys and Macquarie Island – Welcome aboard one of the most spectacular expeditions on our planet!
This itinerary is also available in reverse. Click here
for additional dates.
18 February, 2014 to 20 March, 2014
$23900.00 USD pp
The cabin provides you with; a porthole, 2 upper / lower berths, private shower & toilet, desk & chair, hair dryer and ample storage space.
$25950.00 USD pp
Same as Quadruple Porthole but with 3 berths. The cabin provides you with; a porthole, 1 upper / lower berth, 1 single lower berth, private shower & toilet, desk.
$30250.00 USD pp
The cabin provides you with; a porthole, 2 lower berths, private shower & toilet, desk & chair, hair dryer and ample storage space.
$31250.00 USD pp
The cabin provides you with; a window, 2 lower berths, private shower & toilet, desk & chair, hair dryer and ample storage space.
$34450.00 USD pp
The cabin provides you with; a window, 1 double bed, 1 single bed, private shower & toilet, desk & chair, refrigerator, hair dryer, seperate day room and ample storage space.
$37900.00 USD pp
The cabin provides you with; windows, 1 double bed, 1 single bed, private shower & toilet, desk & chair, refrigerator, hair dryer, seperate day room and ample storage space.
Ross Sea to Antarctic Peninsula Voyage itinerary:
In the afternoon, we embark in Invercargill (New Zealand) where we begin our journey.
Macquarie Island is a Tasmanian State Reserve and became in 1997 a World Heritage Site. The Australian Antarctic Division has its permanent base on “Macca”. The Australian Frederick Hasselborough discovered the island during a voyage, searching for new sealing grounds. The fauna on Macquarie is fantastic with colonies of King and Gentoo and Southern Rockhopper Penguins. The Royal Penguins (almost one million breeding pairs!) and Macquarie Shags are endemic species. Elephant Seals are also present, as well as various fur seals species such as the New Zealand Fur Seal.
We sail along the Balleny Islands, discovered in 1839 by the British captain John Balleny.
At sea, working our way through the sea-ice at the entrance of the Ross Sea.
Cape Adare is the place where people for the very first time wintered on the Antarctic Continent. The hut where the Norwegian Borchgrevink stayed in 1899, is surrounded by the largest colony of Adélie Penguins in the World.
Days 10 - 11:
Sailing northward along the eastern west coast of the Ross Sea ,we pass by the Drygalski Ice Tongue and the Italian Station in Terra Nova Bay and further cape Hallet.
Days 12 - 16:
In the Ross Sea we intend to visit Ross Island, guarded by Mount Erebus, Mount Terror and Mount Bird with all the famous spots which played such an important role in the dramatic British expeditions of the last century such as Cape Royds with the cabin of Ernest Shackleton. We also intend to visit Cape Evans with the cabin of Robert Falcon Scott; from Hut Point Scott and his men set out for the South Pole. We will further make attempts to visit the US-station McMurdo and Scott Base (New Zealand). If ice and weather conditions are favourable, we will use the helicopters to offer landings.
From Castle Rock we will have a great view across the Ross Ice Shelf toward the South Pole. We will have a view into Taylor Valley, one of the Dry Valleys, where on our planet you are closest to the conditions on Mars. For the Dry Valleys we plan to use our helicopters. This is just one example of helicopter use during this epic voyage.
Along the Ross Ice Shelf we sail to the east.
The Ross Ice Shelf, a floating mass of land-ice, with a front of 30 meters high. We intend to offer a helicopter landing on the Ross Ice Shelf.
In the Bay of Whales at the eastern side of the shelf, close to Roosevelt Island (named by the American aviator Richard E. Byrd in 1934 for President Franklin D. Roosevelt), Roald Amundsen gained access to the Shelf and ventured to the South Pole, where he finally arrived on 14 December 1911. For us it is perhaps a chance to climb on the shelf as well.
Days 19 - 24:
These days we sail through the Amundsen Sea along and through the outer fringes of the pack-ice, which - depending on ice-conditions - will give us glimpses of the Antarctic Continent, while we take advantage of the west-going Antarctic coastal current. The sailing along and through the ice is very lively, with sightings of single straggling Emperor Penguins, groups of seals on ice-floes, and also Orca's and Minke Whales along the ice-edge, often accompanied by different species of fulmar petrels. If the sea-ice allows, we will try to land on Shephard Island in Marie Byrd Land among colonies of Chinstrap Penguins and South Polar Skua's. Shephard Island was discovered by the US Antarctic Expeditions (USAS) of 1939-41 and was named after one of the promoters of this expedition: John Shephard.
Peter I Island or in Norwegian Peter I Øy is an uninhabited volcanic island (19 kilometres long ) in the Bellingshausen Sea. It was discovered by Fabian von Bellingshausen in 1821 and was named after the Russian Tsar Peter I. It is claimed by Norway and considered a territory by its own. It is sporadically visited by passenger vessels.
On earlier landings made by an Oceanwide office staff member he saw groups of Elephant Seals and colonies of Southern Fulmars and Cape Pigeons.
Days 26 - 27:
Bellingshausen Sea, where we may see our first pack-ice.
Sailing north through the Penola Strait, we cross the Polar Circle and arrive at the Fish Islands. The small islands lying east of Flouder Island are called the Minnows, first charted by the British Graham Land Expedition (1934-37) of John Rymill. Detaille Island was discovered by the French expedition of Charcot (1903-05) and named for a share holder in the Magellan Whaling Company. From 1956 till 1959, The British Antarctic Survey had their “Station W” located on Detaille Island. On both locations we may observe Adélie Penguins and Blue-eyed Shags.
We arrive in the Antarctic Peninsula and sail in the early morning through the spectacular Lemaire Channel and land on Pléneau Island, where Elephant Seals haul-out on the beaches. Gentoo Penguins, Kelp Gulls and South Polar Skuas are confirmed breeders. Pléneau Island was first charted by the French Antarctic Expedition of 1903-05 of Jean-Baptiste Charcot and was named after his expedition’s photographer Paul Pléneau. We will also visit Petermann Island with colonies of Adélie and Gentoo Penguins and Imperial Cormorants (Blue-eyed Shags). Petermann Island was named after the German geographer August Petermann who was a member of a German Expedition in 1873-74.
We arrive in Ushuaia where passengers depart for their home-bound journey.
Vessel Type: Expedition
Length: 91 meters
Beam: 18 meters
Speed (average): 12 knots
Built / Refurbished: 1989 / 2007
Capacity: 106 (in twin & triple cabins)
The ice-strengthened vessel “Ortelius” is an excellent vessel for Polar expedition cruises in the Arctic and Antarctica, providing us with possibilities to adventure remote locations such as the Ross Sea.
“Ortelius” was built in Gdynia, Poland in 1989, was named “Marina Svetaeva”, and served as a special purpose vessel for the Russian Academy of Science. The vessel is re-flagged and renamed “Ortelius”. Ortelius was a Dutch / Flemish cartographer. Abraham Ortelius (1527 – 1598) published the first modern world atlas, the Theatrum Orbis Terrarum or Theatre of the World in 1570. At that time, the atlas was the most expensive book ever printed.
The vessel has the highest ice-class notation (UL1 equivalent to 1A) and is therefore very suitable to navigate in solid one-year sea ice and loose multi-year pack ice. “Ortelius” is a great expedition vessel for 100 passengers with lots of open-deck spaces and a very large bridge which is accessible to the passengers. The vessel is manned by 34 highly experienced Russian nautical crew, 15 international catering staff, including stewardesses, 6 expedition staff (1 expedition leader and 5 guides/lecturers) and 1 doctor.
”Ortelius” offers a comfortable hotel standard, with two restaurants, a bar/lecture room and a sauna. Our voyages are primarily developed to offer our passengers a quality exploratory wildlife program, trying to spend as much time ashore as possible. As the number of passengers is limited to approximately 100 on the “Ortelius”, flexibility assures maximum wildlife opportunities.