Our first Discovery Cruise voyages to the Ross Sea were successfully completed in 2013. Join us for an new exploratory voyage to Campbell Island, home to the Southern Royal Albatross, to the huts of Shackleton and Scott on Ross Island, to the Bay of Whales and Kainan Bay, the starting points from where Norwegian Amundsen and the Japanese Shirase gained access to the ice-shelf in 1911 and 1912, and where Byrd wintered in Little America.

During those voyages we will transfer our passengers ashore by zodiac. But, we will also operate our two helicopters in certain sites where Zodiacs cannot be used. Potential candidates (not guaranteed) for helicopter transfers are Cape Evans (hut of Scott), Cape Royds (hut of Shackleton), Ross Ice Shelf at Bay of Whales, Peter I Island, and the Dry Valleys. In theory, we plan on five helicopter based landings, but a specific amount of helicopter time cannot be predicted. The use of helicopters is a great advantage and can support us in our goal to reach certain landing sites, that otherwise are almost inaccessible. However, this is a true expedition and we operate our itinerary in the world’s most remote area, ruled by the forces of nature, weather and ice conditions. Conditions may change rapidly; having its impact on the helicopter operation and passengers should understand and accept this. Safety is our greatest concern and no compromises can be made. No guarantees can be given and no claims will be accepted. The vessel is equipped with two helicopters, but in the case that one helicopter is unable to fly due to for example a technical failure, the helicopter operation will cease or even be cancelled, due to the fact that one helicopter always needs to be supported by a second operational helicopter. No guarantees can be given and in no event will claims be accepted.

Special note: Crossing the Date Line

Both departures have a total duration of 31 nights / 32 days. However, looking at the starting and ending dates of the voyages, it “seems” that this departures have a duration of 32 nights. This is explained by the fact that we cross the “date line” at 180 degrees longitude. This results in a day being added. In any case, the duration of the voyages is still 31 nights / 32 days.

Please Note dates and rates for 2020 are subject to change.
In the afternoon, we embark in Ushuaia, Tierra del Fuego, Argentina, the southernmost city in the world located at the Beagle Channel and sail through this scenic waterway for the rest of the evening.
At sea
We arrive in the Antarctic Peninsula and in the morning sail through the spectacular Lemaire Channel and land on Pléneau Island, where fur seals may 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 Blue-eyed Shags. Petermann Island was named after the German geographer August Petermann who was a member of a German Expedition in 1873-74.
Sailing south through the Penola Strait, we 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. We may observe Adélie Penguins and Blue-eyed Shags among myriads of large icebergs. We may set foot on the Continent for the first time in the stunning setting of Prospect Point.
Bellingshausen Sea, where we may see our first pack-ice.
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 on its own. It is very rarely visited by passenger vessels due to the exposed nature of the place. If the weather conditions allow, we are likely to attempt a helicopter landing on the glaciated northern part of the island.
These days we sail through the Amundsen Sea along and through the outer fringes of the pack-ice, 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 fulmarine petrels.
We approach the Ross Ice Shelf, a floating mass of land-ice, with a front 30 meters high. 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. Also the Japanese explore Nobu Shirase had his camp in this area at Kainan Bay in 1912. We intend to attempt a helicopter landing on the Ross Ice Shelf if conditions allow for it.
Along the Ross Ice Shelf we sail to the west
In the Ross Sea we intend to visit Ross Island, guarded by Mount Erebus, Mount Terror and Mount Byrd 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. If ice blocks access and weather conditions are otherwise favourable, we have the option to use the helicopters to offer landings in one or more places in this area. We will further make attempts to visit the US-station McMurdo and Scott Base - the New Zealand equivalent. From McMurdo Station we may offer a substantial 10 km hike to Castle Rock were we will have a great view across the Ross Ice Shelf toward the South Pole. We will land in by Helicopter in Taylor Valley, one of the Dry Valleys. The conditions here are the closest you get to the conditions on Mars anywhere on Planet Earth.
Sailing northward along the west coast of the Ross Sea, we pass by the Drygalski Ice Tongue and the Italian Mario Zucchelli Station in Terra Nova Bay. Should the ice prevent us from entering Terra Nova Bay we may progress further north were we find the specially protected area of Cape Hallet with a large Adélie Penguin rookery.
We will attempt to make a landing at Cape Adare. This 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.
Working our way through the sea-ice at the entrance of the Ross Sea and start our journey north through the Southern Ocean. Depending on weather conditions we may opt to set a course sailing by Scott Island.
We plan to visit the sub-Antarctic New Zealand Reserve and a UNESCO World Heritage Site of Campbell Island, with a luxuriant and blooming vegetation. The fauna on Campbell Island is fantastic with a large and easily accessible colony of Southern Royal Albatrosses on the main island and breeding Wandering, Campbell, Grey-headed, Black-browed, and Light-mantled Albatrosses on the satellite islands. Also three penguin species, Eastern Rockhopper, Erect-Crested and Yellow-Eyed Penguins breed here. In the 18th century seals were hunted to extinction, but Elephant Seals, Fur Seals and Sea Lions have recovered.
At sea
We arrive in Bluff where passengers depart for their homebound journey.
A typical itinerary to the Ross Sea is illustrated above. This itinerary is for guidance only! Programs may vary depending on local ice and weather conditions, the availability of landing sites and opportunities to see wildlife. The final itinerary will be determined by the Expedition Leader on board. Flexibility is paramount for expedition cruises.

Quadruple Porthole

$ 24950 USD pp
Quadruple Porthole
The cabin provides you with; a porthole, 2 upper / lower berths, private shower & toilet, desk & chair, hair dryer and ample storage space.

Triple Porthole

$ 27900 USD pp
Triple Porthole
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 & ample storage facilities.

Twin Porthole Deck 3

$ 31900 USD pp
Twin Porthole Deck 3
The cabin provides you with; a porthole, 2 lower berths, private shower & toilet, desk & chair, hair dryer and ample storage space.

Twin Porthole Deck 4

$ 31900 USD pp
Twin Porthole Deck 4
The cabin provides you with; a porthole, 2 lower berths, private shower & toilet, desk & chair, hair dryer and ample storage space.

Twin Window

$ 33300 USD pp
Twin Window
The cabin provides you with; a window, 2 lower berths, private shower & toilet, desk & chair, hair dryer and ample storage space.

Twin Deluxe

$ 35600 USD pp
Twin Deluxe
The cabin provides you with; 2 windows, 2 lower berths, private shower & toilet, desk & chair, flatscreen TV, a hair dryer and ample storage space. These cabins are corner cabins and are slightly more spacious than the normal twin window / porthole cabins

Superior

$ 37400 USD pp
Superior
The cabin provides you with; at least 2 windows, 1 double bed, 1 single (sofa) bed, private shower & toilet, desk & chair, flatscreen TV, refrigerator, hair dryer and ample storage space.

Quadruple Porthole

$ 24950 USD pp
Quadruple Porthole
The cabin provides you with; a porthole, 2 upper / lower berths, private shower & toilet, desk & chair, hair dryer and ample storage space.

Triple Porthole

$ 27900 USD pp
Triple Porthole
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 & ample storage facilities.

Twin Porthole Deck 3

$ 31900 USD pp
Twin Porthole Deck 3
The cabin provides you with; a porthole, 2 lower berths, private shower & toilet, desk & chair, hair dryer and ample storage space.

Twin Porthole Deck 4

$ 31900 USD pp
Twin Porthole Deck 4
The cabin provides you with; a porthole, 2 lower berths, private shower & toilet, desk & chair, hair dryer and ample storage space.

Twin Window

$ 33300 USD pp
Twin Window
The cabin provides you with; a window, 2 lower berths, private shower & toilet, desk & chair, hair dryer and ample storage space.

Twin Deluxe

$ 35600 USD pp
Twin Deluxe
The cabin provides you with; 2 windows, 2 lower berths, private shower & toilet, desk & chair, flatscreen TV, a hair dryer and ample storage space. These cabins are corner cabins and are slightly more spacious than the normal twin window / porthole cabins

Superior

$ 37400 USD pp
Superior
The cabin provides you with; at least 2 windows, 1 double bed, 1 single (sofa) bed, private shower & toilet, desk & chair, flatscreen TV, refrigerator, hair dryer and ample storage space.

Ortelius

Vessel Type: Expediton

Length: 91m

Passenger Capacity: 116

Built / Refurbished : 1989 / 2015

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.

 

Cabin layout for Ortelius
Ortelius

Ortelius in Ross Sea RegionOrtelius

Ross Sea Region Expedition Expedition

32 Days from
$ 24950 USD pp

Highlights

• Helicopter outings

• Peter I Island

• Southern Royal Albatross

• Ross Sea

• Scott's Hut

or call us on

NZ Freephone
0800 945 3327

AUS Freephone
1800 107 715

to help you make your reservation

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