ortelius basecamp antarctica cruise

Antarctica - Basecamp

  • Overview
    “Base camp” is by definition a temporary storing and starting place, from which an activity starts. We offer “activity modules” which go beyond our normal shore program. The vessel will stay for two or three days at specific locations to serve our active passengers as a comfortable hub to allow more time than usual for wide ranging activities.
    Duration: 13 days
    Passengers: 116 passengers
    Embarkation Point: Ushuaia
    Disembarkation Point: Ushuaia
    Physical rating: Soft Adventure
    Fly/Cruise: Cruise only
    Single Supplement: 1.6x - 1.7x twin rate or share options
  • Itinerary
    • Day 1 - Ushuaia

      Your voyage begins where the world drops off. Ushuaia, Argentina, reputed to be the southernmost city on the planet, is located on the far southern tip of South America. Starting in the afternoon, you embark from this small resort town on Tierra del Fuego, nicknamed “The End of the World,” and sail the mountain-fringed Beagle Channel for the remainder of the evening. 

    • Day 2/3 - Sailing to Antarctic Peninsula

      Over the next two days on the Drake Passage, you enjoy some of the same experiences encountered by the great polar explorers who first charted these regions: cool salt breezes, rolling seas, maybe even a fin whale spouting up sea spray. After passing the Antarctic Convergence – Antarctica’s natural boundary, formed when north-flowing cold waters collide with warmer sub-Antarctic seas – you are in the circum-Antarctic upwelling zone. Not only does the marine life change, the avian life changes too. Wandering albatrosses, grey-headed albatrosses, black-browed albatrosses, light-mantled sooty albatrosses, cape pigeons, southern fulmars, Wilson’s storm petrels, blue petrels, and Antarctic petrels are a few of the birds you might see.

    • Day 4/10 - Sailing along Antarctic Peninsula


      Gray stone peaks sketched with snow, towers of broken blue-white ice, and dramatically different wildlife below and above. You first pass the snow-capped Melchior Islands and Schollaert Channel, sailing between Brabant and Anvers Islands. 

      Places you might visit includes:

      Neumayer Channel – The vessel may position itself here, launching its multiple basecamp activities from the protected waters around Wiencke Island. You can enjoy the splendors of this alpine environment at sea with Zodiac and kayaking trips, or if you’re in the mood for a walk, there are possible snowshoe hikes and soft-climb mountaineering options farther inland. Naturally, favorable weather conditions determine the possible activities.



      Port Lockroy – After sailing through the Neumayer Channel, you may get a chance to visit the former British research station – now a museum and post office – of Port Lockroy on Goudier Island. You may also be able to partake in activities around Jougla Point, meeting gentoo penguins and blue-eyed shags. At the nearby sites, such as Damoy Point there may be the opportunity for snowshoeing to the old ski-way, this is also one of our favourite camping sites.

      Pléneau & Petermann Islands – If the ice allows it, you can sail through the Lemaire Channel in search of Adélie penguins and blue-eyed shags. There’s also a good chance you’ll encounter humpback and minke whales here, as well as leopard seals. Kayaking, glacier walks, and more ambitious mountaineering trips are the potential activities of this location. 

      Neko Harbour – An epic landscape of mammoth glaciers and endless wind-carved snow, Neko Harbour offers opportunities for a Zodiac cruise and landing that afford the closest views of the surrounding alpine peaks.

      Paradise Bay – You have the chance to make camp here like a true polar explorer, enjoying a supreme overnight Antarctic adventure.

      Errera Channel – Possible sites in this area include Danco Island and Cuverville Island, but also the lesser known (though equally picturesque) Orne Island and Georges Point on Rongé Island.  

      On your last day of near-shore activities, you pass the Melchior Islands toward the open sea. Keep a sharp lookout for humpback whales in Dallmann Bay. You might also shoot for Half Moon Island, in the South Shetlands, with further chances for activities. 

      Conditions on the Drake Passage determine the exact time of departure.


    • Day 11/12 - Sailing to Ushuaia

      Your return voyage is far from lonely. While crossing the Drake, you’re again greeted by the vast array of seabirds remembered from the passage south. But they seem a little more familiar to you now, and you to them.

    • Day 13 - Ushuaia

      Every adventure, no matter how grand, must eventually come to an end. It’s now time to disembark in Ushuaia, but with memories that will accompany you wherever your next adventure lies.

    Please consider that our voyages are expeditionary in nature. This means, that there are no concrete itineraries, your Captain and Expedition Leader will utilise their vast experience to chart the best course for your expedition depending on the climatic and environmental conditions. Mentioned highlights and wildlife cannot be guaranteed.

  • Highlights & Activities

    Photography

    Select voyages have pro photographers on board who are happy to share their experience and expertise with you. So if you consider yourself only a fair photographer, or even if you can’t tell the front end of a camera from the back, you’re going to go home with some new shutterbug knowledge and a mitt-full of fantastic photographs of your trip.

    Included

    Mountaineering

    Looking to push yourself a little further on your Polar cruise? Want to travel further and see more than almost anybody else? Mountaineering cruises are the thing for you.

    Included

    Snowshoeing

    There really is no better way to take in a new place than by exploring it on foot. This expedition offers you the chance to explore your way inland from the Polar shorelines with a wide variety of snowshoeing expeditions built for everyone. From the casual explorer to the hard-core snowshoe-er.

    Included

    Camping

    If you’re looking for an experience that truly breaks the mold of traditional cruise line activities then we’d like to introduce you to one of our most unique offerings – camping out under the Antarctic skies.

    Included

    Kayaking

    One of the best features of Polar Region cruises is that you’re never done exploring. Even if you feel you’ve walked all over the Arctic or Antarctic, climbed every mountain, and said hello to every possible penguin, there’s still another whole world to explore – the water. Polar cruise kayaking is an amazing way to slip into the white and blue beauty of the quiet oceans around you.

    Included

    Adventure Plus

    Our basecamp expeditions are all about adventure! The Ortelius is certainly one expedition vessel known for innovative and exciting programs and the Basecamp expeditions, do not disappoint. On these voyages the vessel drops anchor anchor at a preferred destination for a couple of nights. Rather than moving around, the idea is to experience the region through as many different adventure activities as possible.

    The activities that are available include; Kayaking, Camping, Photography, Snowshoeing & Mountaineering. Of course they are all subject to environmental conditions during the course of your expedition.

    Shoot to your shutter's content!

    For aspiring photographers, the best time to shoot the Antarctic landscape is definitely October, November and March. At these times the sun is much lower in the sky and thus creates beautiful twilight hues and shadows, which contrast the landscape magnificently.

    Of course, if it is wildlife and Antarctica’s babies you are hoping to shoot, then January and February are the best times. Alternatively, consider an early season South Georgia & Antarctica expedition for the best of wildlife and photo opportunities in Antarctica.

    An iceberg in your whiskey

    Don’t miss your chance for a whiskey or water refreshed by millenary Antarctic ice. While luxury bars in the world’s top cities can double the menu price for adding glacier ice on your whiskey, here it’s quite at hand. What could better than contemplating the latitude you have reached with a noble drink in hand as your expedition cruise heads back to port.

  • Inclusions

    Basecamp Adventure Activities

    During “Basecamp” departures, all offered activities (including camping, kayaking, snowshoe/hiking, mountaineering, photo workshop) as well as our standard included shore excursions and zodiac cruises) are free of charge.

    All meals on board

    Onboard your expedition all meals are included and prepared by our chefs. Meals are prepared to a restaurant standard and to cater for most diet requirements.

    All Zodiac excursions

    During the course of your expedition, you will have direct access to our onboard expedition team. Our expedition team members are a wealth of information, they have backgrounds in exploration or science based backgrounds. Our teams will usually comprise of naturalists, historians, geologists and ornithologists.

    Your expedition team members will expertly guide you off the ship and provide you with firsthand knowledge about the geology and wildlife of the region. Back onboard the vessel, team members hold lectures about their studies or the wildlife that was seen during the course of the day.

    Inclusions / Exclusions

    Included in your Expedition

    - all offered activities (including camping / kayaking / snowshoe / hiking / mountaineering / photo workshop) as well as our standard included shore excursions and zodiac cruises) are free of charge.
    - Expedition boots & Snowshoes
    - adventure activities and lectures
    - During “Basecamp” departures
    - Pre-departure information
    - Ushuaia transfer to port
    - All shore excursions
    - All accommodation and meals on board

    Not included in your Expedition

  • Map
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  • Gallery
  • Vessel

    ORTELIUS

    “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” is classed by Lloyd’s Register in London and flies the Cyprus flag. 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 116 passengers with lots of open-deck spaces. The vessel is manned by 22 highly experienced international nautical crew, 19 international hotel crew, 8 expedition staff (1 expedition leader, 1 assistant expedition leader and 6 guides/lecturers), and 1 doctor. Ortelius offers a comfortable hotel standard, with a u-shaped, a bar and a lecture room. 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 116 on the “Ortelius”, flexibility assures maximum wildlife opportunities. “Ortelius” carries 10 zodiacs. The zodiac engines are 60hp Yamaha.

    Features & Facilities
    • Comfotable hotel standard
    • Bar
    • Lecture Room
    • Spacious Observation Decks
    • Open Bridge
    • Helipad
    • Small gym
    • Internet/Wifi
    Key Facts
    Luxury star rating: 3
    Guests #: 116
    Crew #: 52
    Ice Class: 1A
    Speed: 12
    Refurbished:
    Technical Specs
    Year built:
    Length: 91m
    Width: 17
    Draft:
    Tonnage: 4575
    Registry: Cyprus
    Elec Outlets: 220V / 2 Round Pin
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  • Pay your 25% deposit 5 day later.
  • Final payment due 120 days prior to departure.

Quadruple Porthole

24 Dec 2023 - 05 Jan 2024
An excellent cabin choice for single travellers or families of 4
USD$ 9,900pp
USD$ 9,900pp

Twin Porthole

24 Dec 2023 - 05 Jan 2024
Twin porthole cabin with private facilities
USD$ 12,150pp
USD$ 12,150pp
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hondius quad cabin

Triple Porthole

24 Dec 2023 - 05 Jan 2024
Cabin features 2 x Lower and 1 x Upper bunk, private facilities and a porthole.
USD$ 12,150pp
USD$ 12,150pp
ortelius twin window cabin

Twin Window

24 Dec 2023 - 05 Jan 2024
Twin private cabin with window.
USD$ 12,650pp
USD$ 12,650pp
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ortelius twin deluxe cabin

Twin Deluxe

24 Dec 2023 - 05 Jan 2024
Private corner cabin with private facilities.
USD$ 13,400pp
USD$ 13,400pp
plancius superior cabin

Superior

24 Dec 2023 - 05 Jan 2024
Suite cabins with mid-ship locations on deck 5 & 6.
USD$ 14,300pp
USD$ 14,300pp
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