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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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“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.
|Luxury star rating:||3|
|Elec Outlets:||220V / 2 Round Pin|