ortelius antarctic circle cruise

Antarctica - Polar Circle, Deep South Discovery Voyage

  • Overview

    This Polar Circle and Antarctic Peninsula cruise will take you further south of Antarctica, crossing the Polar Circe. This expedition cruise passes through waters travelled by Humpback, Minke and Fin whales. Anchoring in various spots around the region, the expedition offers the chance to hike, and dive in the iceberg-heavy waters.

    Duration: 14 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 4/5 - 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. 

       

      The intended route for you Antarctic adventure includes: 

       


      Cuverville Island – A small precipitous island nestled between the mountains of the Antarctic Peninsula and Rongé Island, Cuverville houses a large colony of gentoo penguins and breeding pairs of brown skuas. 

       


      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 could take a Zodiac cruise in these sprawling, ice-flecked waters before sailing to the Lemaire Channel. 

    • Day 6/8 - Sailing along Antarctic Peninsula


      After a comfortable night of sailing, you wake among the many islands south of Lemaire Channel. You are now near the Antarctic Circle. At this point, a voyage through the aptly named Gullet – a narrow but picturesque channel between Adelaide Island and the Antarctic Continent is possible if the ice isn’t too dense. You can explore this area from the prow of the ship getting the closest possible contact with the polar terrain as you venture southward.


      Along the way, you may enjoy the following visits:

       


      Pourquoi Pas Island – You might circumnavigate this island, named after the ship of the famous French explorer Jean-Baptiste Charcot. This location is known for its tight fjords and lofty, glacier-crowded mountains. 

       


      Horseshoe Island – This is the location of the former British Base Y, a remnant of the 1950s that is now unmanned though still equipped with almost all the technology it had while in service. 

       


      Stonington Island – Home to the former US East Base and British Base E, which was occupied until 1975, this island marks the southernmost landing site of the trip – 68° south. If a landing here is possible, your road turns north again afterward, through the Gunnel Channel.

       


      Hanusse Bay – Enjoy the scattered icebergs of this scenic bay, which offers a good chance of spotting whales.

    • Day 9/11 - Sailing along Antarctic Peninsula

      You are near the Antarctic Circle again, cutting north through the countless ice floes of Crystal Sound. Humpback whale sightings are likely, and your approach to the Fish Islands offers the possibility of a Zodiac cruise or even a landing. Whatever the case, the views beyond comparison in this area. There may also be more Adélie penguins congregating among the bergs nearby. Petermann & Pléneau Islands provide a great variety of birdlife, along with possibilities for Zodiac cruises among icebergs that are highly popular among leopard and crabeater seals. Minke whales, humpbacks, and gentoo penguins can also be found here. 

       

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

    • Day 12/13 - 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 14 - 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

    Polar Diving

    As if visiting the Artic or Antarctic wasn’t other-worldly enough there is a whole other world for you to explore – under the surface of the seas.

    Aiming for 1 or 2 dives per day (depending on weather and ice conditions) you will dive under shallow ice, down along walls, from the beach, or from a Zodiac. You’ll reach a maximum depth of 20 metres (60 feet). Diving under Polar waters is like no other dive – the combination of water, sunlight, and ice formations creates an ever-shifting spectacle of colours.

    Min. Experience Requirements: A high level of experience is required.

    USD$ 700 per person

    Cross the Antarctic Circle

    The moment you step foot into the circle, you’ll have a deep sense of wonder knowing you’ve just trodden where few have gone before. When you’re this far south, nature bares its secrets.

    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.

    Whales

    Whale numbers swell in Antarctica over the southern summer. Arriving in Antarctica from November onwards, whale numbers reach their peak around December and January. Sightings and particularly breachings reach a pinnacle in February and March, when the Krill is closer to the surface. Some 10 species of whales are found in Antarctic water each summer, with the most abundant species being the Humpack.

  • Inclusions

    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

    - Expedition boots & Snowshoes
    - Pre-departure information
    - Ushuaia transfer to port
    - All shore excursions and lectures
    - All accommodation and meals on board

    Not included in your Expedition

    - Gratuities
    - Expenses of personal nature including; Laundry / Bar / Beverages / Internet & Wifi
    - Mandatory waterproof gear not provided
    - Baggage / cancellation / interruption and medical travel insurance
    - Government arrival and departure taxes
    - Passport & Visa expenses
    - Pre and post-cruise arrangements
    - Any airfare (whether on itinerary or charter flights)
  • 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
Check Voyage Dates, Pricing and Availability
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Ready to book your expedition?

We understand that the trip of a lifetime takes planning, so we make the financial commitments easy to manage.

  • Confirm your booking today with just USD$ 1,000 per passenger.
  • Pay your 25% deposit 5 day later.
  • Final payment due 120 days prior to departure.

Quadruple Porthole

16 Mar 2024 - 29 Mar 2024
An excellent cabin choice for single travellers or families of 4
USD$ 9,100pp
USD$ 9,100pp

Twin Porthole

16 Mar 2024 - 29 Mar 2024
Twin porthole cabin with private facilities
USD$ 11,200pp
USD$ 11,200pp
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hondius quad cabin

Triple Porthole

16 Mar 2024 - 29 Mar 2024
Cabin features 2 x Lower and 1 x Upper bunk, private facilities and a porthole.
USD$ 11,200pp
USD$ 11,200pp
ortelius twin window cabin

Twin Window

16 Mar 2024 - 29 Mar 2024
Twin private cabin with window.
USD$ 11,750pp
USD$ 11,750pp
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ortelius twin deluxe cabin

Twin Deluxe

16 Mar 2024 - 29 Mar 2024
Private corner cabin with private facilities.
USD$ 12,450pp
USD$ 12,450pp
plancius superior cabin

Superior

16 Mar 2024 - 29 Mar 2024
Suite cabins with mid-ship locations on deck 5 & 6.
USD$ 13,250pp
USD$ 13,250pp
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