ortelius antarctica cruise

Antarctic Peninsula with South Shetland Islands

  • Overview
    Cruise south to the South Shetland Islands and beyond to the frozen southern continent. Watch as the clearing mist reveals some of the most dramatic landscapes on Earth. Experience one of the most pristine regions in the world first-hand and enjoy the possible close encounters with spouting whales, lounging seals, and the penguins that may very well be just as curious about you as you are about them. See how a landscape can take on a drastic change within only a few kilometres of distance as you transition from the South Shetlands down to the Antarctic Peninsula.
    Duration: 11 days
    Passengers: 116 passengers
    Embarkation Point: Ushuaia, Argentina
    Disembarkation Point: Ushuaia, Argentina
    Physical rating: Soft Adventure
    Fly/Cruise: Cruise only
    Single Supplement: 1.7x twin rate or share options
  • Itinerary
    • Day 1 - Ushuaia; Embarkation Day

      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.

    • Day 2/3 - En-route to the Antarctic Peninsula

      During these two days we sail across the Drake Passage. When we cross the Antarctic Convergence, we arrive in the circum-Antarctic up welling zone. In this area we may see Wandering Albatrosses, Grey Headed Albatrosses, Black- browed Albatrosses, Light- mantled Albatrosses, Cape Petrels, Southern Fulmars, Wilson’s Storm Petrels, Blue Petrels and Antarctic Petrels. Near the South Shetland Islands, we spot our first icebergs.

    • Day 4/7 - En-route to the Antarctic Peninsula

      We will sail directly to “High Antarctica”, passing the Melchior islands and the Schollaert Channel between Brabant and Anvers Island. On Cuverville Island, a small precipitous island, nestled between the mountains of the Antarctic Peninsula and Danco Island, we will find a large colony of Gentoo Penguins and breeding pairs of Brown Skuas. If we land on Danco Island we can observe Gentoo Penguins and possibly Weddell and Crabeater Seals.

      In Neko Harbour we will have the opportunity to set foot on the Antarctic Continent in a magnificent landscape of huge glaciers calving at sea level. We enjoy the landscape surrounded by alpine peaks during zodiac cruises. In Paradise Bay again with its myriad icebergs, we have the opportunity to set foot on the Antarctic Continent again. We shall have the opportunity for a zodiac cruise in the inner parts of this amazing water way. In this area we have good chances to see Humpback Whales and Minke Whales. After sailing through the Neumayer Channel, we hope to get a chance to visit the old British research station, now living museum and post office at Port Lockroy on Goudier Island.

      Close to Port Lockroy we may also offer a landing on Jougla Point with Gentoo Penguins and Blue-eyed Shags. This area offers excellent opportunities for kayaking and camping. When the snow conditions allow we use snowshoes on regular landings which vastly improves mobility and safety in heavy snow conditions.

    • Day 8 - South Shetland Islands

      The volcanic islands of the South Shetlands are windswept and often shrouded in mist, but do offer subtle pleasures. There is a nice variety of flora (mosses, lichens and flowering grasses) and fauna, such as Gentoo Penguins, Chinstrap Penguins and Southern Giant Petrels.

      In Deception Island our ship braves into the entrance of the crater through the spectacular Neptune’s Bellows. Deception itself is a sub-ducted crater which opens into the sea creating a natural harbour for the ship. Here we find hot springs, an abandoned whaling station, thousands of Cape Petrels and many Kelp Gulls, Brown and South Polar Skuas and Antarctic Terns. Wilson’s Storm Petrels and Black-bellied Storm Petrels nest in the ruins of the whaling station in Whalers Bay.

      Alternatively we may try to land at Hannah Point at Livingston Island. The area is closed off to visitors for part of the season as it is a high density wildlife area with species such as Chinstrap penguins, Gentoo penguins, and Southern Elephant seals. Around noon we depart for the Drake Passage.

    • Day 9/10 - At Sea

      On our way north we are again followed by a great selection of seabirds while crossing the Drake Passage.

    • Day 11 - Ushuaia; Disembarkation

      We arrive in the morning in Ushuaia and disembark.

    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

    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.

    USD 180 per person

    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.

    USD 465 per person

    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

    South Shetland Islands - Antarctica's Capital

    The South Shetland Islands are the undisputed capital of Antarctica, with some 12 different nations having research bases on the islands. Located on the very northern reaches of the Antarctic, the islands comprise of some of the Antarctic Peninsula prized sited, including; Elephant Island, Deception Island and Penguin Island. As the islands are further north, they are more temperate and thus home to large numbers of wildlife, the islands offer a great diversity of Antarctic landscape, geology and sights of interest including the King George Island airport and Russian Orthodox Church. For most cruises the islands will almost always be the first glimpse of Antarctica you will have from the decks of your expedition vessel.

    Adelie Penguins

    Adelie penguins are the most abundant of all penguin species and are there estimated to be some 5 million birds. They have been an incredibly successful species living further south than any other species and have one of the oldest continually used rookeries, which has existed for some 6,000 years.

    Lemaire Channel – get your camera ready!

    In a continent of stunning views, Lemaire Channel has been called the Kodak Gap. Locked between the rocky vertical cliffs of Booth Island and the continent this one kilometer wide passage is one of the most photographed attractions of Antarctica. You will be glad your camera is digital.

  • 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

    - Pre-departure information
    - Ushuaia transfer to port
    - Expedition boots & snowshoes
    - 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
    Screen shot 2017 07 04 at 5.26.35 pm
  • 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
All available dates

Quad Cabin

06 Dec 2017 - 16 Dec 2017
An excellent cabin choice for single travellers or families of 4
USD 7,200pp
USD 5,750pp

Triple Cabin

06 Dec 2017 - 16 Dec 2017
An excellent cabin choice for single travellers or families of 3
USD 8,100pp
USD 6,500pp

Twin Porthole

06 Dec 2017 - 16 Dec 2017
Twin private cabin with porthole
USD 8,800pp
USD 7,050pp

Twin Window

06 Dec 2017 - 16 Dec 2017
Twin private cabin with window
USD 9,350pp
USD 7,500pp

Twin Deluxe

06 Dec 2017 - 16 Dec 2017
Private corner cabin with private facilities
USD 9,900pp
USD 7,900pp

Superior

06 Dec 2017 - 16 Dec 2017
Superior suite cabin with excellent positioning
USD 10,700pp
USD 8,550pp