Ortelius is a comfortable standard Polar vessel runs by Oceanwide Expeditions, it offering both scuba diving and Polar cruise explorations in the Antartica and Arctic, it can accommodate 108 guests.
Date 05/01/24 to 15/01/24
Duration 10 nights
Boat Ortelius
Destination Antarctica
Departure Ushuaia
Arrival Ushuaia
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Ortelius is a ice-strengthened Polar vessel, originally the Marina Svetaeva. Built in Gdynia, Poland in 1989, it served as a special-purpose vessel for the Russian Academy of Science. Now it is classed by Lloyd’s Register in London and flies the Dutch flag. Various decks has been refurbished 2012-2017-2019. Measuring 90.95m in length and 17.2m in breadth, with crusing speed at 10.5 knots.

Ortelius has the highest ice-class notation (UL1, equivalent to 1A) and is therefor suitable to navigate in solid one-year sea ice as well as loose multi-year pack ice.

Ortelius offers all the comforts of a standard hotel ― two restaurants, along with a bar and lecture room.

Ortelius serve buffet-style breakfasts on board, lunches are often buffets as well. Dinners include a choice of main courses, and these are served at the table. Snacks such as ready-made soups, cookies, and crackers are available 24 hours per day free of charge. Water, coffee, and tea served with all meals, free of charge. Other drinks are available at a reasonable price.

Flexibility assures maximum wildlife opportunities. As such, Ortelius carries 10 Zodiacs with 60hp Yamaha engines.

Ortelius carries 52 crew and staff members, including 22 highly experienced nautical crew members, 19 hotel staff, 8 expedition specialists (one expedition leader, one assistant, and six lecturer-guides), and 1 doctor.

Passengers on a typical voyage range from in their 30s to their 80s, with the majority usually between 45 ― 65. Our expeditions attract independent travelers from around the globe who are characterized by a strong interest in exploring remote regions.


Ortelius has 50 guest cabins, it can accommodate up to 108 guests per trip:

All cabins are spacious outside cabins with a minimum of two port- holes or windows per cabin and all cabins feature ensuite bathroom (with hair dryer, shampoo and shower gel), flatscreen TV, desk & chair, telephone and WiFi (supplemented), safe deposit box, and ample storage space. We advise that you use a softshell suitcase as there is not much space for large suitcases in the cabins.

The power supply is 220 volts, 50 cycles. The wall plugs accommodate two thick round pins like those found in most European countries.

6 Superior Cabins :
Located on the deck 5, each comes with 1 double bed, 1 single sofa bed, refrigerator, coffee & tea maker, 2 windows (minimum, some of them have 3 windows).

2 Twin Deluxe Cabins :
Located on the deck 5, each comes with 2 single beds (side by side), small sofa, refrigerator, coffee & tea maker, 3 windows.

12 Twin Window Cabins :
Located on the deck 5, each comes with 2 single beds (side by side), 2 windows

26 Twin Porthole Cabins :
24 of them are located on the deck 4, 2 of them are located on deck 3 (the lower deck)
Each comes with 2 single beds (side by side), 2 portholes.

4 Quadruple Porthole Cabins :
Located on the deck 3, each omes with 2 upper & lower berths, 2 portholes. (these can also be used as triple or twin cabins)


  • Polar diving activity is offered as a supplement on select trip.
  • Group size: minimum 8, maximum 24 divers per trip.
  • 6 divers per dive guide, there are 4 dive guides onboard.
  • 1 - 2 dives per day, one in the morning and one in the afternoon.
  • Divers must be experienced with cold-water, dry-suit diving.
  • A min. 30 logged dives in cold-water, dry-suit diving is required.
  • The ability to dive depends on local ice and weather conditions.
  • If divers don't meet the necessary experience, they can be excluded, no refund.
  • Dives are made from the Zodiac boats, max. depth is around 20 meters.
  • Scuba tanks, compressors, weights, diving essentials are provided.

Dive Equipment to bring

  • Pressure gauge
  • Compass watch
  • Knife and torch
  • Mask, fins, and snorkel
  • Dry suit with hood, two sets of warm underwater garments
  • Dry gloves or 7mm wet gloves/mitts adequate for sub-zero waters
  • Stabilizing jacket or BC with quick-release capability and sufficient lift capacity
  • Two freeze-protected regulators. (We dive with special bottles that have two separate outlets, and we use 12L steel tanks fitted with a Y or H valve configuration and DIN or Yoke (INT) adaptable connections.)
  • Do not bring any new equipment you have not tested in the water.

Shore excursions and Zodiac cruises

  • Guided shore excursions, walks, wildlife spotting, and Zodiac cruises are included.
  • Daily programs will be announced during briefings, displayed around the vessel.
  • The planned activities are always subject to change due to local conditions.
  • Expeditions cruises are trips that focus on maximum contact with local wildlife.
  • For expedition cruises, guests must be able to walk several hours per day.
  • For regular cruise, there will be a series of landings, each several hours long.
  • For expedition cruises, land 2 or 3 times every day - depends on the program.
  • When an activity is cancelled due to weather (or any other) conditions, we will offer an alternative activity when possible. We may also reschedule the activity for another time. If neither option is possible due to local conditions, however, we can offer no refund for the missing activity. This is the unpredictable nature of expedition travel.

What to Pack

  • Waterproof trousers and jacket against wind, rain and salt spray.
  • Furthermore thermal underwear, fleece jackets, warm gloves and a warm hat.
  • A down-jacket, a waterproof jacket and pants (minimum 15,000mm rating).
  • Mittens and gloves, Woolen cap, Warm socks, Waterproof backpack etc.
  • Sunglasses, Sunscreen SPF 30+, Facial protection.
  • Pair of binoculars, Camera and plenty of memory cards/film
  • High rubber boots / Neoprene boots will be provided to all guests for all landings.
  • Snowshoe walkers should bring mountain boots for comfort, grip and stability.
  • Kayaking : Neoprene gloves are best for keeping your hands warm.
  • Mountaineers must bring their own mountain boots with sufficient ankle support and stiff sole.

Activities Cost

  • Shore base walking : No surcharge for all guests during the cruise
  • Hiking : No surcharge. 2-3 hours or longer. Sign up upon reservation
  • Snowshoeing : No surcharge. Free use of snowshoes.
  • Birdinig : No surcharge. Sign up upon reservation.
  • Photo Workshop : No surcharge. Sign up upon reservation.
  • Navigational workshop : No surcharge. Everyone can participate.
  • Acoustic workshop : No surcharge. Open to all participants.
  • Mountaineering : Free of charge during "Basecamp" trips
  • Camping : Surcharge needed. Free of charge during "Basecamp" trips
  • Diving : Surcharge needed, divers must meet the requirments to apply
  • Kayaking : Surcharge needed. Free of charge during "Basecamp" trips
  • Ski Mountaineering : Surcharge needed. Need to bring own ski equipment
  • During “Basecamp” departure : all offered activities (including camping, kayaking, snowshoe/hiking, mountaineering, photo workshops as well as our standard included shore excursions and zodiac cruises) are free of charge.

The Climate in Antarctica

Antarctica is the coldest and also the windiest continent in the world. The lowest temperature on Earth was recorded in Antarctica. There are three climatic regions in Antarctica:

The interior of the continent: This is the extremely cold area of Antarctica.

The coastal areas: These areas have milder temperatures and much higher precipitation rates.

The Antarctic Peninsula: This is the region which has a warmer and also wetter climate; above freezing temperatures are common in the summer months.

During the summer months temperatures in the Antarctic Peninsula range between -2°C - +5 °C. In the Ross Sea it can get significantly colder with temperatures down to -20°C.

The Aurora Borealis in Arctic

The best time to see the Aurora Borealis is between October and February. In this time, it is guaranteed dark at night when the chance of seeing the northern lights is greatest. Seeing the Northern lights also depends on the weather. During cloudy nights the lights cannot be seen.

Furthermore, not many people know that central Greenland is located at exactly the right latitude for seeing the Aurora Borealis. The fairly long periods of darkness in September make our Greenland expeditions an ideal opportunity to admire this unbelievable phenomenon.

About the Polar bears

There is a chance you will see polar bears in places like Svalbard and Franz Josef Land, but the odds that you will see one during a landing or onshore activity is highly unlikely – and we work hard to keep it that way. Most people who visit the Arctic want to see a polar bear, but it is our top priority to ensure that all wildlife sightings are safe both for our passengers and the wildlife.

Our experienced staff will use their knowledge to find polar bears, ultimately it is in the hands of nature. Our Svalbard and Franz Josef Land voyages offer the best chance of sightings, but we rarely encounter bears in Greenland.

In a few of our Arctic areas of operation, polar bears sightings are fairly common. Though we can obviously never guarantee we’ll see polar bears, these areas are great places to look for them. Our captains, crews, and guides (with help from our passengers) keep a close lookout for polar bears at all of our landing sites, and if we see any, we do not go to shore.

If no bears are spotted, however, our guides will scout the area from our Zodiac boats to make sure no polar bears have escaped notice. Only then will we attempt a landing. During landings in polar bear country, our guides carry powerful rifles in case of the unlikely event of an encounter with a bear that has gone undetected. If we spot a bear, we immediately evacuate and return to the ship.

Photography Workshops

There is no extra charge for participating in our photography workshops, but please book your spot well in advance - preferably three months prior to your departure. The photographers are in high demand, so we need to recruit them early.

You have to bring your own camera gear. Choices in photography equipment are largely matters of personal preference, so there’s no way we can accommodate everyone. You can bring more than just a basic camera if you choose, but keep in mind you may have to carry your gear over long distances.

Embarkation & Disembarkation

Standard embarkation time is between 4PM and 5 PM, but on some voyages we have different embarkation times. Standard disembarkation time is around 9AM, after breakfast, but on some voyages we have different disembarkation times.

Other information

  • Min. Age: Children must be at least three years old
  • Dive Equipment Rental:Not available, must bring your own
  • Dive insurance:Mandatory requirement for all divers
  • Wi-Fi Internet :Available with additional cost
  • Laundry Service:Available with additional cost
  • Massage Service:Not available at the moment
  • Payment on board:Cash (EUR/USD) or credit card (Visa, Master)
  • Crew Number:52, include 4 dive guides for up to 24 divers/trip.

Cabins & prices

Name Price
Quad $8,650.00
Triple $10,700.00
Twin $10,700.00
Twin window $11,150.00
Twin Deluxe $11,800.00
Superior $12,650.00


  • Transfers from airport and/or hotel to the yacht
  • Marine park fees & Port fees
  • VAT and local taxes
  • Full-board meal plan (including snacks)
  • Complimentary beverages (water, tea, coffee)
  • Naturalist guide
  • Land excursions and activities throughout the trip
  • Boat accident insurance
  • Cabin towels and complimentary toiletries
  • Cabin cleaning service

Not included

  • Domestic flights in destination country
  • Fuel surcharge
  • Alcoholic beverage
  • Soft drinks
  • Diving activity (incl. tanks, weights, weight belts)
  • Dive guide service
  • Use of Kayaks or/and SUPs
  • Dive insurance (mandatory requirement)
  • Travel insurance (trip cancellation insurance)
  • Wi-Fi
  • Crew gratuity


Destinations Arctic, Antarctica
Facilities Watersport equipment, Camera Station, Wi-Fi, Laundry, Heli-deck
Languages spoken English, French, German


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