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Boasting the highest ice-class notation, the Ortelius is well equipped for navigating icy polar waters and is able to reach the more remote and isolated places like Franz Josef Land and the Ross Sea.

Built in Gdynia on Poland’s Baltic Coast, the Ortelius started life as the Marina Svetaeva - a special purpose vessel for the Russian Academy of Science. It was later renamed after famous cartographer Abraham Ortelius, and today sails under Oceanwide Expeditions on fascinating expeditions to both the Arctic and Antarctica.

Boasting the highest ice-class notation, the Ortelius is able to navigate solid one-year sea ice as well as loose multi-year pack ice, allowing it to reach the more secluded locations that other vessels can’t. Whilst expeditions tend to be more adventurous - camping, kayaking, skiing and mountaineering are frequently on the menu - the vessel also enjoys all the comforts you would expect from a hotel including two restaurants and a bar as well as private showers and toilets in all the cabins.

View the Ortelius deckplan here.

Ortelius, at a glance

  • Built in 1989 in Gdynia, Poland, the Ortelius offers incredible expedition cruises to both the Arctic and Antarctica
  • Accommodating up to 108 passengers in 50 cabins
  • Cabins are simple, spacious and comfortably fitted with private showers and toilets
  • Minimum of two portholes/windows per cabin
  • Large open deck spaces
  • Highest ice-class notation allowing for excellent manoeuvrability in the icy waters
  • Manned by a professional and experienced team of 22 nautical crew members, 19 hotel staff, eight expedition specialists and one doctor
  • 10 Zodiacs with as much time spent ashore as possible

Where will Ortelius take you?

  • Antarctic Circle
  • Antarctic Peninsula
  • Falkland Islands
  • Ross Sea
  • South Georgia
  • South Orkney Islands
  • South Shetland Islands
  • Weddell Sea

Other itineraries in Antarctica

  • We would strongly recommend Ultimate Travel as an ethical and imaginative travel company for bespoke and truly unique holidays.

    AB, January 2021