m/v Ortelius

Fortified for both poles of the planet, the ice-strengthened Ortelius is the ideal polar vessel for your Arctic or Antarctic expedition


A Glimpse into Ortelius’ Past

Ortelius was originally the Marina Svetaeva. Built in Gdynia, Poland in 1989, it served as a special-purpose vessel for the Russian Academy of Science. Later it was re-flagged and renamed after the Dutch/Flemish cartographer Abraham Ortelius (1527 – 1598), who in 1570 published the first modern world atlas: Theatrum Orbis Terrarum or Theater of the World. At that time his atlas was the most expensive book ever printed. Ortelius is classed by Lloyd’s Register in London and flies the Cyprus flag.

Specifications
Passengers: 116 in 53 cabins
Staff & crew: 52
Length: 90.95 meters
Breadth: 17.20 meters
Draft: 5.4 meters
Ice class: UL1 (Equivalent to 1A)
Displacement: 4090 tonnes
Propulsion: 6 ZL 40/48 SULZER
Speed: 10.5 knots average cruising speed
Deck plans and downloads Ortelius, ship details (.pdf) Ortelius, deck plan (.pdf)


Perfect for Any Expedition

The vessel 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 can accommodate up to 116 passengers and has an abundance of open-deck spaces. It is manned by 22 highly experienced nautical crew members, 19 hotel staff, eight expedition specialists (one expedition leader, one assistant, and six lecturer-guides), and one doctor.

Show Ortelius cabins >

Ortelius: a Vessel with Comfort and Character

Though our voyages are primarily meant to offer our passengers an exploratory wildlife program with as much time ashore as possible, Ortelius offers all the comforts of a standard hotel ― along with a bar and lecture room. Flexibility assures maximum wildlife opportunities. As such, Ortelius carries 10 Zodiacs with 60hp Yamaha engines.

Age & Nationality

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. The camaraderie that develops on board is an important part of the Oceanwide experience, and many passenger groups include several nationalities.

View from the Ortelius

What to Wear

In keeping with the spirit of expedition, dress on board is informal. Bring casual and comfortable clothing for all activities, and keep in mind that much of the scenery can be appreciated from deck ― which can be slippery. Bring sturdy shoes with no-slip soles, and make sure your parka is never far away in case one of our crew shouts “Whales!” over the loudspeaker and you have to dash outside in a moment’s notice. Opt for layers, as it is comfortably warm aboard the ship though often cold on deck.

View from the main deck

How to Pay

Refreshments and souvenirs will be charged to your cabin. The day before departure you can settle your bill with the hotel manager, paying by credit card (Visa or MasterCard) or cash (euro, or in some cases dollar). We cannot, however, accept checks. Though the prices and standard currency on board is in the euro, other currencies may be accepted at the discretion of the hotel manager, at prevailing rates.

Electric Current

The electrical supply aboard ship is 220v, 60Hz. Electrical outlets are standard European with two thick round pins, so some passengers may need a 220v/110v converter.

Gratuities

The customary gratuity to the ship’s service personnel is made as a blanket contribution at the end of the voyage and is divided among the crew. Tipping is a personal matter, and the amount you wish to give is at your sole discretion. As a generally accepted guideline, we suggest 8 ― 10 euros per passenger per day. It is better for the crew if you give cash.

Non-Smoking Policy

We have a non-smoking policy inside all our vessels, though you can smoke in certain designated areas. We ask that you please respect the wishes of non-smokers.

Snowshoeing

Your Physical Condition

You must be in good overall health and be able to walk several hours per day. The expedition is ship-based and physically not very demanding, but we spend as much time as possible on shore. You are, however, welcome to remain aboard the ship if you prefer. To join most excursions you must be able to get up and down the steep gangway ― from the ship to the water level ― to board the Zodiacs. Staff will assist you in and out of the boats, and boarding will become progressively easier with practice, but conditions on shore can be slippery and rocky. Remember, you will be traveling in remote areas without access to sophisticated medical facilities, so you must not join this expedition if you have a life-threatening condition or need daily medical treatment.

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Around Spitsbergen

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Reviews

rating reviews

Overall rating based on 44 votes

Hansjürgen van de Loo
Kein "Polar Bear Special"
by Hansjürgen van de Loo on Arctic

Der Titel der Reise weckt Erwartungen, die mit dem Antreffen von 2 Bären an nur einem Tag von 7 für mich nicht erfüllt wurden. Es wurde mehr Wert auf den Besuch von Fjorden gelegt als nach mehr...

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Victoria Hackman
Fantastic trip
by Victoria Hackman on Arctic

Great trip. Polar bears up close. Walruses up close and they don't smell as bad as people say. Reindeer. Huskies. Rinie is the perfect trip leader and all the staff were excellent

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Christine Harrer
Fantastische Reise
by Christine Harrer on Arctic

Es war ein grandioses Erlebnis die Arktis zu erleben, Tiere in einer fantastischen Landschaft beobachten zu dürfen, begleitet von einer Crew, die man sich nur wünschen kann. Herzlichen Dank an Alle...

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Malcolm Gladdish
Arctic Expedition
by Malcolm Gladdish on Arctic

Fantastic expedition, wonderful wildlife sighting, very well organised, cabin comfortable, food tremendous and guides & crew outstanding.

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Janet Hale

A trip on an expedition ship? The Ortelius isn't a luxury cruiser, but she's a comfortable vessel, our cabin (a superior twin) was excellent, with lovely touches like Mars Bars and wine in the fridge....

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André und Kathrin Kühnert
Eisbär Spezial
by André und Kathrin Kühnert on Arctic

Das Gesamtpaket, Schiff inclusive Besatzung und Servicepersonal, Speisen und Getränke, Expeditionsteam waren top. Alle unsere Erwartungen wurden erfüllt bzw. übertroffen. Nochmals nachträglich...

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