The world‘s finest diving


The 91-meter (299-foot) sturdy, ice-class Ortelius offers itineraries in Antarctica, the Weddell Sea, Falkland Islands, South Georgia & Ross Sea. Also North Spitsbergen & East Greenland.

A word from Dom : “Ortelius is everything you could want in terms of safety and stability for the challenging environments of the Arctic and Antarctic cruises she undertakes. I personally have the utmost confidence in the ship and in her crews. The professionalism of the operation is beyond critique …..” Dominick Macan

Ortelius Ext ice opt

On Board Ortelius

A Cosy & Functional Polar Experience

Built in Gdynia, Poland in 1989, Ortelius served as a special-purpose vessel for the Russian Academy of Science. Later she was re-flagged and renamed after the Dutch/Flemish cartographer Abraham Ortelius (1527 – 1598), who in 1570 published the first modern world atlas.

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 108 passengers as of season Arctic 2020) 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.

The ship offers comfortable accommodation and has two restaurants plus a bar/lecture room. Voyages are primarily developed to provide a quality exploratory wildlife program, trying to spend as much time ashore as possible. You will find 11 zodiacs of which 9 are used daily with 2 on reserve for safety.

All cabins have private facilities and either windows or portholes. In your cabin you will find a desk with a chair and ample storage space for clothes and equipment. The quadruple cabins have two bunk beds and the triple cabins have two lower beds and a top bunk. All other cabins have lower beds. The superior cabins have a double bed, a seperate single bed and a separate living room with a sofa and TV.

Your Cruise Logistics

For Antarctica trips you will be embarking and disembarking in Ushuaia. For other southern itineraries embarkation and disembarkation is from Bluff, New Zealand.

For the Spitsbergen/Northeast Greenland & Aurora borealis trips you will embark and disembark from Vlissingen or Longyearbyen … while for East Greenland – Scoresby Sund, Aurora Borealis trips embarkation and disembarkation are from Akureyri.

Activities Abound ...

Kayaking, snowshoeing, mountaineering, camping, scuba diving, and much more – the activities are as exciting as they are numerous. Much of the necessary equipment is provided and a fleet of Zodiacs will shuttle you to and from all outings with speed and safety.
Ortelius deck plan opt


Registered: The Netherlands
Length: 90.95 meters
Breadth: 17.20 meters
Draft: 5.4 meters
Ice class: UL1 (equivalent to 1A)
Displacement: 4,090 tons
Propulsion: 6 ZL 40/48 SULZER
Average cruising speed: 10,5 knots
Passengers: 116-123 in 53 cabins
Crew, guides, doctor: 41 / 8 / 1
Various decks refurbished 2012-2017


22 highly experienced nautical crew members
19 hotel staff
8 expedition specialists (1 expedition leader, 1 assistant, and 6 lecturer-guides)
1 doctor


internet and phone facilities (subject to satellite connection and coverage)
Wi-Fi access is available throughout the ship
2 laptops available for public use


The Arctic diving expeditions take place around Spitsbergen. You’ll be able to dive from either the Zodiacs or the beaches and even get in some wreck dives. Spitsbergen is usually a very successful spot for diving with seals.  In the Antarctic waters, which are rich with krill, there’s a lot of marine life attracted to the area. In addition to seals you’ll also have a good chance to make friends with some the penguin population on your dives.

The crew aim to take you off the ship and into the action as often as possible. The sea routes are short and direct, allowing for maximum shore time and activities are designed to accommodate a wide range of experience and fitness levels.  The idea is to make close-contact with twice-daily outings on land and at sea (and sometimes below it) in one of Earth’s most surreal environments.

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