For this voyage you may also board the ship two days earlier in Hansweert, The Netherlands and sail from there to Aberdeen. Contact us for additional prices and details. Day 1 - Aberdeen Arrive in Aberdeen, famed as the Granite City and many times a winner of the Britain in Bloom competition, and embark on our trip. As we reach the North Sea, we see the lighthouse on Girdle Ness to the south, designed by the grandfather of Robert Louis Stevenson. We keep an eye out for whales of several different species which are native to these waters. Day 2 - Fair Isle, Shetlands We are welcomed by the 70 or so inhabitants (famed for their knitwear, examples of which we will see) to be followed by a walk to the bird observatory. Fair Isle is a haven for sea-birds, which are very accessible. We view also Grey Seals. Day 3 and 4 - North Sea We sail north to the Norwegian island of Jan Mayen, situated 300 nautical miles north-east of Iceland. During our two days at sea there will be plenty of time to watch for the blow of a Minke, Fin or Blue Whale, which could herald a rewarding encounter with these gentle giants. Perhaps we might run into a pod of Orca, who can often be quite curious about boats such as ours. Day 5 - Jan Mayen This is a volcanic island of breathtaking beauty and mystique, dominated by Mt Beerenberg. From the slopes of the 2300m volcano, impressive glaciers spill into the sea. Until recently, the island was off-limits as it is a military base, and was rarely visited by tourists, but with permission from the Norwegian authorities we hope to visit the weather station. We will also walk across the island to Kvalrossbukta to look at the remains of a 17th century Dutch whaling station and a substantial colony of Fulmar. We also plan to sail by Koksletta where thousands of Little Auk and Brünnich's Guillemot breed close to a glacier, watched over by Glaucous Gull. Days 6 - 8 - Sea Ice and Spitsbergen In the midnight sun, we sail north along the edge of the sea-ice, looking out for Bowhead Whales, Harp Seals, Polar Bears and a variety of seabirds, until about 79 North, then we will sail west to the edges of the continental shelf off West Spitsbergen, where we have good chances to meet Finn Whales and near the mouths of the big Spitsbergen fjords, Minke Whales. Day 9 – Spitsbergen Fuglehuken, the northern tip of Prince Karls Forland is an area with beautiful seabird colonies and many remains of the Polar Bear hunting period of a century ago. Later we will look for Walrus at Sarstangen, Engelskmansbukta or Poole-Pynten. In the evening we could land at Alkhornet another seabird colony, where at the slopes we can find reindeer and Arctic Fox. Day 10 - Longyearbyen We disembark in the administrative centre of Spitsbergen, for flights south to Oslo and onward home. Itinerary: All promoted itineraries are for general guidance. Programs may vary depending on local ice and weather conditions and decisions during the voyage by the Expedition Leader to take advantage of opportunities to see wildlife. Flexibility is paramount for expedition cruises. Landings are always subject to weather, local site availabilities and environmental regulations (AECO). Official sailing plans and landing slots will be scheduled with AECO prior to the start of the season. The final sailing plan will be determined by the Expedition Leader on board. The implementation of the sailing plan is subject to weather and ice conditions and the discretion of the Master.
The ice-strengthened vessel Ortelius is an excellent vessel for Polar expedition cruises in the Arctic and Antarctica, providing possibilities to adventure in remote locations such as the Ross Sea and Franz Josef Land. 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 now re-flagged and renamed Ortelius. She offers a comfortable hotel standard, with two restaurants, a bar/lecture room and a sauna. Her 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 106, flexibility assures maximum wildlife opportunities.