Helicopter landing Ross Ice Shelf

Ross Sea and Peninsula: MV Ortelius

Antarctic Peninsula and Ross Sea

An epic expedition across Antarctica onboard the MV Ortelius. Reach past the southern parts of the Antarctic Peninsula, rarely seen Peter I Island, the Bellingshausen and Amundsen Seas and into the Ross Sea. Visit Shackleton’s and Scott’s huts, McMurdo Station, the Dry Valleys and - enroute to New-Zealand – Campbell Island with its nesting Royal albatross as well as Australia's Macquarie Island with its King and Royal penguins. The strongest ice-class expedition vessel, MV Ortelius is equipped with onboard helicopters. Be prepared for a true expedition and unforgettable memories!

  • Helicopter outings
  • Peter I Island
  • Royal Penguins
  • Ross Sea
  • Scott's Hut

Special Prices

17 FEB ONLY: Quadruple and Twin porthole as well as Twin Window cabins now available at great price reductions! Hurry while space lasts!

Stewart's Take

A truly rare chance to combine the two best areas of Antarctica in one voyage! See pack ice, icebergs, seldom seen islands and mountainous coastlines!

Overview

An epic expedition across Antarctica onboard the MV Ortelius. Reach past the southern parts of the Antarctic Peninsula, rarely seen Peter I Island, the Bellingshausen and Amundsen Seas and into the Ross Sea. Visit Shackleton’s and Scott’s huts, McMurdo Station, the Dry Valleys and - enroute to New-Zealand – Campbell Island with its nesting Royal albatross. The strongest ice-class expedition vessel, MV Ortelius is equipped with onboard helicopters. Be prepared for true emotion and unforgettable memories!
Sail to the southern parts of the Antarctic Peninsula, Peter I Island, the Bellingshausen and Amundsen Seas into the Ross Sea. Visiting the Ross Ice-shelf, Dry Valleys, McMurdo Station, Macquarie Island, Campbell Island and the historic huts of Scott and Shackleton. Helicopter transfers: During these voyages, we transfer our passengers to shore using Zodiacs. We also operate our two helicopters in sites where Zodiacs cannot be used. Potential areas for helicopter transfer are Cape Evans (the location of Scott’s hut), Cape Royds (the location of Shackleton’s hut), the Ross Ice Shelf, Peter I Island, and the Dry Valleys. Our plan is to make five helicopter-based landings, though a specific amount of helicopter time cannot be guaranteed in advance. Helicopters provide us a great advantage in reaching certain landing sites that are otherwise almost inaccessible, but this is a true expedition in the world’s most remote area: weather, ice, and other forces of nature dictate the final itinerary. Conditions may change rapidly, impacting helicopter operations. Please understand and accept this. Safety is our greatest concern, and no compromises can be made. The vessel is equipped with two helicopters. If one helicopter is unable to fly for whatever reason, helicopter operations will cease or be cancelled. One helicopter always needs to be supported by a second functioning helicopter. No guarantees can be given, and in no event will claims be accepted. Special note: Crossing the International Date Line Depending on which direction one travels across the International Date Line, a day is either lost or gained. (Crossing westward, a day is gained; crossing eastward, a day is lost.) Please take note of this when calculating your actual time travelled. The days listed in the itinerary duration reflect the actual time travelled. The second itinerary is essentially the same but in reverse. Day 1: Ushuaia: End of the world, start of a journey Your voyage begins where the world drops off. Ushuaia, Argentina, reputed to be the southernmost city on the planet, is located on the far southern tip of South America. Starting in the afternoon, you embark from this small resort town on Tierra del Fuego, nicknamed “The End of the World,” and sail the mountain-fringed Beagle Channel for the remainder of the evening. Day 2 – 3: Path of the polar explorers Over the next two days on the Drake Passage, you enjoy some of the same experiences encountered by the great polar explorers who first charted these regions: cool salt breezes, rolling seas, maybe even a fin whale spouting up sea spray. After passing the Antarctic Convergence – Antarctica’s natural boundary, formed when north-flowing cold waters collide with warmer sub-Antarctic seas – you are in the circum-Antarctic upwelling zone. Not only does the marine life change, the avian life changes too. Wandering albatrosses, grey-headed albatrosses, black-browed albatrosses, light-mantled sooty albatrosses, cape pigeons, southern fulmars, Wilson’s storm petrels, blue petrels, and Antarctic petrels are a few of the birds you might see. Day 4: Through the Pendleton Strait Arrive at the Antarctic Peninsula near the Antarctic Circle in the afternoon. If sea ice allows it, we continue through Pendleton Strait and attempt a landing at the rarely visited southern tip of Renaud Island. Here you have the opportunity to see the first Adélie penguins of the trip as well as enjoy spectacular views of the icebergs in this surreal, snow-swept environment. Day 5 – 6: Sailing the Bellingshausen Sea From the Peninsula we head toward the open sea, course set for Peter I Island. Day 7: A rare glimpse of Peter I Island Known as Peter I Øy in Norwegian, this is an uninhabited volcanic island in the Bellingshausen Sea. It was discovered by Fabian von Bellingshausen in 1821 and named after Peter the Great of Russia. The island is claimed by Norway and considered its own territory, though it is rarely visited by passenger vessels due to its exposed nature. If weather and ice conditions allow, we may enjoy a helicopter landing on the glaciated northern part of the island. This is a unique chance to land on one of the most remote islands in the world. Day 8 – 14: Sights of the Amundsen Sea Sail through the Amundsen Sea, moving along and through the outer fringes of the pack ice. Ice conditions are never the same from year to year, though we aim to take advantage of the opportunities that arise if sea ice is present. Emperor penguins, groups of seals lounging on the ice floes, orca and minke whales along the ice edge, and different species of fulmarine petrels are possible sights in this area. Day 15 – 17: The epic Ross Ice Shelf The next goal is to enter the Ross Sea from the east, venturing south toward the Bay of Whales and close to Roosevelt Island (named in 1934 by the American aviator Richard E. Byrd for President Franklin D. Roosevelt). The Bay of Whales is part of the Ross Ice Shelf, the largest ice shelf in the world, and is constantly changing with the receding ice masses. Large icebergs are present here, along with great wildlife opportunities. Roald Amundsen gained access to the shelf en route to the South Pole, which he reached on December 14, 1911. Also, the Japanese explore Nobu Shirase had his camp in this area in 1912, at Kainan Bay. We may make a helicopter landing on the ice shelf if conditions allow. During this part of the voyage, we will also cross the International Date Line. Day 18 – 20: Highlights of the Ross Sea Keeping to the Ross Sea, your aim is now to visit Ross Island. In this location you can see Mount Erebus, Mount Terror, and Mount Byrd, as well as many other famous spots that played an important role in the British expeditions of the last century: Cape Royds, where Ernest Shackleton’s cabin still stands; Cape Evans, where the cabin of Robert Falcon Scott can still be seen; and Hut Point, from which Scott and his men set out for the South Pole. If ice is blocking the way but weather conditions are favorable, we may use the helicopters to land in one or more spots in this area. The American scientific base of McMurdo Station and New Zealand’s Scott Base are other possible locations you might visit. From McMurdo Station you could also make a 10-km hike (6 miles) to Castle Rock, where there are great views across the Ross Ice Shelf toward the South Pole. Additionally, we may make a helicopter landing in Taylor Valley, one of the Dry Valleys, where conditions are closer to Mars than anywhere else on Earth. Day 21 – 22: Exploring the inexpressible Sailing north along the west coast of the Ross Sea, you pass the Drygalski Ice Tongue and Terra Nova Bay. If ice conditions allow, you then land at Inexpressible Island, which has a fascinating history in connection to the less-known Northern Party of Captain Scott’s expedition. It is also home to a large Adélie penguin rookery. Should sea ice prevent entry into Terra Nova Bay, you may head farther north to the protected area of Cape Hallett and its own Adélie rookery. Day 23: Cape Adare You next attempt a landing at Cape Adare, where for the first time humans wintered on the Antarctic Continent: The Norwegian Borchgrevink stayed in here 1899, taking shelter in a hut that to this day is surrounded by the largest colony of Adélie penguins in the world. Day 24: Ross Sea to the Southern Ocean Sailing through the sea ice at the entrance of the Ross Sea, you start your journey north through the Southern Ocean. The goal is to set a course for the Balleny Islands, depending on weather conditions. Day 25: Balleny Islands Your intended route is past Sturge Island in the afternoon, getting an impression of these windswept and remote islands before crossing the Antarctic Circle. Day 26 – 28: Sailing among the seabirds You once again enter the vast expanse of the Southern Ocean. Seabirds are prolific on this leg, during which we hope to enjoy good weather conditions. Day 29: Macquarie Island Macquarie Island also known as 'Macca', is a Tasmanian State Reserve that in 1997 became a World Heritage Site. The Australian Antarctic Division has its permanent base on this island, which Australian sealer Frederick Hasselborough discovered while searching for new sealing grounds. The fauna on Macquarie is fantastic, and there are colonies of king, gentoo, and southern rockhopper penguins – as well as almost one million breeding pairs of the endemic royal penguin. Elephant seals and various fur seal species, such as the New Zealand fur seal, are also present. Day 30: Northwest toward Campbell Island Heading northwest to Campbell Island, you’re once again followed by numerous seabirds. Day 31: Campbell Island The plan today is to visit the sub-Antarctic New Zealand Reserve and UNESCO World Heritage Site of Campbell Island, enjoying its luxuriantly blooming vegetation. The fauna on Campbell Island is also a highlight, with a large and easily accessible colony of southern royal albatrosses on the main island. Breeding on the satellite islands are wandering, Campbell, grey-headed, black-browed, and light-mantled albatrosses. There are also three breeding penguin species present: eastern rockhopper, erect-crested, and yellow-eyed penguins. In the 18th century, seals in the area were hunted to extinction, but the elephant seals, fur seals, and sea lions have since recovered. Day 32: Once more to the Southern Ocean Take in the vast horizons of your final sea day before you reach New Zealand. Day 33: Bluff, New Zealand Every adventure, no matter how sublime, must eventually come to an end. You disembark in Bluff, the southernmost town in New Zealand, and return home with memories that will accompany you wherever your next adventure lies. PLEASE NOTE: All itineraries are for guidance only. Programs may vary depending on ice, weather, and wildlife conditions. Landings are subject to site availabilities, permissions, and environmental concerns per IAATO regulations. Official sailing plans and landing slots are scheduled with IAATO prior to the start of the season, but the expedition leader determines the final plan. Flexibility is paramount for expedition cruises. Special note about landing permits: Landings at the Macquarie Islands, Campbell Islands, and McMurdo Station may have limitations and are subject to change. Additional sites like the Balleny Islands as well as extra time in the Ross Sea may be offered as an alternative. The average cruising speed of our vessel is 10.5 knots.

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Expedition Vessel: M/V Ortelius

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.

For full information about this vessel click here:

Included
  • Voyage aboard the designated vessel the MV Ortelius as indicated in the itinerary.
  • All meals throughout the voyage aboard the ship including snacks, coffee and tea.
  • Free use of rubber boots aboard
  • Pre-scheduled group transfer from the vessel to the airport in Invercargill or Ushuaia (directly after disembarkation).
  • All shore excursions and activities throughout the voyage by Zodiac.
  • Ship-to-shore helicopter transfers (with no specific amount of helicopter time guaranteed).
  • Program of lectures by noted naturalists and leadership by experienced expedition staff.
  • All miscellaneous service taxes and port charges throughout the program.
  • Comprehensive pre-departure material.
Excluded
  • Any airfare whether on scheduled or charter flights.
  • Pre- and post land arrangements.
  • Transfers to the vessel.
  • Passport and visa expenses.
  • Government arrival and departure taxes.
  • Meals ashore.
  • Baggage, cancellation and personal insurance (which is strongly recommended).
  • Excess baggage charges.
  • All items of a personal nature such as laundry, bar, beverage charges and telecommunication charges.
  • The customary gratuity at the end of the voyages for stewards and other service personnel aboard (guidelines will be provided).
  • Possible fuel surcharges; It is agreed that if world fuel prices will reach or exceed US Dollar 90 per Barrel Brent (US Dollar 120 for season 2013-2014) 90 days prior to departure Oceanwide Expeditions reserves the right to levy a fuel surcharge of US $ 400 per passenger for bookings outside Europe and EURO 300 per passenger for bookings within Europe, to be paid by the contracting party of Oceanwide Expeditions.
Rates, Share and Sole Use policy All rates are quoted per person, based on shared twin, triple or quad occupancy. If you are travelling alone and wish to share, you will be matched with another person of the same gender at the shared rate. Twin and Superior cabins are available for single occupancy at 1.7 times the share rate. Children Upon request (some voyages may be excluded), children under 16 with parents may receive 40 % discount in Superior, Triple (sharing with 2 parents / adults) and Quadruple Cabins (sharing with 3 parents / adults). Deposits Reservations require a deposit of 20% at the time you receive a booking confirmation from Expeditions Online. A payment link will be sent to you and this may be paid by major credit card. Bookings within 60 days of departure require full payment. Final Payments Balances are due 60 days prior to departure. Cancellations All requests for cancellation must be received in writing to Expeditions Online. Cancellations received 90 days or more prior to departure, are refunded less a fee of 20 % of the total price. If cancellation is received between 89 days and 60 days prior to departure, are refunded less a fee of 50 % of the total price. If cancellation occurs less than 59 days up to and including the day of departure: 100 % of the total price. If full payment has not yet been received, the full penalty will still apply and any unpaid balance is due immediately. We strongly recommend that you obtain adequate trip cancellation insurance. Booking Terms Please read carefully the General Booking Conditions for Expeditions Online. This voyage is operated by Oceanwide Expeditions and you additionally travel under their terms and conditions as the operator as well as of the Shipping Company/transport carrier. Details will be forwarded to you at the time of booking.
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