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Polar Circle - Deep South Discovery - 12 Days | Ortelius

12 Days
From USD 9,450

STYLE: Small Ship Expedition Cruise 

Trip Code: ACOWODS

DIFFICULTY RATING: 2 (light adventure)

Start: Ushuaia, Argentina

Finish: Ushuaia, Argentina

SHIP: Ortelius

DestinationDestination

Antarctic Peninsula

DestinationDeparture Date

10/03/2025

MealsMeals

All Meals Onboard The Ship

TransportTransport

Group Transfers On Disembarkation to the airport 

TransportAccommodation

Cabin on board a ship



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Included SightseeingIncluded Sightseeing

Daily Antarctica Excursions, Zodiac Cruising, Onboard Expert Lectures & Briefings by the Experienced Expedition Team

 

NOTE: Itinerary is subject to change depending on weather & ice conditions 

OVERVIEW

All aboard the MV Ortelius. Take a 12 day voyage from Ushuaia in Argentina, across the Drake Passage to the world's most remote continent, Antarctica. An expedition rather than a holiday, be prepared to encounter wild weather, bitter beauty and abundant wildlife. Vast landscapes are softened by the appearance of Gentoo penguins and different seal species while the icy ocean we hope will offer sightings of Humpback and Minke whales, in various locations as we sail.

**Diving is available - You must be advanced and experienced in dry suit and cold water diving. Diving is subject to local ice and weather conditions. Group size: minimum 8 divers.

ITINERARY

Embarkation: Ushuaia

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

Crossing the Drake Passage - Day 2 & 3

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.

Antarctic Peninsula - Day 4 to 9

Options for Antarctic Peninsula activities are many, and no less great during the late summer. Humpback whales are prolific in this region, gorging themselves on krill before their migration north. The penguin chicks are also fledging, stirring up activity on the beaches while sleek leopard seals lie in wait, poised to attack the less fortunate ones.

Sites for your Antarctic adventures may include:

Livingston Island – Here you find a wide variety of gentoo and chinstrap penguins on Hannah Point, as well as southern giant petrels and elephant seals hauling out onto the beach.

Deception Island – Actually a subducted crater, this island opens into the sea and creates a natural harbor for the ship. An abandoned whaling station, and multiple bird species – cape petrels, kelp gulls, brown and south polar skuas, and Antarctic terns – can be seen here. Wilson’s storm petrels and black-bellied storm petrels also nest in the ruins of the whaling station in Whalers Bay.

Cuverville Island – A small precipitous island nestled between the mountains of the Antarctic Peninsula and Rongé Island, Cuverville houses a large colony of gentoo penguins and breeding pairs of brown skuas.

Neko Harbour – An epic landscape of mammoth glaciers and endless wind-carved snow, Neko Harbour offers opportunities for a Zodiac cruise and landing that afford the closest views of the surrounding alpine peaks. You might also be able to set foot on the continent here.

Paradise Bay – You could take a Zodiac cruise in these sprawling, ice-flecked waters, where you have a good chance of seeing humpback and minke whales.

Pléneau & Petermann Islands – If the ice allows it, you may sail through the Lemaire Channel in search of Adélie penguins and blue-eyed shags. There’s also a good chance you’ll encounter humpback and minke whales as well as leopard seals.

Crystal Sound – Your journey takes you south along the Argentine Islands to this ice-packed body of water, and from here across the Polar Circle in the morning.

Detaille Island – You may make a landing at an abandoned British research station here, taking in the island’s lofty mountains and imposing glaciers.

Fish Islands – Further north you encounter one of the southernmost Adélie penguin and blue-eyed shag colonies in the Antarctic Peninsula.

Melchior Islands – These islands offer a beautiful landscape rich with icebergs. Leopard seals, crabeater seals, and whales are found here, and there are excellent opportunities for kayaking and diving.

Conditions on the Drake Passage determine the exact time of departure.

At Sea - Day 10 & 11

Your return voyage is far from lonely. While crossing the Drake, you’re again greeted by the vast array of seabirds remembered from the passage south. But they seem a little more familiar to you now, and you to them.

Disembark in Ushuaia

Every adventure, no matter how grand, must eventually come to an end. It’s now time to disembark in Ushuaia, but with memories that will accompany you wherever your next adventure lies.

DOWNLOAD ITINERARY PDF
Ortelius

Ortelius

With its origins in Poland, the M/V Ortelius now plies the waters of the Antarctic and Arctic as an ice-strengthened Polar expedition vessel. It is named after the Flemish cartographer and geographer, Abraham Ortelius, who also created the first modern atlas. Adept at navigating through solid one year sea-ice and loose multi-pack ice, this ship is ideally suited to reaching more remote locations such as the Ross Sea.

The comfortable M/V Ortelius accommodates up to 108 passengers in 50 cabins. Staterooms range from quadruple and triple cabins with portholes and both upper and lower berths, to twin porthole, window and deluxe cabins with lower berths only up to superior cabins which feature a double bed. The ship has plenty of open-deck spaces as well as a large bridge accessible to passengers. Alongside the expedition team that is made up of an expedition leader plus 5 guides/lecturers, the ship is manned by 34 extremely experienced nautical crew, an international catering staff and you can find a doctor onboard for any required medical attention.

On board there are also two restaurants, a bar/lecture room and a sauna. There are 11 Zodiacs on board, maximising time spent on shore and wildlife opportunities.

 

Ice Class: Length: 90.95m / 299.4ft
Breadth: 17.20m / 57.8ftMax
Draft: Cruising
Speed: 14.5 knots
Electricity: 240 volts Passenger
Capacity:
116 passengers & 52 Crew & Staff

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Accommodation

We believe that appropriate accommodation should add to the authentic travel experience, as well as providing utmost enjoyment. For that reason our accommodation is scrutinised by our staff on the ground frequently, ensuring the properties adhere to our high standards. This key will help you understand the levels of accommodation available on this tour.

Standard

Comfortable properties with dependable facilities and service.

Superior

Comfortable properties with dependable facilities and service.

Deluxe

Luxurious properties with impeccable facilities and service.

OPTIONAL ACTIVITIES

Optional Activities vary for each itinerary. Limited spaces available. Contact your Destination Specialist for pricing & availability.

Hiking

Hiking excursions are among the most popular options in Antarctica as many itineraries are short and suitable for people of all ages and fitness levels. Guided hikes lead you to amazing vantage points and allow even closer interaction with local wildlife, so don’t forget to pack your camera!

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Pricing per person & date

Polar Circle - Deep South Discovery - 12 Days | Ortelius from USD 9,450
Departing Ending Duration
10 Mar 2025 21 Mar 2025 12

Important Information

  • Inclusions

    All on-board accommodation
    All meals throughout voyage including snacks, coffee and tea
    All shore excursions and activities throughout the voyage by Zodiac
    Program of lectures by noted naturalists and leadership by experienced expedition staff
    Complimentary use of rubber boots & snow shoes during voyage
    Pre-scheduled group transfer from the vessel to the the airport in Ushuaia on disembarkation 
    All miscellaneous service taxes and port charges throughout the program
    Comprehensive pre-departure material

    Exclusions

    Airfares to/from embarkation and disembarkation city
    Visa fees (if applicable) 
    Travel/medical insurance
    Personal expenses (such as laundry, on-board telecommunication) 
    Gratuities for the crew (recommended US$15 per person per day) 
    Optional activities not mentioned in itinerary
    Paid adventure options 

  • 2 (light adventure)
  • Available upon request. Please contact us for more details. No single supplement will apply if willing to share in selected cabins. 

  • Prices are correct at time of publishing but are subject to change at any time. Price is based on Quad Share. 

    Itinerary is subject to change depending on weather and ice conditions. 

    Diving is an optional activity. Contact us for more details. You must be advanced and experienced in dry suit and cold water diving. Diving is subject to local ice and weather conditions. Group size: minimum 8 divers.

  • Departure Date,  Fuel Surcharges, Cabin Category, Currency Fluctuations, Seasonality & Availability.

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