Home » M/V Ortelius: Ross Sea Including Helicopters
Join us on a 33 day exploratory voyage to the Antarctic Peninsula, to the rarely visited volcanic Peter I Island, to the huts of the British explorers Ernest Shackleton and Robert Falcon Scott on Ross Island, to McMurdo Station and the Dry Valleys and to Campbell Island, home to the Southern Royal Albatrosses. Explore the Ross Sea by Zodiac cruising and Helicopter flights!
Duration: 34 Days
Please note, you will gain a day during this cruise as you cross the International Date Line.
In the afternoon, we embark in Ushuaia, Tierra del Fuego, Argentina - the southernmost city in the world located at the Beagle channel and we sail through this scenic waterway for the rest of the evening.
Enjoy the facilities, lectures and presentations on-board the ship, while we sail across the sea to reach Antarctic Peninsula.
We arrive in the Antarctic Peninsula and in the morning sail through the spectacular Lemaire Channel and land on Pléneau Island, where fur seals may haul-out on the beaches. Gentoo Penguins, Kelp Gulls and South Polar Skuas are confirmed breeders. Pléneau Island was first charted by the French Antarctic Expedition of 1903-05 of Jean-Baptiste Charcot and was named after his expedition’s photographer Paul Pléneau. We will also visit Petermann Island with colonies of Adélie and Gentoo Penguins and Blue-eyed Shags. Petermann Island was named after the German geographer August Petermann who was a member of a German Expedition in 1873-74.
Sail through the Bellingshausen Sea and be prepared to see your first pack-ice!
Peter I Island is an uninhabited volcanic island (19 kilometres long) in the Bellingshausen Sea. It was discovered by Fabian von Bellingshausen in 1821 and was named after the Russian Tsar Peter I. It is claimed by Norway and considered a territory on its own. It is very rarely visited by passenger vessels due to the exposed nature of the place. If the weather conditions allow, we are likely to attempt a helicopter landing on the glaciated northern part of the island.
These days we sail through the Amundsen Sea along and through the outer fringes of the pack-ice, while we take advantage of the west-going Antarctic coastal current. The sailing along and through the ice is very lively, with sightings of single straggling Emperor Penguins, groups of seals on ice-floes, and also Orca's and Minke Whales along the ice-edge, often accompanied by different species of fulmarine petrels.
We approach the Ross Ice Shelf, a floating mass of land-ice, with a front 30 meters high. In the Bay of Whales at the eastern side of the shelf, close to Roosevelt Island (named by the American aviator Richard E. Byrd in 1934 for President Franklin D. Roosevelt), Roald Amundsen gained access to the Shelf and ventured to the South Pole, where he finally arrived on 14 December 1911. Also the Japanese explore Nobu Shirase had his camp in this area at Kainan Bay in 1912. We intend to attempt a helicopter landing on the Ross Ice Shelf if conditions allow for it.
We will set sail towards the West of the Ross Ice Shelf.
In the Ross Sea we intend to visit Ross Island, guarded by Mount Erebus, Mount Terror and Mount Byrd with all the famous spots which played such an important role in the dramatic British expeditions of the last century such as Cape Royds with the cabin of Ernest Shackleton. We also intend to visit Cape Evans with the cabin of Robert Falcon Scott; from Hut Point, Scott and his men set out for the South Pole.
If ice blocks access and weather conditions are otherwise favourable, we have the option to use the helicopters to offer landings in one or more places in this area. We will land in by Helicopter in Taylor Valley, one of the Dry Valleys. The conditions here are the closest you get to the conditions on Mars anywhere on Planet Earth.
Sailing northward along the west coast of the Ross Sea, we pass by the Drygalski Ice Tongue and the Italian Mario Zucchelli Station in Terra Nova Bay. Should the ice prevent us from entering Terra Nova Bay we may progress further north were we find the specially protected area of Cape Hallet with a large Adélie Penguin rookery.
We will attempt to make a landing at Cape Adare. This is the place where people for the very first time wintered on the Antarctic Continent. The hut where the Norwegian Borchgrevink stayed in 1899 is surrounded by the largest colony of Adélie Penguins in the World.
Working our way through the sea-ice at the entrance of the Ross Sea and start our journey north through the Southern Ocean. Depending on weather conditions we may opt to set a course sailing by Scott Island.
Macquarie Island is a Tasmanian State Reserve and became in 1997 a World Heritage Site. The Australian Antarctic Division has its permanent base on “Macca”. The Australian Frederick Hasselborough discovered the island during a voyage, searching for new sealing grounds.
The fauna on Macquarie is fantastic with colonies of King and Gentoo and Southern Rockhopper Penguins. The Royal Penguins (almost one million breeding pairs!) and Macquarie Shags are endemic species. Elephant Seals are also present, as well as various fur seals species such as the New Zealand Fur Seal.
Enjoy the calm serenity of the sea as you prepare for your final stop to Campbell Island.
Another jewel in the crown of the New Zealand sub-Antarctic islands is Enderby Island. Part of the Auckland Islands, Enderby offers a vast variety of birdlife, including potential sea sightings of white-capped albatrosses, Buller’s albatrosses, and a number of other tubenoses. On Enderby Island you might also see yellow-eyed penguins, Auckland teals, and perhaps even rare and endemic Auckland shags.
Enjoy your last night sharing stories and having one final delicious dinner with your fellow travellers and expedition team as the ship makes its way towards Bluff.
We arrive in Bluff where passengers depart for their homebound journey.
|13 Jan 2021 - 15 Feb 2021||$27500 USD pp|
|Quadruple Porthole Cabin||USD $27500pp||Contact us|
|Triple Porthole Cabin||USD $29900pp||Contact us|
|Twin Porthole Cabin||USD $34700pp||Contact us|
|Twin Window Cabin||USD $35900pp||Contact us|
|Twin Deluxe Cabin||USD $37700pp||Contact us|
|Superior Cabin||USD $39700pp||Contact us|
Located on deck 3; two porthole windows, 2 upper and 2 lower berths, private shower and toilet, desk and chair, hair dryer and ample storage space.
Located on Deck 3; two portholes, 1 upper and 2 lower berths, private shower and toilet, desk and chair, hair dryer and ample storage space.
Located on Deck 3 and on Deck 4; two porthole windows, private toilet and shower, two single lower berths, desk and chair, hair dryer and ample storage space. Cabins on deck 4 are quieter than cabins on deck 3: farther away from the noise of engines and generators. Access to the forward observation deck.
Three windows; 2 lower berths; Private shower & toilet; Desk & chair; Flatscreen TV; Telephone & WiFi (supplemented); Hair dryer; Ample storage space
Located on Deck 5; three windows; 2 lower berths; Private shower & toilet; Desk & chair; Small sofa; Refrigerator; Coffee & tea maker; Flatscreen TV; Telephone & WiFi (supplemented); Hair dryer; Ample storage space
Located on Deck 5; two windows minimum, one double bed, one single (sofa) bed, private toilet and shower, desk and chair, flat screen TV, refrigerator, hairdryer, coffee & tea maker, ample storage space. The quietest cabin deck and has the best access to upper observation decks and the ship's bridge.