Staff and Crew: 52

Guests: 108

Length: 90.95 meters (298 feet)

Breadth: 17.20 meters (56 feet)

Draft: 5.4 meters (18 feet)

Propulsion: 6 ZL 40/48 SULZER

Ice Class: UL1 (equivalent to 1A)

Cruising Speed: 10.5 knots (average)

Registration: The Netherlands

Fortified for both poles of the planet, the ice-strengthened Ortelius is perfect for your Arctic or Antarctic expedition.

Ortelius was originally the “Marina Svetaeva”. Built in Gdynia, Poland in 1989, it served as a special-purpose vessel for the Russian Academy of Science. Later it was re-flagged and renamed after the Dutch/Flemish cartographer Abraham Ortelius (1527 – 1598), who in 1570 published the first modern world atlas. At that time his atlas was the most expensive book ever printed. Ortelius is classed by Lloyd’s Register in London and flies the Dutch flag.

The vessel has the highest ice-class notation (UL1, equivalent to 1A) and is therefore suitable to navigate in solid one-year sea ice as well as loose multi-year pack ice.

Though our voyages are primarily meant to offer our passengers an exploratory wildlife program with as much time ashore as possible, Ortelius offers all the comforts of a standard hotel ― along with a bar and lecture room. Flexibility assures maximum wildlife opportunities. As such, Ortelius carries 10 Zodiacs with 60hp Yamaha engines.

Please be aware that a small number of cabins may have a partially obstructed view due to the size of the windows and the design requirements of the ship. For example, some windows may be partly obstructed in the lower half by a gangway. The best view is always on the outer deck or the bridge.

♦ Cabins & Amenities
  • All cabins with private facilities and ample storage space
  • Hair dryer
  • Flatscreen TV
  • Electrical Supply: 220v, 60Hz (standard European with two thick round pins)
♦ Onboard Facilities
  • Restaurant (one open seating)
  • 24 hour beverage station (Tea, Coffee and water are available at no cost)
  • Large open deck spaces, giving excellent opportunities to enjoy the scenery and wildlife
  • Lecture Room
  • Observation Lounge
  • Bar
  • Library
  • Small ‘souvenir shop’
  • Open Bridge
  • Laundry services
  • Clinic with licensed English-speaking doctor
  • Ship-to-shore satellite communications

There is no passenger elevator between decks.

♦ Notes
  • Single Supplement: 1,7x the Twin or Superior cabin rate.
  • Request-Share Program: we match solo travelers of the same gender with other solo travelers who indicate they are willing to share. Cabin share is available in the following categories: Twin, Triple or Quadruple.
  • Adventure Options: must be pre-booked and paid for prior to start of the trip. Ask for availability on each specific voyage (there are limited spaces). During our “Basecamp” departures all offered activities are free of charge (camping, kayaking, snowshoe/hiking, mountaineering, photo workshops as well as our standard included shore excursions and zodiac cruises).
  • Mandatory Medical Evacuation & Repatriation Insurance: not included (US$100,000 per person for Antarctica voyages / US$50,000 for Arctic voyages / US$300,000 for Ross Sea voyages).
  • Fuel Surcharge: it may be applied for all bookings if there is a substantial increase in fuel costs.


Image gallery

Ortelius with Helicopter
At Sea
At Sea
Helicopter Platform
Lecture Room
Observation Lounge & Bar
Outside Deck

Dates & Rates



Age and Nationality

Passengers on a typical voyage range from their 30s to their 80s – with a majority usually from 45 – 65. Our expeditions attract independent-minded travelers from around the world. They are characterized by a strong interest in exploring remote regions. The camaraderie and spirit that develops aboard is an important part of the expedition experience. Many departures have several nationalities on board.

Dress Code

In keeping with the spirit of expedition, dress on board is informal. Bring casual and comfortable clothing for all activities. Keep in mind that much of the spectacular scenery can be appreciated from deck, which can be slippery. Bring sturdy shoes with no-slip soles and make sure the parka is never far away in case of the call “Whales!” comes over the loudspeaker and you have to dash outside. Wear layers since it is comfortably warm aboard the ship – and often cold on deck.

Currency & Payment

Refreshments from the bar and souvenirs will be charged to your cabin. The day before departure you can settle your bill with the Hotel Manager and pay by credit card (Visa or MasterCard) or cash (Euro, or in some cases Dollar). We do not accept cheques of any kind. The prices and standard currency on board our vessel is the Euro. Other currencies may be accepted at the discretion of the hotel manager at prevailing rates.

Electric Current

The electrical supply aboard the ship is 220v, 60Hz. Electrical outlets are standard European with two thick round pins. You may need a 220v/110v converter.


The customary gratuity to the ship’s service personnel is made as a blanket contribution at the end of the voyage which is divided among the crew. Tipping is a very personal matter and the amount you wish to give is at your discretion. As a generally accepted guideline, we suggest 8 to 10 Euros per person per day. It is better for the crew, if you can give them cash.

Non-Smoking Policy

On board our vessels we have a non-smoking policy. It is prohibited to smoke inside the ship. You can smoke in the designated smoking areas. Please respect the wishes of non-smokers.

Your Physical Condition

You must be in good general health and you should be able to walk several hours per day. The expedition is ship-based and physically not very demanding. Although we spend as much time as possible ashore, you are welcome to remain aboard the ship if you like. To join most excursions, you must be able to get up and down the steep gangway from the ship to the water level to board the Zodiacs. Staff will assist you in and out of the boats. This will become progressively easier with practice. Ashore it can be slippery and rocky. You are travelling in remote areas without access to sophisticated medical facilities, so you must not join this expedition if you have a life-threatening condition, or need daily medical treatment.