Polar Circle & Antarctic Peninsula Cruise

Sea kayaking in Antarctica
A humpback whale breaches the polar waters
Rinie Van Meurs-Oceanwide Expeditions
Albatross in the arctic.
Beautiful King Penguins
A humpback whale passes by the expedition ship
Monica Salmang-Oceanwide Expeditions
Ortelius' dining area.
Monica Salmang-Oceanwide Expeditions
The bar and observation lounge aboard the Ortelius.
On this exciting voyage sail further south in Antarctica, crossing the Polar Circe. Aboard the ice-strengthened vessel Ortelius, cruise where few have gone past the Polar Circle, viewing the flora and fauna of Antarctic Peninsula and many more experiences.

Day 1

Embark in Ushuaia, Argentina

In the afternoon, embark in Ushuaia, Tierra del Fuego, Argentina, the southernmost city in the world located at the Beagle Channel and sail through this scenic waterway for the rest of the evening.

Days 2-3

At Sea

During these two days sail across the Drake Passage. When you cross the Antarctic Convergence, arrive in the circum-Antarctic up welling zone. In this area you may see 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.

Near the South Shetland Islands, spot your first icebergs. The Master of the vessel may decide to sail the narrow English Strait between Robert Island and Greenwich Island or McFarlane Strait between Greenwich Island and Livingston Island if the conditions are favorable. Then you might be able to enter Antarctic waters in the late evening of the third day and see Aitcho Island at the South Shetlands. If the conditions do not allow for maneuvering through the English Strait, then continue sailing south of Livingston. These volcanic islands or the South Shetlands are windswept and often shrouded in mist and fog, but do offer subtle pleasures. There is a nice variety of flora (mosses, lichens and flowering grasses) and fauna, such as gentoo penguins, chinstrap penguins and southern giant petrels.

Days 4-9


Start your first day in Antarctica with a landing at Hannah Point, where you will find a nice variety of gentoo penguins, chinstraps and southern giant petrels, as well as elephant seals hauling out on the beach.

At Deception Island, a landing will be attempted. Deception itself is a subducted crater, which opens into the sea, creating a natural harbor for the ship. Here find hot springs, an abandoned whaling station, thousands of Cape pigeons and many Dominican gulls, brown and south polar skuas and Antarctic terns. Wilson’s storm petrels and black-bellied storm petrels nest in the ruins of the whaling station in Whalers Bay. Good walkers may hike from Baily Head over the ridge of the crater into Whalers Bay, while your ship braves its entrance into the crater through the spectacular Neptune’s Bellow into the ring of Deception Island.

On your way further south sail to Orne Islands with large colonies of chinstrap penguins and a beautiful view across the Gerlache Strait or to Cuverville Island, a small precipitous island, nestled between the mountains of the Antarctic Peninsula and Danco Island. It contains a large colony of gentoo penguins and breeding pairs of brown skuas.

In Neko Harbor and Paradise Bay, with their myriad icebergs and deep cut fjords, have the opportunity to set foot on the Antarctic Continent. Have the opportunity for zodiac cruising between the icebergs in the inner parts of the fjords. Sail through the spectacular Lemaire Channel to Petermann Island, offering Adelie penguins and blue-eyed shags. Also try to land at Pleneau Island with elephant seals and fair chances to encounter humpback, minke and fin whales.

Head south along the Argentine Islands to Crystal Sound, south of the Polar Circle. The landscape is very impressive with very high mountains and huge glaciers. At the Fish Islands land at one of the southernmost Adelie penguin and blue-eyed shag colonies in the Antarctic Peninsula. At Detaille Island, south of the Polar Circle, in Crystal Sound reach your farthest point south.

Sailing north again through Neumayer Channel and Gerlache Strait, arrive at the Melchior Islands with a very beautiful landscape with icebergs, where we may encounter leopard seals, crabeater seals and whales.

Days 10-11

At Sea

On your way north again be followed by a great selection of seabirds while crossing the Drake Passage.

Day 12

  • Breakfast

Disembark in Ushuaia

Arrive in the morning in Ushuaia and disembark.
- Rates are quoted in U.S. dollars and represent costs per person, double occupancy.
- Cabins are available for single occupancy at 1.7 times the double occupancy rate.
- Due to the extreme nature of itinerary destinations, travel insurance is mandatory for all cruises aboard the Ortelius - including medical, accident and repatriation/evacuation insurance.
Included during this voyage:
- Voyage aboard the designated vessel as indicated in the itinerary.
- All meals throughout the voyage aboard the ship including snacks, coffee and tea.
- Free use of rubber boots aboard Ortelius.
- Pre-scheduled group transfer from the vessel to the airport in Ushuaia (directly after disembarkation).
- All shore excursions and activities throughout the voyage by Zodiac.
- 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 during this voyage:
- 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 120 per Barrel Brent 90 days prior to departure Ortelius reserves the right to levy a fuel surcharge of US $25 per passenger per night.