Ross Sea Antarctic Odyssey Cruise

Erwin Vermeulen
Surfacing Humback Whales
Rinie Van Meurs-Oceanwide Expeditions
Albatross in the arctic.
Jan Molenveld-Oceanwide Expeditions
Travelers exploring the arctic with zodiacs.
Rinie van Meurs
Franco Banfi
An old iceberg
Monica Salmang-Oceanwide Expeditions
Ortelius' dining area.
Monica Salmang-Oceanwide Expeditions
The bar and observation lounge aboard the Ortelius.
This is your ultimate chance to sail to the southern parts of the Antarctic peninsula, Peter I Island, the Bellingshausen and Amundsen Seas into the Ross Sea, visiting Shackleton’s and Scott’s huts, Mc Murdo Station, the Dry Valleys and Campbell Island Island. Aboard the ice-class vessel, Ortelius, be prepared for true emotion and one unforgettable memory on this Antarctic cruise!

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

      Crossing the Drake Passage.

      Day 4

        Antarctic Peninsula

        Arrive in the Antarctic Peninsula and sail in the early morning through the spectacular Lemaire Channel and land on Pléneau Island, where Elephant Seals 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 Imperial Cormorants (Blue-eyed Shags). Petermann island was named after the German geographer August Petermann who was a member of a German Expedition in 1873-74.

        Day 5

          Polar Circle / Fish Islands

          Sailing south through the Penola Strait, cross the Polar Circle and arrive at the Fish Islands. The small islands lying east of Flouder Island are called the Minnows, first charted by the British Graham Land Expedition (1934-37) of John Rymill. Detaille Island was discovered by the French expedition of Charcot (1903-05) and named for a share holder in the Magellan Whaling Company. From 1956 till 1959, The British Antarctic Survey had their “Station W” located on Detaille Island. On both locations you may observe Adélie Penguins and Blue-eyed Shags.

          Days 6-7

            Bellingshausen Sea

            Bellingshausen Sea, where you may see your first pack-ice.

            Day 8

              Peter I Island

              Peter I Island or in Norwegian Peter I Øy 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 by its own. It is sporadically visited by passenger vessels. On earlier landings groups of Elephant Seals and colonies of Southern Fulmars and Cape Pigeons were seen.

              Days 9-14

                Amundsen Sea

                These days sail through the Amundsen Sea along and through the outer fringes of the pack-ice, which - depending of ice-conditions - will give us glimpses of the Antarctic Continent, while your ship will 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 fulmar petrels. If the sea-ice allows, try to land on Shephard Island in Marie Byrd Land among colonies of Chinstrap Penguins and South Polar Skua's. Shephard Island was discovered by the US Antarctic Expeditions (USAS) of 1939-41 and was named after one of the promoters of this expedition: John Shephard.

                Day 15

                  Ross Ice Shelf

                  Approach the Ross Ice Shelf, a floating mass of land-ice, with a front of 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. For us it is perhaps a chance to climb on the shelf as well.

                  Day 16

                    At Sea

                    Along the Ross Ice Shelf sail to the west.

                    Days 17-21

                      Ross Sea

                      In the Ross Sea your captain intends to visit Ross Island, guarded by Mount Erebus, Mount Terror and Mount Bird 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. The goal is to visit Cape Evans with the cabin of Robert Falcon Scott; from Hut Point Scott and his men set out for the South Pole. Further attempts will be made to visit the US-station McMurdo and Scott Base (New Zealand). If ice and weather conditions are favorable, the helicopters will be used to offer landings.

                      From Castle Rock you will have a great view across the Ross Ice Shelf toward the South Pole. Have a view into Taylor Valley, one of the Dry Valleys, where on the planet you are closest to the conditions on Mars. For the Dry Valleys the helicopters will be utilized. This is just one example of helicopter use during this epic voyage.

                      Days 22-23

                        West Coast of Ross Sea

                        Sailing northward along the eastern west coast of the Ross Sea, pass by the Drygalski Ice Tongue and the Italian Station in Terra Nova Bay and further cape Hallet.

                        Day 24

                          Cape Adare

                          Cape Adare 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.

                          Day 25

                            At Sea

                            At sea, as your ship works her way through the sea-ice at the entrance of the Ross Sea.

                            Day 26

                              At Sea

                              Sail along Scott Island.

                              Days 27-29

                                At Sea

                                At sea towards Campbell Island.

                                Day 30

                                  Campbell Island

                                  Campbell Island is a sub-Antarctic New Zealand Reserve and an Unesco World Heritage Site, with a luxuriant and blooming vegetation. The fauna on Campbell Island is fantastic with a large and easily accessible colony of Southern Royal Albatrosses on the main island and breeding Wandering, Campbell, Greyheaded, Blackbrowed, and Lightmantled Sooty Albatrosses on the satellite islands. Also three penguin species, Eastern Rockhopper, Erect-Crested and Yellow-Eyed Penguins breed here. In the 18th century seals were hunted to extinction, but Elephant Seals, Fur Seals and Sea Lions have recovered.

                                  Day 31

                                    At Sea

                                    During this sea day make your way to Invercargill, New Zealand.

                                    Day 32

                                      Disembark / Invercargill, New Zealand

                                      Arrive in Bluff near Invercargill (New Zealand) where passengers depart for their homebound journey.
                                       Quadruple PortholeTwin PortholeTwin WindowSuperiorSuite
                                      2015-Jan-09
                                      2015-Feb-11*
                                      $24,950$31,800$32,850$36,200$39,750
                                      * Itinerary operates in reverse.
                                      - 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.
                                      Special note: crossing the Date Line:
                                      Both departures have a total duration of 31 nights/32 days. However, looking at the starting and ending dates of the voyages, it “seems” that the January 9th departure has duration of 32 nights and the February 11th of 30 nights. This is explained by the fact that you will cross the “date line” at 180 degrees longitude. Those traveling on the January departure and crossing the International Date Line results in a day being added and the February departure results in a day being subtracted. In any case, the duration of the voyage is still 31 nights/32 days for both voyages.

                                      Fares include:
                                      • Voyage aboard the designated vessel as indicated in the itinerary.
                                      • All meals throughout the voyage aboard the ship including snacks, coffee and tea.
                                      • 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.

                                      Not included:
                                      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 and all items of a personal nature such as laundry, bar, beverage charges and telecommunication charges; and the customary gratuity at the end of the voyages for stewards and other service personnel aboard (guidelines will be provided).

                                      Helicopter Transfers:
                                      These departures will transfer passengers ashore by zodiac. But, the two helicopters onboard will be operated if zodiacs can not be used. Potential candidates for helicopter transfers are Peter I Island, The Ross Ice-shelf, the Dry Valleys, Mc Murdo Station, Cape Evans (hut of Scott) and Cape Royds (hut of Shackleton). In theory the goal is five helicopter based landings, but a specific amount of helicopter time can not be predicted. No guarantees can be given and in no event will claims be accepted.

                                      Please note: It is agreed that if world fuel prices will reach or exceed US Dollar $90 per Barrel Brent 90 days prior to departure the Ortelius reserves the right to levy a fuel surcharge of US $400 per passenger.

                                      Deposit & Payment

                                      Initial deposit is 25%, and most travelers will call our office and pay the deposit with a credit card. We accept Visa, Mastercard, AmEx, and Discover. Alternatively, you can send a check to our Missoula, Montana, office or register online at: https://www.adventure-life.com/forms/register

                                      Final payment is due 70 days prior to departure.

                                      Final payment by transfer, check or Visa, Mastercard, Discover, or Amex. Credit Card payments subject to variable credit card fee.

                                      Booking last minute? No problem! Please contact one of our trip planners, and we can get you on your way if booking less than 70 days prior to departure.

                                      Click here to see a copy of our Terms and Conditions.

                                      Cancellation Policy

                                      Days Prior to departureFee
                                      90 days or more25% deposit
                                      89-60 days55% trip cost
                                      59-0 days100% trip cost