In this adventurous multi-activity voyage, we visit Antarctica’s Anvers Island and Flandres Bay, where you can learn to chart and make depth measurements while exploring in our Zodiac boats and kayaks. Camping, navigation workshops, and fascinating presentations about historic Antarctic voyages are also part of this immersive expedition.
Be part of a true polar expedition! During this adventurous basecamp voyage, we will visit Antarctica’s remote Anvers Island and Flandres Bay, charting and making depth measurements while we explore the area in our Zodiac boats and kayaks. Camping, navigation workshops, and presentations about the legendary Antarctic voyages of history are all part of this exciting activity-based expedition.
• Enjoy Dobrowolski Island and possible leopard seals
• Explore Flandres Bay
• Enjoy Anvers Island hikes and history
• Discover Paradise Bay and Brown Station
• Meet the Melchior Islands
Vessel Type: Expediton
Passenger Capacity: 108-123
Built / Refurbished : 1989 / 2015
The vessel has the highest ice-class notation (UL1, equivalent to 1A) and is therefor suitable to navigate in solid one-year sea ice as well as loose multi-year pack ice. Ortelius can accommodate up to 116-123 passengers (108 passengers as of season Arctic 2020) and has an abundance of open-deck spaces. It is manned by 22 highly experienced nautical crew members, 19 hotel staff, eight expedition specialists (one expedition leader, one assistant, and six lecturer-guides), and one doctor.
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.
Day 1: End of the world, start of a journey:
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.
Day 2 – 3: Path of the polar explorers:
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 petrels, southern fulmars, Wilson’s storm petrels, blue petrels, and Antarctic petrels are a few of the birds you might see.
Day 4: The first glimpses of Antarctica:
As we head toward Antarctica, our first stop is the impressive Spert Island, where you can enjoy views of its towering cliffs and canyons from our Zodiacs and kayaks. After an exhilarating morning, we head to Mikklesen Harbor, where the goal is to land at the tiny D’Hainaut Island. Gentoo penguins can be seen on this island, which is surrounded by awe-inspiring glaciers and mountains welcoming us to Antarctica.
Day 5: Dobrowolski Island and possible leopard seals:
Today we visit Dobrowolski Island. Landings here can be tricky, but the reward is a beautiful island that is seldom visited, with a range of penguins and seals that rest on the rocks. A channel around the island offers kayakers a pleasant view of the terrain and wildlife. This is also where we’ve had the most luck seeing hauled-out leopard seals on the ice floes in recent years. Naturally, we cannot guarantee you will see any, but keep your fingers crossed!
Day 6: Exploring and charting Flandres Bay:
Today we head to the area of Flandres Bay, an uncharted area that will provide you the opportunity to see how we use technology to read the sea bed for navigational purposes. We hope to find new information about the coastline as well as finding new landing sites. This is a real expedition day, so flexibility is key, and venturing into the unknown is our aim.
Day 7: Anvers Island hikes and history:
We begin the day on the south side of Anvers Island, in Neumayer Channel, and hope to land at Damoy Point. This is a favorite of our program, with the secluded Dorian Bay nearby and the chance to snowshoe to a ridge that was once used as a ski-way for aircrafts. After a well-deserved lunch, we head along the Neumayer Channel to Börgen Bay and explore this dramatic area of coastline. Weather permitting, we might alternately visit Access Point, once used by John Biscoe to land on Anvers Island, and re-trace his historic footsteps.
Day 8: Paradise Bay and Brown Station:
Today you may be able to take a Zodiac cruise in these sprawling, ice-flecked waters, where there’s a good chance we will encounter humpback and minke whales. We might also be able to make a stop at Brown Station (Almirante Brown), an Argentine research facility with nearby nesting gentoos. A short hike up the hill behind the station offers exceptional views across Paradise Bay.
Day 9: Meeting the 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 as well as shore-based activities.
Day 10 – 11: Familiar seas, familiar friends:
Your return voyage is far from lonely. While crossing the Drake, we are 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.
Day 12: There and back again:
Every adventure, no matter how great, must eventually come to an end. It’s now time to disembark in Ushuaia with memories that will accompany you wherever your next journey leads.
All itineraries are for guidance only. Programs may vary depending on ice, weather, and wildlife conditions. Landings are subject to site availabilities, permissions, and environmental concerns per IAATO regulations. Official sailing plans and landing slots are scheduled with IAATO prior to the start of the season, but the expedition leader determines the final plan. Flexibility is paramount for expedition cruises. The average cruising speed for our vessel is 10.5 knots.
2 portholes 2 upper / lower berths Private shower & toilet Desk & chair Flatscreen TV Telephone & WiFi (supplemented) Hair dryer Ample storage space
2 portholes 2 lower berths Private shower & toilet Desk & chair Flatscreen TV Telephone & WiFi (supplemented) Hair dryer Ample storage space
2 portholes 1 upper / lower berth + 1 single lower berth Private shower & toilet Desk & chair Flatscreen TV Telephone & WiFi (supplemented) Hair dryer Ample storage space
2 windows 2 lower berths Private shower & toilet Desk & chair Flatscreen TV Telephone & WiFi (supplemented) Hair dryer Ample storage space
3 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
Call: 1300 669 780
(1300 669 780)
Visit: 222A Barry Parade
(PO Box 132)
Fortitude Valley QLD 4006
We're on the corner Barry Parade and Gipps Street, next door to Rocksports Indoor Climbing