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  • The Ortelius at Orne Island. Photo by Elke Lindner

  • Ortelius quad cabin with porthole and desk. Photo by Monica Salmang

  • Ortelius Twin Window cabin. Photo by Monica Salmang

  • Superior cabin aboard Ortelius. Photo by Monica Salmang

  • Superior cabins are twice as large as the twin cabins. Photo by Monica Salmang

  • Under-bed storage in a Superior cabin. Photo by Monica Salmang

  • A separate living area in a Superior cabin. Photo by Monica Salmang

  • The bar aboard Ortelius features a wood finish and a flat-screen TV. Photo by Monica Salmang

  • The Observation Lounge. Photo by Monica Salmang

  • Meal service in preparation aboard Ortelius. Photo by Monica Salmang

  • The Ortelius dining room. Photo by Monica Salmang

  • Ortelius' lecture room has a projector for informative naturalist talks. Photo by Monica Salmang

  • The bridge aboard Ortelius. Photo by Monica Salmang

  • The Observation Deck is a great place to take photographs. Photo by Elke Lindner

  • Photo by Monica Salmang

  • The Ortelius has the highest possible ice-class notation.

Ortelius

116 guests
Year Built: 1989
Renovated: 2014
47 crew members
Length: 300 feet
Beam: 58 feet
Draft: 19 feet
Ice Class: UL1 (equivalent to 1A)
Cruising Speed: 14.3 knots max

The motor vessel (M/V) Ortelius is an ice-strengthened small ship designed for polar expedition cruises in the Arctic and Antarctica. At only 116 passengers and 53 cabins, she assures a flexible polar experience with maximum wildlife opportunities.

NOTE: In May 2014, deck 5 of the Ortelius will be reconfigured, with all new cabins built. This 1 million dollar investment completes the vessel’s refurbishment program, bringing Ortelius to a an upscale hotel standard similar to its sister vessel Plancius. The rebuilding activities will take place in the Netherlands in May, prior to the Arctic 2014 season and will be supervised by Oceanwide Marine Services from Vlissingen, the Netherlands. After completion, the vessel will offer accommodation for 116 passengers (up from its former 106 passengers in 47 cabins).

Ortelius Review

AdventureSmith Explorations’ Ortelius review includes a detailed description of the small ship including deck plans and a photo gallery. Please read our review below then contact our polar cruise experts to compare the Ortelius with other small ships crusing Antarctic and Arctic waters.

Ortelius was built in Gdynia, Poland in 1989 and served as a special purpose vessel for the Russian Academy of Science under her original name: Marina Svetaeva. The vessel was renamed Ortelius after the Dutch/Flemish cartographer Abraham Ortelius (1527-1598) who published the first modern world atlas in 1570. Small ship cruises aboard the Ortelius offer passengers a quality exploratory wildlife program, designed to spend as much time ashore as possible. 

Common Areas Aboard Ortelius 

The 116-passenger M/V Ortelius offers a comfortable "hotel standard" on-board experience with ample public areas including two dining areas, a bar/lecture room a sauna and several observation areas on multiple decks. This small expedition ship has a spacious bridge, which is accessible to polar travelers. The Ortelius has a highly experienced Russian nautical crew of 34, 15 international catering staff, 6 professional polar expedition staff (1 expedition leader and 5 guides/lecturers) and 1 doctor. She also has the highest possible ice-class notation (UL1 equivalent to 1A) and is therefore very suitable to navigate in solid one-year sea ice and loose multiyear pack ice.  

Activities Aboard Ortelius

Ortelius' flexibility assures maximum wildlife opportunities. She carries 11 zodiacs of which 9 are in use and 2 on reserve. The zodiac engines are 60hp Yamaha. Numerous activities are available aboard Ortelius depending on the voyage: kayaking, mountaineering, skiing, SCUBA diving, hiking, camping and more.

Cabins Aboard Ortelius

The Ortelius has 6 cabin categories (vs. 7 categories when she was the Marina Svetaeva) located on three decks. Cabins range from simple affordable quadruple, triple or double rooms to more spacious superior cabins with large view windows. All cabins are spacious outside cabins with a sink, private shower and toilet (except for the Twin Non-Private), hairdryers, desk and chair, closet and a minimum of two portholes or windows per cabin. Ortelius cabin configurations are as follows:

Quadruple

Ortelius has 4 quadruple cabins #341-344 located on deck 3. Quadruple cabins have porthole windows, two sets of bunk beds and private facilities. 

Triple Porthole

2 triple cabins on Deck 3 #337-338 have portholes, 1 upper and 2 lower berths, and private facilities.

Twin Porthole

Ortelius has 27 twin porthole cabins: #334 and #339-340 located on Deck 3 and #428-439 and #445-456 on Deck 4. Each has a porthole window, private toilet and shower and two single lower berths. Cabins located on Deck 4 are quieter than those on deck 3 because they are farther away from the noise of engines and generators. Deck 4 has access to the forward observation deck.   

Twin Window 

Ortelius has 12 twin window cabins #511-517, 522-527 located on Deck 5, approximately 183 square feet each. Each cabin has view windows, private toilet and shower and two single lower berths. Deck 5 is the quietest cabin deck and has the best access to upper observation decks and the ship’s bridge.   

Twin Deluxe

Ortelius has 2 newly renovated twin deluxe cabins #510 and #528 located on Deck 5. These cabins are corner cabins and are slightly more spacious than the normal twin window/porthole cabins. Each cabin has view windows, private toilet and shower, flatscreen TV and two single lower berths. Deck 5 is the quietest cabin deck and has the best access to upper observation decks and the ship’s bridge. 

Superior

Ortelius has 6 superior cabins #509, 518-521 and 529 on Deck 5. Each superior cabin has a double bed, private toilet and shower, flatscreen TV and a separate day room with couch/sofa bed and refrigerator. Superior cabins are twice as large as the twin cabins. Deck 5 is the quietest cabin deck and has the best access to upper observation decks and the ship’s bridge.   

Ortelius Deck Plan