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 was reconfigured, with all new cabins built. This 1 million dollar investment completes the vessel’s refurbishment program, bringing Ortelius to an upscale hotel standard similar to its sister vessel Plancius. The plan was to completely rebuild deck 5 and to build brand new twin window, twin deluxe and superior cabins all with new walls, furniture and bathrooms, including two brand new twin porthole cabins on deck number 4 (cabin number 455 and 456). The vessel will offer accommodation for 116 passengers (up from its former 106 passengers in 47 cabins). The end result is modern, comfortable and spacious twin window, twin deluxe and superior cabins.
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 that accommodate all passengers at the same time, a bar/observation lounge with six large windows, lecture room 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 international nautical crew of 20, 19 international hotel staff, 7 expedition staff in Antarctica (1 expedition leader and 6 guides/lecturers), 8 expedition staff in the Artic (1 expedition leader and 7 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, ample storage space and a minimum of two portholes or windows per cabin. Ortelius cabin configurations are as follows:
Ortelius has 4 quadruple cabins #341-344 located on deck 3. Quadruple cabins have 2 porthole windows, 2 upper and 2 lower berths, private shower and toilet, desk and chair, hair dryer and ample storage space.
2 triple cabins on Deck 3 #337-338 have 2 portholes, 1 upper and 2 lower berths, private shower and toilet, desk and chair, hair dryer and ample storage space.
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 two porthole windows, private toilet and shower, two single lower berths, desk and chair, hair dryer and ample storage space. 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.
Ortelius has 12 twin window cabins #511-517, 522-527 located on Deck 5, approximately 183 square feet each. Each cabin has view windows, two single lower berths, private toilet and shower, desk and chair, small sofa, hair dryer and ample storage space. Deck 5 is the quietest cabin deck and has the best access to upper observation decks and the ship’s bridge.
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 three view windows, two single lower berths, private toilet and shower, desk and chair, small sofa, hair dryer and ample storage space. Deck 5 is the quietest cabin deck and has the best access to upper observation decks and the ship’s bridge.
Ortelius has 6 superior cabins #509, 518-521 and 529 on Deck 5. Each superior cabin has a double bed, single (sofa) bed, private toilet and shower, desk and chair, flatscreen TV, refrigerator, hair dryer and ample storage space. Deck 5 is the quietest cabin deck and has the best access to upper observation decks and the ship’s bridge.
Ortelius Deck Plan