- 116 guests
- year built
- crew members
- 50 crew members
- 300 feet
- 58 feet
- 19 feet
- cruising speed
- 10.5 knots
- ice class
- UL1 (equivalent to 1A)
The M/V Ortelius is an ice-strengthened small ship designed for polar expedition cruises in the Arctic and Antarctica. At only 116 passengers (106 passengers starting Summer 2020) and 53 cabins, she assures a flexible polar experience with maximum wildlife opportunities.
In Summer 2019, one of Ortelius’s engines was replaced and an extra engine was added, ensuring swift and secure operations. A $1.5 million cabin reconfiguration in 2014 (Deck 5) and 2016 (Deck 4) completed the vessel’s refurbishment program, creating a modern, clean design similar to her sister vessel Plancius. Refurbishments included upgrades to cabin beds, wardrobes, desks and chairs, as well as new carpets, ceilings, piping and wallpaper throughout the ship.
AdventureSmith Explorations’ Ortelius review includes a detailed description of the small ship including deck plans and a photo gallery. Our polar experts have been aboard the Ortelius firsthand. Please read our review below then contact our polar cruise experts to compare the Ortelius with other small ships cruising Antarctic and Arctic waters. Choose the Ortelius for exploring the polar regions on a small, stable ship that offers passengers a quality exploratory wildlife program.
The Ortelius makes for an excellent ship for active-, adventure- and wildlife-minded modern explorers as she is designed for travelers to spend as much time ashore as possible. Her polar cruises are primarily defined by an exploratory educational travel program that offers activities that are designed to accommodate a wide range of experience and fitness levels. She also offers sea routes that are short and direct, allowing for maximum shore time.
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. Among her many polar achievements, the vessel is known in pop culture for hosting Metallica aboard in December 2013 for their no-amplification, 7th-continent performance at the heliport of the Argentine Antarctic Base Carlini.
Common Areas Aboard Ortelius
The 116-passenger M/V Ortelius offers a comfortable 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, theater-style lecture room and several observation areas on multiple decks. This small expedition ship has a spacious bridge which is open to visits by guests. She also has one of 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.
Dining Aboard Ortelius
Dinners are a plated affair with three courses serving meat, fish or vegetarian dishes. Breakfast and lunches are served buffet style. Coffee, tea and water are included, however alcohol and soft drinks are additional.
Crew & Guides Aboard Ortelius
The Ortelius has 22 highly experienced nautical crew members, 19 international hotel staff, 8 expedition staff (1 expedition leader and 7 guides/lecturers) and 1 doctor. An international team of polar experts and field guides are assembled to share their enthusiasm and in-depth knowledge through lectures, briefings and field excursions. The science-minded professionals aboard cover major topics like marine biology, geography, geology, glaciology, ornithology and history. When it comes to excursions, the staff have all been trained and qualified in their respective activity. These scientists, lecturers and expedition guides work hard not just for safety but also to highlight examples of the unique elements of these intriguing polar regions.
Activities Aboard Ortelius
The Ortelius’s expert crew and nimble maneuverability allow for safe passage, speedy disembarkation and supremely flexible itineraries assuring for maximum wildlife opportunities. She carries 11 Zodiacs with 60hp Yamaha motors. Nine Zodiacs are in use and two on reserve. As an activity-focused ship, the Ortelius offers quality equipment and supplies to create safe, fun and comfortable exploration experiences. Numerous activities are available aboard Ortelius depending on the voyage: kayaking, snowshoeing, mountaineering, skiing, scuba diving, hiking, camping, photography workshops and more. Helicopters are aboard select Ortelius cruises for remote landscape exploration.
Cabins & Deck Plan Aboard Ortelius
The Ortelius has six cabin categories located on three decks. Cabins range from simple affordable quadruple, triple (until Summer 2020) or double rooms to more spacious deluxe and superior cabins with view windows. All cabins are roomy outside cabins with a sink, private shower and toilet, hairdryers, desk and chair, ample storage space and a minimum of two portholes or windows per cabin.