Why we like the Ortelius
- The Ortelius has the highest ice-class rating (equivalent to 1A) and a broad, heavy design making it one of the safest and most stable polar ships
- Her solid, former research vessel exterior contrasts with a modern, comfortable 3* hotel on the inside following an extensive upgrade programme
- Choice of recently refurbished and spacious cabins, all with en-suite bathrooms. The generous Twin Window cabins measure 190 square feet
- Traveling with around 100 passengers ensures slick zodiac logistics and the ability to normally land everyone at the same time
- Extensive open-deck space maximises wildlife viewing, while the spacious bridge is a great place to hang out
- Offers a wide range of adventure activities, particularly on the active Basecamp voyages, including diving
- Uniquely this ship has a helicopter pad which is used on select voyages only, specifically in the Weddell & Ross Seas
Watch our Video Tour of Ortelius
What our customers think
The boat was great! Really well run by a fabulous staff. The beds are comfortable, cabins clean. In fact, the whole boat was always spotless! Read the full review
Sarah Gillett Switzerland December 2019
The expedition staff were outstanding. A truly exceptional group of people with a nice balance of expertise - biologists, a geologist, historian, photographer. Cheryl, the expedition manager was awesome.
Karyn & Richard California January 2018
The staff were professional on any level, (we) could not have wished for more or better. Glad we were on a smaller ship with only around 120 guests so we never felt overcrowded on any of the shore landings.
Zoltan & Stephen Nemeth Florida January 2018
Very difficult to choose my best moments as all are equally good. The polar plunges - we did it twice. Wow!
Yiheli Chile December 2017
The staff were so friendly and knowledgeable and learned all our names so quickly. I had the vegetarian fare and thought the food was excellent as well. Read the full review
Christine & Rollence Patugan United States Of America December 2017
The expedition staff were wonderful. They had a lot of knowledge in their individual fields and were excited to help us explore such a unique territory. Read the full review
Jodie Pigman United States Of America December 2019
The Ortelius was a great, I loved this ship and I would definitely choose it again if we do another cruise. The cabin was spacier than imagined and had everything we needed. Also the food was outstanding in variety and taste. Read the full review
Sabine Austria December 2019
Nice and cosy vessel, cabins were above our expectations (big and comfortable), crew was very insightful, food was amazing. Read the full review
Günter Csebits Austria December 2019
The expedition team was one of a kind. They were incredibly talented, knowledgeable and would sit and discuss anything at length. Read the full review
Nancy Jones Canada December 2019
Lots of new friendships. The whole staff and crew of Ortelius was phenomenal! Read the full review
Rebecca Kronick Guatemala November 2018
The expedition staff was fantastic; I enjoyed connecting with them as part of the entire trip. The food quality and service were both excellent and greatly exceeded my expectations. Read the full review
Shawn Faessler United States Of America November 2017
It was magnificent. We very much appreciated the assistance provided by Swoop and the recommendations - particularly our cabin chosen by Alex. The organisation of the crew every day to get everyone on shore was exceptional. Everyone provided excellent service; it could not have been better.
Prue & Dominique Australia November 2017
It all worked flawlessly with the expedition team running all excursions efficiently and with unfailing good humour and enthusiasm.
Lesley & Charles UK November 2016
I have travelled quite a lot but this was definitely the greatest experience so far. The ship was ideal for its purpose and the cabin surprisingly comfortable and spacious.
Charles UK March 2016
The cruise is almost over and was absolutely fantastic. We were blessed with beautiful weather and saw incredible wildlife and scenery. I can't say enough about the entire expedition team and crew. After two weeks on board, I am so incredibly spoiled.
Phil Texas December 2015
Photos of Ortelius
Voyages aboard Ortelius
Onto the Antarctic Ice
With four medium-sized expedition ships and regular departure dates throughout the season, this well priced voyage is a popular option. Across striking landscapes and icy seas your company will include penguins, seals, whales and skuas. For the adventurous, optional kayaking…
- 10-13 Days
South of the Antarctic Circle
By including optional kayaking and diving, these late season voyages offer the chance to maximise your polar crossing experience by exploring Antarctica both on and under the water. Travelling at that time provides excellent photographic and whale watching conditions, alongside…
- 12, 13 or 14 Days
Spring Quest to Antarctica, Falklands and South Georgia
Setting sail early in the season, be aboard one of the first ship's to head south as the Southern Ocean re-opens for business. It's a special time in South Georgia with the beaches packed with breeding Elephant Seals, while Antarctica…
- 21 Days
Falklands, South Georgia & Antarctic Adventure
With a good choice of departure dates through the season across four medium-sized ships, this 19-23 day trip stands out for its value for money and the broad range of cabin categories available, including Quads, which are…
- 19 - 22 Days
Falkland Islands Discovery
Rare opportunity to fully explore the wildlife-rich Falkland Islands. An ornithologists paradise, spend time in both East and West Falkland. This exciting itinerary includes renowned hotspots such as Carcass and Saunders Islands, plus lesser known gems like Steeple Jason, home…
- 10 Days
Antarctic Basecamp Adventure
The ultimate Antarctic adventure, this trip is specifically for the active traveller. Spend 6 days kayaking, hiking, camping, mountaineering and snowshoeing, all included in the price. A medium-sized expedition ship acts as your floating ‘basecamp’. Great value for money backed…
- 12-13 Days
What I like about The Ortelius is the unmistakable tang of her original working ship roots as soon as you board, in spite of extensive recent refurbishment throughout. The pleasing result is the feeling of being on a real expedition, but without the traditional discomfort and months at sea.
Alex Mudd Polar Specialist
*Note that the above measurements are approximate averages and exact cabin size can vary
All cabins are outside-facing, are en-suite and contain a writing desk and chair.
- All 6 cabins are on the top deck (5)
- Double bed with at least 2 windows (cabin 520 has 4 windows facing the bow)
- Cabins 509 & 529 have an interconnecting door and are ideal for families
- Sitting area with flat screen TV, sofa-bed, mini-fridge, tea- and coffee-maker
- Both 518 & 520 cabins have a partially obstructed view
- Cabin 521 has the bonus of dual aspect windows (facing bows and port side) and unobstructed views
- Both cabins are on Deck 5
- Twin beds
- Windows to the side and stern
- Both 510 & 528 cabins have a partially obstructed view to the stern
- Small sofa, flat screen TV, mini-fridge and tea- and coffee-maker
- All 12 cabins are on Deck 5
- Twin beds and 2 small windows
- Small sofa
- 22 cabins on Deck 4 and 3 on Deck 3
- 2 lower berths
- Twin portholes
Triple / Quadruple Porthole
- All cabins on Deck 3
- Twin portholes
Onboard Communications & Facilities
If you wish to stay in touch, even in Antarctica, you can choose from the options below:
- WiFi: you can connect your personal device from anywhere on the ship
- Full Internet access: EUR7.50 /20mb; EUR 18 /50mb; EUR35 /100mb; EUR150 /500mb
- Telephone card: EUR25/ approx. 25 mins depending on destination you are calling.
- Ship-based email: EUR5 set up fee + EUR15 for a 7-10 day trip; EUR20 for a 11-12 day trip; EUR25 for an 18 day trip; EUR50 for a 30 day trip.
Please note that this is only for light data traffic and that the above prices are only approximate. You can check your personal emails using the onboard computers to connect to the Internet and also by connecting to WiFi to use your own device.
Other facilities include:
- Plugs: European 220V two-round-pinned sockets
- Towels, toiletries and hair dryers
- Laundry service (additional cost)
Find Your Antarctic Ship
Choosing the right ship is crucial, given the amount of time you'll spend on board. Swoop is experienced at helping match our customers to exactly the right ship.
Ready to plan your Antarctic adventure?
We'll spend some time listening to your aspirations, then discuss the kind of experience that might suit you.
Next we'll discuss the options, shortlist the best trips for you and present you our impartial recommendations.
We'll place a 24 hour hold on your preferred option - without obligation - whilst we talk through the details.