A Glimpse into Ortelius' Past
Ortelius was originally the Marina Svetaeva. Built in Gdynia, Poland in 1989, it served as a special-purpose vessel for the Russian Academy of Science. Later it was re-flagged and renamed after the Dutch/Flemish cartographer Abraham Ortelius (1527 - 1598), who in 1570 published the first modern world atlas: Theatrum Orbis Terrarum or Theater of the World. At that time his atlas was the most expensive book ever printed. Ortelius is classed by Lloyd's Register in London and flies the Dutch flag.
Perfect for Any Expedition
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.
Ortelius: a Vessel with Comfort and Character
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.
Age & Nationality
Passengers on a typical voyage range from in their 30s to their 80s, with the majority usually between 45 - 65. Our expeditions attract independent travelers from around the globe who are characterized by a strong interest in exploring remote regions. The camaraderie that develops on board is an important part of the Oceanwide experience, and many passenger groups include several nationalities.
What to Wear
In keeping with the spirit of expedition, dress on board is informal. Bring casual and comfortable clothing for all activities, and keep in mind that much of the scenery can be appreciated from deck - which can be slippery. Bring sturdy shoes with no-slip soles, and make sure your parka is never far away in case one of our crew shouts "Whales!" over the loudspeaker and you have to dash outside in a moment's notice. Opt for layers, as it is comfortably warm aboard the ship though often cold on deck.
How to Pay
Refreshments and souvenirs will be charged to your cabin. The day before departure you can settle your bill with the hotel manager, paying by credit card (Visa or MasterCard) or cash (euro, or in some cases dollar). We cannot, however, accept checks. Though the prices and standard currency on board is in the euro, other currencies may be accepted at the discretion of the hotel manager, at prevailing rates.
The electrical supply aboard ship is 220v, 60Hz. Electrical outlets are standard European with two thick round pins, so some passengers may need a 220v/110v converter.
The customary gratuity to the ship's service personnel is made as a blanket contribution at the end of the voyage and is divided among the crew. Tipping is a personal matter, and the amount you wish to give is at your sole discretion. As a generally accepted guideline, we suggest 8 - 10 euros per passenger per day. It is better for the crew if you give cash.
We have a non-smoking policy inside all our vessels, though you can smoke in certain designated areas. We ask that you please respect the wishes of non-smokers.
Your Physical Condition
You must be in good overall health and be able to walk several hours per day. The expedition is ship-based and physically not very demanding, but we spend as much time as possible on shore. You are, however, welcome to remain aboard the ship if you prefer. To join most excursions you must be able to get up and down the steep gangway - from the ship to the water level - to board the Zodiacs. Staff will assist you in and out of the boats, and boarding will become progressively easier with practice, but conditions on shore can be slippery and rocky. Remember, you will be traveling in remote areas without access to sophisticated medical facilities, so you must not join this expedition if you have a life-threatening condition or need daily medical treatment.