For a full list of our classic Antarctic cruises, please contact us.

Weddell Sea – Emperor Penguin Voyage Incl. Helicopters

Aboard MV Ortelius


27 Nov – 07 Dec – GREG ESCORTING 11 Days

Ex: Ushuaia

Map-Weddell-SeaAn Emperor Penguin rookery is situated south of Snow Hill Island. The captain of the vessel will do his utmost to position the vessel close enough to Snow Hill Island in order to enable us to offer ship-to-shore helicopter transfers to approx. 45 minutes walking distance from the Emperor Penguin Rookeries. If we succeed, this will be a fascinating and a once-in-a lifetime experience. During this voyage we will reserve three days to visit the Emperor Rookeries by helicopters.

If we succeed the first two days, we may decide to offer an alternative landing in the Weddell Sea on the third day, such as Paulet Island where we can visit a fantastic Adelie penguin colony with approximately 1 million breeding pairs.

Day 1weddell_sea_c_polarnews_1

In the afternoon, we embark in Ushuaia, Tierra del Fuego, Argentina, the southernmost city in the world located at the Beagle Channel and sail through this scenic waterway for the rest of the evening.

Day 2 & 3OTL_WeddlSea_emperor_trip_hans_murre-oceanwide_expeditions_resized

During these two days we will sail across the Drake Passage. When we cross the Antarctic Convergence, we arrive in the circum-Antarctic up welling zone. In this area we may meet Wandering Albatrosses, Grey Headed Albatrosses, Black-browed Albatrosses, Light-mantled Sooty Albatrosses, Cape Pigeons, Southern Fulmars, Wilson’s Storm Petrels, Blue Petrels and Antarctic Petrels.

Day 4emperors_ross_sea_rolf_stange-oceanwide_expeditions_2_resized

A typical itinerary in the Weddell Sea could be as follows. This is a sample only, the final itinerary will be determined by the Expedition Leader on board.

We will sail into the Weddell Sea and if the Antarctic Sound is accessible and the ice does not prevent us to sail further, we might see the huge tabular icebergs that announce our arrival to the eastern side of the Antarctic Peninsula. We plan to offer an Antarctic Continent landing at Brown Bluff.

Day 5 & 6OTL_WeddlSea_emperor_trip_c_hans_murre-oceanwide_expeditions_115

The use of helicopters has a great advantage and can support us in our goal to reach the Emperor penguin colony, but the itinerary is ruled by the forces of nature, ice and weather conditions. If the conditions are favourable, we intend to spend the first two days in the Emperor Penguin rookery.

The helicopter operation will take a full day and the flight duration takes approximately 15 minutes. The helicopter can accommodate 6 passengers per helicopter flight. The landing point of the helicopters will be carefully chosen and we will make sure that the Emperors are not disturbed or stressed by helicopter noise. Therefore, after arrival, the passengers continue their expedition on foot. After a walk of approx. 45 minutes, passengers will experience one of the greatest moments in their life, a rendezvous with the magnificent Emperor Penguins.

Keep in mind that we are in the world’s most remote area and there are no guarantees, including a specific amount of helicopter time. Conditions may change rapidly, having its impact on the helicopter operation and passengers should understand and accept this. Safety is our greatest concern and no compromises can be made.

Day 7OTL_WeddlSea_emperor_trip_c_hans_murre-oceanwide_expeditions_240

If conditions were favourable on both day 5 and 6 and we have successfully visited the Emperor Penguins, we may decide to visit Devil Island, Vega Island or Hope Bay. If we have not reached the Emperor Penguin colony on one or two of the previous days, we will try again offering ship-to-shore helicopter flights to Snow Hill Island.

Day 8weddell_sea_c_wim_van_passel_16

In the morning we plan to visit Half Moon Island where we can see Chinstrap and Gentoo Penguins, various other bird-species and Southern Elephant Seals and Weddell seals.Early in the afternoon we will sail to Deception where we have the last landing of our voyage at Pendulum cove.

Day 9 & 10weddell_sea_c_polarnews_3

In the Drake Passage we have again a chance of seeing many seabirds and to take advantage of the knowledge of our lecture team.

Day 11Ortelius_resized

We arrive in the morning in Ushuaia and disembark.

Dates & Cost

Dates & Cost

27 Nov – 07 Dec Ex: Ushuaia MV Ortelius 11 Days
Quad Porthole Triple Porthole Twin Porthole Twin Window Superior
US$11,850 per person US$13,100 per person US$13,850 per person US$14,450 per person US$15,100 per person

Suite – US$16,450 per person

Sole occupancy: All cabins 1.7 times the share price.

What’s included

Voyage aboard the designated vessel as indicated in the itinerary.

• All meals throughout the voyage aboard the ship including snacks, coffee and tea.
• Pre-scheduled group transfer from the vessel to the airport in Ushuaia (directly after disembarkation).
• All shore excursions and activities throughout the voyage by Zodiac.
• Program of lectures by noted naturalists and leadership by experienced expedition staff.
• All miscellaneous service taxes and port charges throughout the program.
• Comprehensive pre-departure material.

We are able to organise pre and post excursions and accommodation as required.
Please contact us for further details.

What’s not included

Any airfare whether on scheduled or charter flights; pre- and post land arrangements; transfers to the vessel; passport and visa expenses; Government arrival and departure taxes; meals ashore; baggage, cancellation and personal insurance (which is strongly recommended); excess baggage charges and all items of a personal nature such as laundry, bar, beverage charges and telecommunication charges; and the customary gratuity at the end of the voyages for stewards and other service personnel aboard (guidelines will be provided).

It is agreed that if fuel prices will exceed US Dollar 120 per Barrel Brent 90 days prior to departure Oceanwide Expeditions reserves the right to levy a fuel surcharge of US Dollar 25 per passenger per night, to be paid by the contracting party of Oceanwide Expeditions.

How to book

To initiate your reservation, please contact us as soon as possible to place an option on the voyage and cabin grade of your choice. The Booking Form is to be signed, completed and returned to us along with your deposit. Reservations are established only when you receive written confirmation and acceptance of the deposit payment and Booking Form.


Ice-strengthened VesselOrtelius_at_Orne_Island

The ice-strengthened vessel “Ortelius” is an excellent vessel for Polar expedition cruises in the Arctic and Antarctica, providing us with possibilities to adventure remote locations such as the Ross Sea and Franz Josef Land.

Ortelius” was built in Gdynia, Poland in 1989, was named “Marina Svetaeva”, and served as a special purpose vessel for the Russian Academy of Science. The vessel is re-flagged and renamed “Ortelius”. As Plancius, Ortelius was a Dutch / Flemish cartographer. Abraham Ortelius (1527 – 1598) published the first modern world atlas, the Theatrum Orbis Terrarum or Theatre of the World in 1570. At that time, the atlas was the most expensive book ever printed.

The vessel has the highest ice-class notation (UL1 equivalent to 1A) and is therefore very suitable to navigate in solid one-year sea ice and loose multi-year pack ice. “Ortelius” is a great expedition vessel for 100 passengers with lots of open-deck spaces and a very large bridge which is accessible to the passengers. The vessel is manned by 34 highly experienced Russian nautical crew, 15 international catering staff, including stewardesses, 6 expedition staff (1 expedition leader and 5 guides/lecturers) and 1 doctor.fb46553c-7326-458b-b467-1f2814ad0d44

Ortelius” offers a comfortable hotel standard, with two restaurants, a bar/lecture room and a sauna. Our voyages are primarily developed to offer our passengers a quality exploratory wildlife program, trying to spend as much time ashore as possible. As the number of passengers is limited to approximately 100 on the “Ortelius”, flexibility assures maximum wildlife opportunities. “Ortelius” carries 11 zodiacs of which 9 are in use and 2 on reserve. The zodiac engines are 60hp Yamaha.

On selected voyages, helicopters are also used for ice reconnaissance and for passenger shore excursions.

a96cd027-2966-4114-a6d8-6011d37ae4c6A considerable number of quadruple and twin cabins with shared facilities (toilet and showers to be shared in the corridors) offer attractive lower starting prices for our Polar voyages. The vessel offers basic but comfortable cabins and public spaces.

The cabin lay-out is as follows: 5 quadruple cabins with bunk beds and shared facilities (these can also be used as triple or twin cabins); 14 twin cabins with 2 lower single berths and shared facilities; 9 twin cabins with portholes, private toilet and shower and 2 single lower berths; 10 twin cabins with windows, private toilet and shower and 2 single lower berths; 6 superior cabins with double beds, private toilet and shower and a separate day room, and 1 Suite_living_room_c_Wouter_Kaandorp-Oceanwide_Expeditions_DSC_0202suite with a double bed, private toilet and shower and a separate day room.

All cabins are spacious outside cabins with a minimum of two portholes or windows per cabin.

Crew: 34
Guests: 100
Length: 91.25 m
Breadth: 17.61 m
Draft: 5.8 m
Ice Class: UL1 (equal to 1A)
Propulsion: 6 ZL 40/48 Sulzer
Cruising Speed: 12 knots
Registered: In the Netherlands by Oceanwide Expeditions