Antarctic Peninsula - Basecamp Ortelius Expedition

Hike, snowshoe, kayak, go mountaineering, and even camp out under the Southern Polar skies for
12D/11N Starting at $9650 per person

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. Ortelius is classed by Lloyd’s Register in London and flies the Cyprus flag. 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.

Antarctic Peninsula - Basecamp Ortelius Expedition

Ortelius is a great expedition vessel for 116 passengers with lots of open-deck spaces. The vessel is manned by 22 highly experienced international nautical crew, 19 international hotel crew, 8 expedition staff (1 expedition leader, 1 assistant expedition leader and 6 guides/lecturers), and 1 doctor. Ortelius offers a comfortable hotel standard, with a u-shaped, a bar and a lecture room.

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 116 on the Ortelius, flexibility assures maximum wildlife opportunities. Ortelius carries 10 zodiacs. The zodiac engines are 60hp Yamaha.

All meals during the cruise are included.


Lost World Adventures itineraries can be tailor-made according to your plans and preferences: budget, hotel selections, travel dates, optional excursions, length of trip, etc.

Day 1 : Ushuaia

In the afternoon, embark in Ushuaia, Tierra del Fuego, Argentina, the picturesque southernmost city in the world located at the Beagle Channel and sail through the Beagle Channel.

Days 2 - 3 : Drake Passage / Antarctic Convergence

During today and tomorrow we 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.

Near the South Shetland Islands, we glimpse at the first icebergs.

Days 4 - 9 : Antarctic Peninsula

Sail directly to “High Antarctica”, passing the Melchior islands and the Schollaert Channel between Brabant and Anvers Island. The basecamp concept enables you to visit places where you hope to stay for longer than normal in order to conduct the activities.

Several fantastic localities offer great opportunities for this and may include: Neumayer Channel, where the ship may be positioned for the multi-activity basecamp. The protected waters around Wiencke Island may become the playground for all activities. In this alpine environment, there are great opportunities to scout the region on foot, per zodiac and during kayak trips.

Walkers will find opportunities to use snowshoes on hikes near the shoreline, and the mountaineers will find their challenge by climbing hills and viewpoints further inland. All climbs and excursions can only be conducted in good weather conditions. You may visit the old British research station, now a working museum and post office at Port Lockroy on Goudier Island.

Close to Port Lockroy you may also offer a landing on Jougla Point with Gentoo penguins and Blue-eyed shags. Look out for Leopard seals, Crabeater seals and whales. If the ice conditions and time allows, you may sail through the spectacular Lemaire Channel to Booth Island, Pléneau and Petermann Island where you can find Adélie penguins and Blue-eyed shags (normally not possible before New Year). In this area there are good chances to encounter Humpback whales and Minke whales.

The opportunities for kayaking, glacier walks or mountaineering that is more ambitious are excellent in this area. Neko Harbour offers the opportunity to set foot on the Antarctic Continent in a magnificent landscape of a huge glacier and enjoy the landscape during zodiac cruises, walks, and kayak excursions. You may spend the night in Paradise Bay with a camp erected ashore in one of several places good for camping.

The area in and around Errera Channel is spectacular with possible sites for our activities like Danco Island and Cuverville Island but also lesser known, but equally great sites such as Orne Island and Georges Point on Rongé Island. On the last day of near shore activities, you pass the Melchior Islands towards the open sea around noon.

Keep a keen lookout for Humpback whales in Dallmann Bay. Alternatively, we may aim for Half Moon Island, South Shetlands, which offers a great opportunity for our activities. Depart from the Peninsula around noon when conditions on the Drake Passage (weather and sea-conditions) are predicted as favorable.

Days 10 - 11 : Drake Passage

Return voyage across the Drake Passage where we again have a chance of seeing many seabirds.

Day 12 : Ushuaia

Morning arrival in Ushuaia. Disembark.


Price from $9,650.00 per person, based on double occupancy
Days 12
Nights 11
  • All meals throughout the voyage aboard the ship including snacks, coffee and tea
  • All shore excursions and activities throughout the voyage by Zodiac
  • Program of lectures by noted naturalists and leadership by experienced expedition staff
  • Free use of rubber boots and snowshoes
  • Luggage transfer from pick-up point in Ushuaia to the vessel on the day of embarkation
  • Pre-scheduled group transfer from the vessel to the airport in Ushuaia (directly after disembarkation)
  • All miscellaneous service taxes and port charges throughout the program
  • Comprehensive pre-departure material
  • “Basecamp” cruise programs include all offered activities (camping, kayaking, snowshoe/hiking, mountaineering)


"Andrew at this travel company did a fantastic job customizing a trip to our specific needs."

It was challenging because we asked him to book everything around existing flights to/from and within Argentina that we were stuck with when a group tour was cancelled. All the details of our trip were well arranged, and Andrew was very responsive to our requests during the planning phase.

- Robert K, May 2013

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Travel Tips
Snacks such as nuts, granola, or jerky go a long way, whether for the airplane journey or to share with guides or new friends.
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