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Island Holidays
Established 1987

M/v Ortelius

M/v Ortelius

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 116 passengers with lots of open-deck spaces.The vessel is manned by 22 highly experienced international nautical crew, 19 international hotel crew, including stewardesses, 7 expedition staff in Antarctica (1 expedition leader and 6 guides/lecturers), for the Arctic we will have 8 expedition staff (1 expedition leader and 6 guides/lecturers) and 1 doctor.

The vessel offers simple but comfortable cabins and public spaces; 4 quadruple cabins with bunk beds (these can also be used as triple or twin cabins); 2 triple porthole cabins with bunk beds (these can also be used as quads or twin cabins); 27 twin porthole cabin with 2 single lower berths; 12 twin cabins with windows and 2 single lower berths; 2 twin deluxe cabins with windows and 2 single lower berths; 6 superior cabins with double beds. All cabins are spacious outside cabins with a minimum of two portholes or windows per cabin and all cabins have private shower and toilet.


Ortelius offers a comfortable hotel standard, with two restaurants, a bar/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.

Last updated: 13/06/16