Another Expedition Vessel Back as Ortelius Resumes Sailing

The Ortelius is resuming service today, marking the return of the entire Oceanwide Expeditions fleet.

According to the company’s website, the 116-passanger expedition vessel is embarking on a charter cruise ahead of a summer program in the Arctic.

Departing from the Netherlands, the 11-night voyage will sail to Svalbard and features visits to Fair Island, Jan Mayen and more.

Once in Longyearbyen, the vessel kicks off its 2022 regular expedition schedule, which includes different itineraries around Spitsbergen, Iceland and Greenland.

According to Oceanwide, the expeditions offer the opportunity to not only explore remote villages and regions but also the chance to catch site of whales, reindeer, Arctic foxes, walruses, seals and the polar bear.

The itineraries include the full Spitsbergen circumnavigation, with visits to the Monaco Glacier, the Seven Islands, the Hinlopen Strait and the Krossfjorden.

In Greenland, the Ortelius will also sail to the Scoresbysund fjord system, the Antarctic Sound, the Foster Bay and more.

Built as a special-purpose vessel for the Russian Academy of Science, the Ortelius entered service in 1989 as the Marina Svetaeva.

The ship received its current name, which honors the Dutch/Flemish cartographer Abraham Ortelius, after being acquired by Oceanwide in 2011.

According to the Netherlands-based company, the 4,090-ton ship features the highest ice-class notation, which makes it ideal to polar expeditions in both the Arctic and Antarctica.

Other highlights of the vessel are an “abundance of open-deck” spaces and its “highly-experienced” crew that features eight expedition specialists, Oceanwide said.  

In addition to numerous expedition features, the Ortelius is equipped with a bar, lecture room and restaurant.

The vessel was subjected to a refit in 2019, which saw upgrades to the dining room and crew areas.

Two other vessels are exploring the Arctic for Oceanwide expeditions in 2022.

In addition to the Plancius and the Ortelius, the line up includes the new Hondius.

As the company’s first purpose-built expedition vessel, it entered service in 2019 and, according to Oceanwide, is “the most flexible, advanced and innovative” vessel touring the polar regions.

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