The Ortelius is a polar expedition cruise ship for 116 guests. She offers comfortable cabins, good food, plenty of open-deck space, well-designed practical facilities and a good range of voyages. She is rated ice-class 1A, which puts her among the most rugged passenger ships in Antarctica, although with a cruising speed of 10 knots she is not the fastest.
Ortelius and her sister ship 'Plancius' have a special goal to get you off the ship as much as possible. Sea routes are short and direct, allowing for maximum shore time. Activities are tailored to a range of experience and fitness, but with the objective of experiencing Antarctica directly at first hand.
All voyages offer a range of wildlife encounters (the best being those that visit South Georgia) . The 'basecamp' voyages are particularly focussed on active experiences: camping, snowshoeing, kayaking, scuba diving, glacier traverses, mountaineering and much more.
Ortelius is the only ship in the region with an onboard helicopter, with the possibility of flights to reach otherwise inaccessible locations.
Guests are independent-minded travellers from around the world, with a high proportion from Europe and North America. English is the first language on board. Some voyages are bilingual: English/French or English/German.
Ortelius has 22 nautical crew, 19 cabin crew, and 8 expedition staff (expedition leader, assistant leader, 6 guides). There is also a doctor on board.