Spectacular Ross Sea (incl. helicopters)
The most spectacular Antarctic journey ever!
|Dates:||15 Feb - 17 Mar, 2017|
|Important:||Crossing the Date Line|
|Summary||Download cruise info >>|
Ross Sea cruises
Prices per person:
Quadruple Porthole25700 USD 17450 USD
Triple Porthole27900 USD 17450 USD
Twin Porthole deck 332750 USD 22490 USD
Twin Porthole deck 432750 USD 25700 USD
Twin Window33850 USD
Twin Deluxeon request
Cruise to Spectacular Ross Sea (incl. helicopters)
Join Oceanwide Expeditions for a spectacular expedition to the Ross Sea. Our first Discovery Cruise voyages to the Ross Sea were successfully completed in 2013. Join us for an new exploratory voyage to Campbell Island, home to the Southern Royal Albatross, to the huts of Shackleton and Scott on Ross Island, to the Bay of Whales and Kainan Bay, the starting points from where Norwegian Amundsen and the Japanese Shirase gained access to the ice-shelf in 1911 and 1912, and where Byrd wintered in Little America.
The ice-strengthened vessel Ortelius is an excellent vessel for Polar expedition cruises in the Arctic and Antarctica.Full ship info >>
Map & itinerary
PLEASE NOTE: A typical itinerary to the Ross Sea is illustrated below. This itinerary is for guidance only! Programs may vary depending on local ice and weather conditions, the availability of landing sites and opportunities to see wildlife. The final itinerary will be determined by the Expedition Leader on board. Flexibility is paramount for expedition cruises. During this voyage we will transfer our passengers ashore by zodiac. But, we will also operate our two helicopters in certain sites where Zodiacs cannot be used. Potential candidates - not guaranteed - for helicopter transfers are Cape Evans (hut of Scott), Cape Royds (hut of Shackleton), Ross Ice Shelf at Bay of Whales, Peter I Island, and the Dry Valleys. In theory, we plan on five helicopter based landings, but a specific amount of helicopter time cannot be predicted. The use of helicopters is a great advantage and can support us in our goal to reach certain landing sites, that otherwise are almost inaccessible. However, this is a true expedition and we operate our itinerary in the world’s most remote area, ruled by the forces of nature, weather and ice conditions. 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. No guarantees can be given and no claims will be accepted. The vessel is equipped with two helicopters, but in the case that one helicopter is unable to fly due to for example a technical failure, the helicopter operation will cease or even be cancelled, due to the fact that one helicopter always needs to be supported by a second operational helicopter. No guarantees can be given and in no event will claims be accepted. Special note: Crossing the Date Line This trip has a total duration of 31 nights / 32 days. However, looking at the starting and ending dates of the voyages, it “seems” that this trip has a duration of 32 nights. This is explained by the fact that we cross the “date line” at 180 degrees longitude. Travelling on this trip and crossing the International Date Line, results in a day being added. In any case, the duration of the voyage is still 31 nights / 32 days.
Day 1: In the afternoon we embark our vessel m/v Ortelius in Bluff, New Zealand
Our passengers embark on Ortelius
Day 2: At sea
Day 3: Campbell Island! The fauna on the island is fantastic with a large colony of Southern Royal Albatrosses
We plan to visit the sub-Antarctic New Zealand Reserve and a UNESCO World Heritage Site of Campbell Island, with a luxuriant and blooming vegetation. The fauna on Campbell Island is fantastic with a large and easily accessible colony of Southern Royal Albatrosses on the main island and breeding Wandering, Campbell, Grey-headed, Black-browed, and Light-mantled Albatrosses on the satellite islands. Also three penguin species, Eastern Rockhopper, Erect-Crested and Yellow-Eyed Penguins breed here. In the 18th century seals were hunted to extinction, but Elephant Seals, Fur Seals and Sea Lions have recovered.
Day 4 - 8: At sea en-route to Cape Adare
Sailing south to the entrance of the Ross Sea we may opt to set a course sailing by Scott Island depending on the weather forecast.
- ✓ Scott Island
Day 9: Cape Adare where Borchgrevink's Hut is surrounded by Adélie Penguins
Cape Adare is the place where people for the very first time wintered on the Antarctic Continent. The hut where the Norwegian Borchgrevink stayed in 1899 is surrounded by a large colony of Adélie Penguins, which are now in autumn moult.
Day 10 - 11: The Ross Sea! We may attempt a landing at the specially protected area of Cape Hallet
Sailing southward along the west coast of the Ross Sea, we may attempt a landing at the specially protected area of Cape Hallet with a large Adélie Penguin rookery. Further south we find Terra Nova Bay where we aim to stop at the Drygalski Ice Tongue and the Italian Mario Zucchelli Station if the ice conditions allow.
- ✓ Flora and fauna in the Ross Sea
- ✓ Terra Nova Bay
- ✓ Drygalski Ice Tongue
Day 12 - 16: We intend to visit Cape Evans with the cabin of Robert Falcon Scott and other interesting sites
In the Ross Sea we intend to visit Ross Island, guarded by Mount Erebus, Mount Terror and Mount Byrd with all the famous spots which played such an important role in the dramatic British expeditions of the last century such as Cape Royds with the cabin of Ernest Shackleton. We also intend to visit Cape Evans with the cabin of Robert Falcon Scott; from Hut Point, Scott and his men set out for the South Pole. We will further make attempts to visit the US-station McMurdo and Scott Base - the New Zealand equivalent. If ice blocks the entrance and weather conditions are otherwise favourable, we have the option to use the helicopters to offer landings in one or more places. From McMurdo Station we may offer a substantial 10 km hike to Castle Rock were we will have a great view across the Ross Ice Shelf toward the South Pole. We will land in by Helicopter in Taylor Valley, one of the Dry Valleys. The conditions here are the closest you get to the conditions on Mars anywhere on Planet Earth.
Day 17: Sailing along the Ross Ice Shelf
Along the Ross Ice Shelf we sail to the east.
Day 18: We intend to attempt a helicopter landing on the Ross Ice Shelf if conditions allow for it
We still sail along the Ross Ice Shelf, a floating mass of land-ice, with a front 30 meters high. In the Bay of Whales at the eastern side of the shelf, close to Roosevelt Island (named by the American aviator Richard E. Byrd in 1934 for President Franklin D. Roosevelt), Roald Amundsen gained access to the Shelf and ventured to the South Pole, where he finally arrived on 14 December 1911. Also the Japanese explore Nobu Shirase had his camp in this area at Kainan Bay in 1912. We intend to attempt a helicopter landing on the Ross Ice Shelf if conditions allow for it.
Day 19 - 24: Amundsen Sea! Sailing along and through the ice is very lively, with sightings of single straggling Emperor Penguins
These days we sail through the Amundsen Sea along and through the outer fringes of the pack-ice, while we take advantage of the west-going Antarctic coastal current. The sailing along and through the ice is very lively, with sightings of single straggling Emperor Penguins, groups of seals on ice-floes, and also Orca's and Minke Whales along the ice-edge, often accompanied by different species of fulmarine petrels.
Day 25: On Peter I Island we may attempt a helicopter landing if conditions allow for it
Peter I Island or in Norwegian Peter I Øy is an uninhabited volcanic island (19 kilometres long) in the Bellingshausen Sea. It was discovered by Fabian von Bellingshausen in 1821 and was named after the Russian Tsar Peter I. It is claimed by Norway and considered a territory on its own. It is very rarely visited by passenger vessels due to the exposed nature of the place. If the weather conditions allow, we are likely to attempt a helicopter landing on the glaciated northern part of the island.
Day 26 - 27: Sailing in the Bellingshausen Sea
En-route to the Antarctic Peninsula
Day 28 - 29: Antarctic Peninsula! We may set foot on the Continent for the first time in the stunning setting of Prospect Point
In the Antarctic Peninsula we plan to visit Detaille Island. Detaille Island was discovered by the French expedition of Charcot (1903-05) and named for a shareholder in the Magellan Whaling Company. From 1956 till 1959, The British Antarctic Survey had their “Station W” located on Detaille Island. Alternatively we may visit the Fish Islands just north of the Antarctic Circle. The small islands lying east of Flouder Island are called the Minnows, first charted by the British Graham Land Expedition (1934-37) of John Rymill. Adélie Penguins and Blue-eyed Shags breed on the islands among myriads of large icebergs. We may set foot on the Continent for the first time in the stunning setting of Prospect Point. We will land on Pléneau Island, where fur seals may haul-out on the beaches. Gentoo Penguins, Kelp Gulls and South Polar Skuas are confirmed breeders. Pléneau Island was first charted by the French Antarctic Expedition of 1903-05 of Jean-Baptiste Charcot and was named after his expedition’s photographer Paul Pléneau. We will also visit Petermann Island with colonies of Adélie and Gentoo Penguins and Blue-eyed Shags. Petermann Island was named after the German geographer August Petermann who was a member of a German Expedition in 1873-74. Later that day we will head through the famous Lemaire Channel and set a course for the Drake Passage.
- ✓ Antarctic Peninsula's magical scenery
- ✓ Lemaire Channel
- ✓ Pléneau Island
Day 32: The end of our voyage. We disembark m/v Ortelius in Ushuaia
In the morning, we disembark in Ushuaia, Tierra del Fuego, Argentina, the southernmost city in the world located at the Beagle Channel
- ✓ Ushuaia
Included in this voyage
- Voyage aboard the indicated vessel as indicated in the itinerary
- 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.
- Ship-to-shore helicopter transfers (with no specific amount of helicopter time guaranteed)
- Pre-scheduled group transfer from the vessel to the airport in Ushuaia (directly after disembarkation).
- All miscellaneous service taxes and port charges throughout the programme.
- Comprehensive pre-departure material.
Excluded from this voyage
- Any airfare, whether on scheduled or charter flights
- Pre- and post- land arrangements.
- Passport and visa expenses.
- Government arrival and departure taxes.
- Meals ashore.
- Baggage, cancellation and personal insurance (which is mandatory).
- Excess baggage charges and all items of a personal nature such as laundry, bar, beverage charges and telecommunication charges.
- The customary gratuity at the end of the voyages for stewards and other service personnel aboard (guidelines will be provided).