The Ross Sea is a giant bay found south by south-east from New Zealand. Home of at least 10 species of mammal, 6 dozen species of birds, nearly a hundred types of fish, and around 1000 examples of invertebrate species. The Ross Sea is one of the few expanses of salt water that has been left (relatively) free of human impact.
Travellers to the Ross Sea are greeted by a massive geographical wonder – the Ross Ice Shelf. The shelf, roughly the size of France, is in fact part of a massive glacier that runs back onto the continent. The Shelf, referred to as the Ross Barrier by explorers like Shackleton and Scott, runs 700 km long at its northern end and towers 15-50 metres above the water.
Passengers aboard one of our Ross Sea Journeys will travel along the southern parts of the Antarctic Peninsula, Peter I Island, the Bellingshausen and Amundsen Seas into the Ross Sea. Visiting the Ross Ice-shelf, Dry Valleys, McMurdo Station, Campbell Island and the historic huts of discovery voyagers Scott and Shackleton. Ortelius will be equipped with helicopters. Be prepared for an unforgettable memory.
Cruises to the Ross Sea
Polar Circle & Antarctic Peninsula - Peter I Island - Ross Sea - Macquarie Island - Campbell Island | The most spectacular Antarctic journey ever!
OTL26-22 Sail to the southern parts of the Antarctic Peninsula, Peter I Island, the Bellingshausen and Amundsen Seas into the Ross Sea. Visiting the Ross Ice-s
13 Jan - 15 Feb, 2022
Campbell Island - Macquarie Island - Ross Sea - Peter I Island - Antarctic Peninsula & Polar Circle | The most spectacular Antarctic journey ever!
OTL27-22 Sail to the southern parts of the Antarctic Peninsula, Peter I Island, the Bellingshausen and Amundsen Seas into the Ross Sea. Visiting the Ross Ice-s
16 Feb - 19 Mar, 2022
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It's so hard to put words to my experience. Of course there were things that i wanted to do that were canceled due to weather and ice, but that is the condition under which you go down there so I was pre
Ross Sea FAQ
What is the Ross Sea voyage like?
The Ross Sea in Antarctica is one of the most remote places on Earth. Due to heavy pack-ice cover for the biggest part of the year it is off the beaten tourist track of Antarctica. Only the strongest ice-strengthened ships are able to penetrate thisRead more »
What is the weather at Ross Sea like?
As the Ross Sea is under the direct influence of the harsh Antarctic continental climate, temperatures are on the average low, around 1ºC (34ºF). In February – March, at the end of the Austral summer, temperatures can even drop slightRead more »
What to wear at the Ross Sea trip?
As it can be cold in the Ross Sea warm clothing is essential. Waterproof trousers and jacket against wind, rain and salt spray coming into the zodiac. Furthermore thermal underwear, fleece jackets, warm gloves and a warm hat are essential. Rubber-booRead more »
How do I get ashore at the Ross Sea?
There are no harbours in the Ross Sea. Landings are carried out by zodiac and helicopter.Read more »
Where is the Ross Sea Located and how big is it?
The Ross Sea is located between the Marie Bryd Land and Victoria Land in the Southern Ocean. This deep bay is part of the Antarctica region, and it is near the Amundsen Sea. During an expedition cruise to the Ross Sea, you will see several islands anRead more »
Who discovered the Ross Sea?
Captain James Clark Ross commanded the first two ships (HMS Erebus and HMS Terror) to enter the frigid waters of the Ross Sea. Though he did not succeed in his mission to reach the magnetic South Pole during this 1839 - 1843 expedition, heRead more »
Ross Sea weather
While temperatures during the Antarctic winter months can drop as low as around -50°C, you can expect slightly more comfortable temperatures around -10°C - 0°C during your Ross Sea cruise.
If you’re wondering what clothing to bring, don’t worry, we have you covered. Follow this link and scroll about one third of the way down the page to get all sorts of clothing guidelines and tips.
Facts about the Ross Sea
- A colossal squid measuring longer than 10 metres and weighing almost 500 kilograms was found in the Ross Sea in 2007.
- All the islands found within the limits of the Ross Sea have been claimed by New Zealand, although most countries don’t bother to recognise the claims.
- The Ross Ice Shelf is the largest such shelf on Earth. At approximately 472,000 km2 it is roughly the size of Spain. It soars anywhere between 15 and 60 metres high and extends nearly 800 kilometres along the shoreline.
- The Ross Sea is named after Captain James Clark Ross who mapped the area in the 1841.
- Since the Ross Sea is the open waterway closest to the actual South Pole it has become the launching spot of many exploration expeditions that went on to journey inland.
- The Ross Ice Shelf was the mother to what was quite possibly the biggest iceberg ever. The iceberg broke off of the shelf in the year 2000, measuring 295 km at its longest point and 37 km at its widest. Altogether it boasted a surface area of about 11,000 km2.
- Wildlife flourishes despite the harsh cold of the waters. Some of the fish found in the Ross Sea have antifreeze in their veins to keep them from freezing solid.
Travel to the Ross Sea
Travel to the Ross Sea and experience one of the most pristine untouched landscapes left in the world. Your Ross Sea expedition will be full of activities that let you take in the rugged and clean beauty of the area – hike the shores of Antarctica, visiti historical sites from the Golden Age of Exploration like the huts of explorers Shackleton and Scott, and enjoy unique helicopter flights to the Dry Valleys and the Ross Ice Shelf.
Your Ross Sea trip will also introduce you to a surprising abundance of wildlife. Go bird watching on the lookout for albatrosses and Petrels. Cruise along the shores in a Zodiac and say hello to seals and a variety of whales. Your Ross Sea holiday even lets you take helicopter rides to gain the maximum of everything in this spectacular place.