In 2013 Oceanwide Expeditions had the idea to further upgrade our polar expedition vessel Ortelius. The idea became reality and the goal was to finish all activities during the annual docking in spring 2014.
The plan was to completely rebuild deck 5 and to build brand new twin window, twin deluxe and superior cabins all with new walls, furniture’s and bathrooms, including two brand new twin porthole cabins on deck number 4.
A challenging project: the vessel arrived in port on 22 April and had to be ready for the current Arctic season on 21 May, thus having only 28 days to finish the job.
During the crossing from Ushuaia, Argentina to the Netherlands, a demolition team started the first activities, tearing down the old cabins, bathrooms and corridors and deck number 5 was “empty” upon arrival in the Netherlands.
This is what happened afterwards, upon arrival, from 22 April at the shipyard in the Netherlands...
Apart from the rebuilding activities, the following works have been carried out to upgrade Ortelius:
- New ceiling and lightning have been installed at the reception and corridor on deck 4.
- Improvement of the PA-system with extra amplifiers and 40 new and replaced speakers.
- Installation of a forward looking sonar.
- Installation of an onboard “real time” camera system
- Installation of “Olex”, a system for navigation and ocean mapping, making it possible to create high resolution seabed maps. The system collects data from the ships echosounder and GPS to a depth database on the Olex computer. The result is immediately visualized on the screen as a realistic 3D seabed view.
- Refurbishment of the onboard infirmary (hospital).
- Replacement of 15 new desks in various cabins.
- The vessel has a masterkey system; passengers will now have a cabin key available.
- Standard yearly maintenance/upgrading works in the engine-room (main-engine, pumps, alarm-systems etc) for approx 1 million USD have been carried out.
- Installation/renewal of watertight doors; indication and closing devices from bridge and local controls.
- Topmast has been removed, overhauled and rewired.
- GMDSS equipment complete rewired, new auto-pilot system installed.
- Bridge upgraded (consoles, windows, some of the walls, heating, new window wiper system).
- Installation of a second Gyro compass as a back-up.
- Installation of two new search-lights.
- Server installed for vessel’s network.
- Additional/New laundry equipment.
- Brand new crew mess and crew sanitary rooms.
- Additional and new equipment in the galley.
- Plumbing and piping throughout the vessel.
- Annual Class inspection and survey.
Ortelius offers accommodation for 116 passengers. We are confident that this major operation will be appreciated by our passengers and we very much welcome you aboard Ortelius to travel with us to Arctic and Antarctic regions.
With best regards,
Michel van Gessel