Vlissingen, the Netherlands, November 2016 -- Oceanwide Expeditions is celebrating the news that the Ross Sea will become the world’s largest marine protected area by offering discounts on its two upcoming trips to this vast Antarctic wilderness.
The protection status, which goes into effect late 2017, was recently announced by the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources, whose member countries voted to ban fishing (including krill and whales) in a protected zone the size of France and Spain combined. This agreement is a milestone for the protection of Antarctica, one of the world’s last wildernesses and a place to be preserved for future generations.
Oceanwide’s “Spectacular Ross Sea” voyage takes passengers through the Ross Sea, an immense bay south of the Antarctic Circle, one of the planet’s most remote areas and where few expeditions venture. It sails from South America to New Zealand (and in reverse) on the ice-strengthened vessel Ortelius – specially equipped with two helicopters to access hard-to-reach sights and afford aerial views of jaw-dropping scenery.
On the route, travelers sail into the Antarctic Peninsula, cross the Polar Circle, visit Peter I Island, and sail in the Bellingshausen Sea along the ice-edge of “deep Antarctica” into the Ross Sea. Here, voyagers will be treated to a helicopter landing on the towering Ross Ice Shelf, a massive glacier said to be the world’s largest body of floating ice, nearly the size of France. The voyage continues to the uninhabited sub-Antarctic Campbell Island and ends after 32 days in New Zealand. The second cruise offers the same itinerary, but in reverse.
- Land on the massive Ross Ice Shelf, with 164-foot ice walls
- View and photograph amazing wildlife, including Emperor penguins, orcas, seals, and dozens of bird species
- Fly to the Dry Valleys, the driest place on the planet, with conditions that replicate those on Mars
- Set foot on the rarely visited volcanic Peter I Island
- Sail to Campbell Island, home to the Southern Royal Albatross
- Visit the historic huts of Arctic explorers Ernest Shackleton and Robert Falcon Scott
* Highlights are weather dependent