A trip on an expedition ship? The Ortelius isn't a luxury cruiser, but she's a comfortable vessel, our cabin (a superior twin) was excellent, with lovely touches like Mars Bars and wine in the fridge. Unlike some cruises, bottled water was provided with lunch and dinner. There's a reasonably priced wine list and Rolando mixes a good negroni (and other cocktails). Our friendly and efficient servers were Jay and Noelle who learned our names very quickly. And the food - a great variety, well cooked and much, much better than anticipated. And the wildlife? Minke and blue whales (the first within an hour of leaving Longyearbyen), walruses, harp and bearded seals, arctic foxes, Svalbard reindeer and polar bears. One bear came so close we thought he was trying to board the ship and share our dinner. The crew, officers and staff are all approachable and the "open bridge" policy means you get the chance of panoramic views of the ice - and the wildlife - ahead. The expedition team - led by Rinie - are excellent. As a birder, I was thrilled with close avian encounters with little auk, arctic tern, ivory and glaucous gulls, black and Brunnich's guillemots, and more An amazing trip!

Been on one of our voyages?

Leave your own review

Related cruises

North Spitsbergen, Hike & Sail, Arctic Spring

RVR18-18. At the end of a long Arctic winter, spring is starting to awaken. The climate, however, still clings to the cold: snow-covered mountains, snow-swept shores, temperatures around –4° C (25°F). It’s a good time to experience the last of winter scenery, and with a little luck, also see some polar bears,...

Cruise date:

25 May - 1 Jun, 2018

Price:

3210 USD

North Spitsbergen, Polar Bear Special

The best opportunity to spot the King of the Arctic

OTL03-18. Start your North Spitsbergen cruise with a trek around historic Longyearben, then join our expedition to the north of the island to take in the fantastically beautiful landscapes, the thousands of seabirds, and of course the star of the show, the polar bear.

Cruise date:

29 May - 5 Jun, 2018

Price:

3900 USD

North Spitsbergen, Arctic Summer

RVR19-18. The North Spitsbergen cruise sails to some of the remotest locations of northern Europe. The expedition gives you the opportunity to spot historic whaling remains, glaciers, a variety of Arctic birds including the Little Auk, and polar bears.

Cruise date:

1 Jun - 10 Jun, 2018

Price:

on request