2 Oceanwide Expeditions Ortelius Cruise Reviews

Only few ships go into the Ross Sea. That's why I didn't mind the rather poor design of Ortelius (the lecture room practically guarantees seasickness, uncomfortable bar area, too small dining room etc.). The ship's crew ... Read More
Only few ships go into the Ross Sea. That's why I didn't mind the rather poor design of Ortelius (the lecture room practically guarantees seasickness, uncomfortable bar area, too small dining room etc.). The ship's crew responsible for operating the ship and the hotel staff all were professional, friendly and helpful. However, the actual expedition and expedition staff was quite disappointing. Some of the expedition staff didn't know how to operate a Zodiac. On the most remote cruise with difficult conditions that's irresponsible. Maybe it was the lacking skills that kept us from landing in some places. There were too few expedition staff. While there were enough Zodiacs, for landings and Zodiac cruises passengers could never go at once. Usually there were 2-3 groups going one after the other, leading to long waiting times and short Zodiac cruises. For a trip that is very expensive, not having enough staff to land everyone at the same time is unacceptable. Out of 32 days, there were only 10 days with landings, helicopters rides etc. so be prepared for many, many days at sea. Lectures were good. However, the expedition staff apparently was selected according to their capabilities of giving lectures and not by their capability to be out at sea and do landings. The expedition leader had poor communication skills, at times condescending. With so few landings, the expedition staff should have had enough time to relax. Still, the leader was always complaining on how exhausting everything was. There were Zodiac cruises on which passengers were packed into a Zodiac while 4 staff members had plenty of space for themselves doing a cruise on their own. Providing passengers with the best experience was secondary to the expedition staff's experience. The team was sometimes poorly organized. One reason was lack of staff. The idea of the trip is great but Oceanwide doesn't implement it very well. They need more expedition staff to land or cruise everyone at the same time and staff that actually knows how to operate Zodiacs. Expedition leader has to be selected more carefully. The last thing passengers want is a complaining and condescending leader. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
We choose this 10 nights cruise with an early December departure (06 - 16 December), so we could do some awesome snowshoeing. The snowshoes were free to use, which was a nice bonus. We found that the hikes were really good organized to be ... Read More
We choose this 10 nights cruise with an early December departure (06 - 16 December), so we could do some awesome snowshoeing. The snowshoes were free to use, which was a nice bonus. We found that the hikes were really good organized to be able to choose for easy or moderate snowshoe hikes. We even used the boots provided by the ship. Penguins galore, wow, We saw all the cute waddling Gentoo penguins and even chinstrap penguins. Arriving by Zodiac on the rocky beaches, you could just sit there and take in the breathtaking scenery and silence, watching the penguins walking back and forth. Even humpback whales, and orca we saw from the Zodiac during our Zodiac cruises and from 'our' ship Ortelius,Magnificent. Some Leopard seals here and there on ice floes. Then the lemarie channel. We could sail right through the channel. Bluest of blue skies and huge icebergs surrounding us. Many crabeaterseals on the ice floes. We heard only the cracking of the ice, where the bow of the ship touched the ice floes. That is a morning i will never forget. Also the ship was great. It has all the comfort that we need, small enough to remain a small passenger vessel. We felt we were the only lucky people there. Food was excellent, easily 3 to 4 star quality and service. Enough option for vegetarians. the bread was delicious. Every day again, fresh veggies and salads and fruits and more. Hotel service was above exceptional. Expedition staff, they were fantastic. Nice, kind and very social and most of all, very knowledgeable about the area, history, animals and even ice. Read Less
Sail Date December 2017
Ortelius Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabin 3.5 N/A
Dining 4.0 5.0
Entertainment 3.0 5.0
Public Rooms 2.5 5.0
Fitness & Recreation N/A N/A
Family 2.0 N/A
Shore Excursions 5.0 N/A
Enrichment Activities 4.0 N/A
Service 4.0 5.0
Value for Money 4.0 N/A

Find an Ortelius Cruise

Easily compare prices from multiple sites with one click