15 Features, Figures, and Facts About Ortelius

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Our undying love for m/v Ortelius

It’s natural for parents to be proud of their children, if not biased. And we think the same can be said of polar travel companies and their expedition cruise ships.

Which is why we’re going to do a little gushing about our m/v Ortelius.

Not only is Ortelius one of our longest-running ships, her specs rival many of the new vessels being built today: great decks for viewing landscapes and wildlife, comfortable cabins for rest and relaxation, and cozy common areas for trading tales with your fellow passengers.

She even has a dedicated helipad. As in, for helicopters. The kind that can fly you to really cool, otherwise inaccessible areas – which we’ll discuss later.

But there’s even more to Ortelius than all of that. Here are 15 additional features, figures, and facts about this lovely little vessel.

15 facts about Ortelius

1. Built in Gdynia, Poland in 1989, Ortelius served as a special-purpose vessel for the Russian Academy of Science until Oceanwide Expeditions purchased it.

2. Originally, Ortelius was named Marina Svetaeva.

3. She was renamed after Abraham Ortelius (1527 -1598), who in 1570 published the first modern world atlas: Theatrum Orbis Terrarum, or Theater of the World. Its publication is often seen as the start of the Dutch Golden Age of Cartography.

4. Ortelius is classed by Lloyd’s Register in London and flies the Dutch flag.

5. The vessel has one of the highest ice-class notations (UL1, equivalent to 1A) and is suitable to navigate in loose pack ice.

6. Ortelius holds 108 passengers in 52 cabins as of the Arctic season 2020.

7. Manned by 22 nautical crew members and 19 hotel staff, Ortelius also carries eight expedition specialists and one doctor during her voyages.

8. Ortelius has a length of 90.95 meters (298.39 feet), a breadth: of 17.20 meters (56.43 feet), a draft of 5.4 meters (17.72), and a displacement of 4,090 tonnes (4,508 US tons).

9. The ship’s propulsion is powered by a Cagielski Sulzer 6 ZL 40 / 48 engine.

10. Ortelius has an average cruising speed of 10.5 knots.

11. A bar and spacious lecture room are built into the vessel, along with ample deck space from which to view the seas, landscapes, and exotic polar wildlife.

12. There are 10 Zodiac boats on board Ortelius for making safe and swift shore landings.

13. Ortelius is the only ship in our fleet capable of stationing helicopters, which can enable passengers to visit otherwise inaccessible areas (see below).

14. The vessel offers various cabin types, including quadruple cabins, twin porthole cabins, and superior cabins, all with at least two portholes or windows as well as a private shower and toilet.

15. Due chiefly to its helicopters, Ortelius has delivered passengers to some of the least-visited and most sought-after destinations in the polar regions, such as the emperor penguin colony on Snow Hill Island – a feat we achieved in 2017, 2018, and 2019.

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