Ross Sea Expedition

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Ross Sea Expedition Rolf Stange Oceanwide Expeditions

Priced from $25,700   Days: 32

Save up to $10,450 on 2017 departures!

For a truly epic Antarctica expedition cruise, join us on this month long cruise that follows the western coast of Antarctica from the Antarctic Peninsula to New Zealand, stopping along the way to observe wildlife and history at remote and rarely visited spots that few people have had the privilege to see. Your expedition ship for this cruise is the comfortable 100 passenger M/V Ortelius, outfitted with Zodiacs and two helicopters. Conditions permitting, we will make five helicopter landings at various sites. 

We visit volcanic Peter I Island, then follow the outer fringes of pack-ice through the Amundsun Sea, where we will encounter occasional emperor penguins, groups of seals on ice-floes, and orca and minke whales, often accompanied by various species of fulmar petrels.  We continue on to the Ross Sea, and the massive Ross Ice Shelf, one of our planned helicopter landing sites. We will visit the huts of the legendary polar explorers Shackleton and Scott. As we continue on, we will have several opportunities to view the Mars-like Dry Valleys., again taking advantage of our helicopters. 

As we sail on past Cape Adare after crossing the International Date line, we will continue north to Campbell Island.  Here, we will see healthy populations of eastern rockhopper, erect-crested and yellow-eyed penguins. Elephant seals, and various species of fur seals also live on the protected wildlife sanctuary. 



  • Itinerary
  • Date & Rates
  • Vessel
  • Map
Sample itinerary  -- will be reversed depending on starting city. Itinerary listed is for Feb. 15-March 17, 2017

This itinerary will not repeated until 2020! 

Day 1: In the afternoon we embark our vessel m/v Ortelius in Bluff, New Zealand

We embark in Ushuaia, Tierra del Fuego, Argentina the southernmost city in the world located on the scenic Beagle Channel. We will sail through the Channel during the evening.

Day 2: At Sea

Bird watching from the decks of Ortelius.

Day 3: Campbell Island

We plan to visit the sub-Antarctic New Zealand Reserve and a UNESCO World Heritage Site of Campbell Island, with luxurious blooming vegetation. The fauna on Campbell Island is fantastic with a large and easily accessible colony of Southern Royal Albatrosses on the main island and breeding Wandering, Campbell, Grey-headed, Black-browed, and Light-mantled Albatrosses on the satellite islands. Also three penguin species, Eastern Rockhopper, Erect-Crested and Yellow-Eyed Penguins breed here. In the 18th century seals were hunted to extinction, but Elephant Seals, Fur Seals and Sea Lions have recovered.

Day 4-8: At sea en-route to Cape Adare

Sailing south to the entrance of the Ross Sea we may opt to set a course sailing by Scott Island depending on the weather forecast.

Day 9: Cape Adare 

Cape Adare is where people wintered on the Antarctic Continent. The hut where the Norwegian Borchgrevink stayed in 1899 is surrounded by a large colony of Adélie Penguins, which are now in autumn moult.

Day 10 – 11: The Ross sea

We may attempt a landing at the specially protected area of Cape Hallet

Sailing southward along the west coast of the Ross Sea, we may attempt a landing at the specially protected area of Cape Hallet with a large Adélie Penguin rookery wih weather and sea ice permitting. Further south we find Terra Nova Bay where we aim to stop at the Drygalski Ice Tongue and the Italian Mario Zucchelli Station if the ice conditions allow.

Day 12 - 16: Visit Cape Evans where Robert Falcon Scott's cabin is located

In the Ross Sea we intend to visit Ross Island, guarded by Mount Erebus, Mount Terror and Mount Byrd which played an important role in the dramatic British expeditions of the last century.  Stopping at Cape Royds with the cabin of Ernest Shackleton. We also intend to visit Cape Evans with the cabin of Robert Falcon Scott; from Hut Point, Scott and his men set out for the South Pole. We will further make attempts to visit the US-station McMurdo and Scott Base - the New Zealand equivalent. If ice blocks the entrance and weather conditions are otherwise favourable, we have the option to use the helicopters to offer landings in one or more places. From McMurdo Station we may offer a substantial 10 km hike to Castle Rock were we will have a great view across the Ross Ice Shelf toward the South Pole. We will land in by Helicopter in Taylor Valley, one of the Dry Valleys. The conditions here are the closest you get to the conditions on Mars anywhere on Planet Earth.

Day 17:  Sailing along the Ross Ice Shelf

Along the Ross Ice Shelf we sail to the east.

Day 18: Helicopter landings on Ross Ice Shelf (weather and ice permitting)

We still sail along the Ross Ice Shelf, a floating mass of land-ice, with a front 30 meters high. In the Bay of Whales at the eastern side of the shelf, close to Roosevelt Island (named by the American aviator Richard E. Byrd in 1934 for President Franklin D. Roosevelt), Roald Amundsen gained access to the Shelf and ventured to the South Pole, where he finally arrived on 14 December 1911. Also the Japanese explore Nobu Shirase had his camp in this area at Kainan Bay in 1912. We intend to attempt a helicopter landing on the Ross Ice Shelf if conditions allow for it.

Day 19 - 24: Admundsen Sea--sail along and through the sea ice looking for single straggling Emperor Penguins

These days we sail through the Amundsen Sea along and through the outer fringes of the pack-ice, while we take advantage of the west-going Antarctic coastal current. The sailing along and through the ice is very lively, with sightings of single straggling Emperor Penguins, groups of seals on ice-floes, and also Orca's and Minke Whales along the ice-edge, often accompanied by different species of fulmarine petrels.

Day 25: Peter 1 Island with possible helicopter landings (depening on ice and weather conditions)

Peter I Island or in Norwegian Peter I Øy is an uninhabited volcanic island (19 kilometres long) in the Bellingshausen Sea. It was discovered by Fabian von Bellingshausen in 1821 and was named after the Russian Tsar Peter I. It is claimed by Norway and considered a territory on its own. It is very rarely visited by passenger vessels due to the exposed nature of the place. If the weather conditions allow, we are likely to attempt a helicopter landing on the glaciated northern part of the island.

Day 26 - 27: Sailing in the Bellingshausen Sea

En-route to the Antarctic Peninsula

Day 28 - 29: Antarctica Pennnsula:  Set foot on the Continent for the first time at Prospect Point

In the Antarctic Peninsula we plan to visit Detaille Island. Detaille Island was discovered by the French expedition of Charcot (1903-05) and named for a shareholder in the Magellan Whaling Company. From 1956 till 1959, The British Antarctic Survey had their “Station W” located on Detaille Island. Alternatively we may visit the Fish Islands just north of the Antarctic Circle. The small islands lying east of Flouder Island are called the Minnows, first charted by the British Graham Land Expedition (1934-37) of John Rymill. Adélie Penguins and Blue-eyed Shags breed on the islands among myriads of large icebergs. We may set foot on the Continent for the first time in the stunning setting of Prospect Point. We will land on Pléneau Island, where fur seals may haul-out on the beaches. Gentoo Penguins, Kelp Gulls and South Polar Skuas are confirmed breeders. Pléneau Island was first charted by the French Antarctic Expedition of 1903-05 of Jean-Baptiste Charcot and was named after his expedition’s photographer Paul Pléneau. We will also visit Petermann Island with colonies of Adélie and Gentoo Penguins and Blue-eyed Shags. Petermann Island was named after the German geographer August Petermann who was a member of a German Expedition in 1873-74. Later that day we will head through the famous Lemaire Channel and set a course for the Drake Passage.

Day 30 - 31: Drake Passage

En-route to Ushuaia. We will encounter more bird watching and lecutres during the passage. 

Day 32: The end of a voyage.

In the morning, we disembark in Ushuaia, Tierra del Fuego, Argentina, the southernmost city in the world located at the Beagle Channel

We arrive in Ushuaia for our flights home.

Date & Rates:

Ross Sea and Campbell Island with ship to shore helicopter excursions 

On sale now! Save up to $10,450 per person!

Twin Porthole
Deck 3 & 4
Twin Window
Twin Deluxe
Ushuaia to Bluff, NZ

Jan 13 - Feb 14, 2017





On request

$33,850 $35,550 $37,300
Bluff, NZ to Ushuaia Feb 15 - Mar 17, 2017














Prices are per person based on double, triple or quad occupancy depending on category room purchased. 

Single supplement: 1.7 times share price. 

Registration: To confirm your space on these tours, please contact our office. 1.800.808.4492 or 575.524.0084

Deposit: 30% of trip cost

Cancellation Policy: In the event you must cancel your reservation, refunds will be made according to the following schedule: Deposit is nonrefundable. 90 to 61 days prior to departure, 50% of total is nonrefundable; less than 60 days prior to departure, 100% nonrefundable.

Fuel surcharge: If world fuel prices reach or exceed US Dollar 120 per Barrel Brent 90 days prior to departure then the boat operator reserves the right to levy a fuel surcharge of $25 USD per night per passenger to be paid prior to travel.

Insurance: Because many advance logistical arrangements have been made prior to the running of this trip, we must adhere to the above policy. Cancellation/medical evacuation is required up to $100,000 per person. An application form will be sent to you upon request, or you may purchase it on your own. Because of the remote location, emergency medical evacuation insurance is required. Please check your personal insurance coverage and make sure it is applicable in foreign countries. Emergency medical evacuation insurance is a component of the insurance program IWA offers.