Polar Tracks Expeditions

MV Ortelius

Expedition Cruise Vessel

About the Ship

This great little expedition ship began as the Marina Svetaeva, built in Poland in 1989 as a special-purpose vessel for the Russian Academy of Science. Later it was renamed after the Dutch/Flemish cartographer Abraham Ortelius (1527 – 1598), who in 1570 published the first modern world atlas which, at the time, was the most expensive book ever printed.  Onboard, the Ortelius has an informal atmosphere, with a lecture room for expert presentations and a bar to quench your thirst after coming in from a landing. 

  • Length: 91.25 meters
  • Expedition staff + crew: 52
  • Draft: 5.8 meters
  • Ice class: UL1 (equivalent to 1A)
  • Speed: 10.5 knots average cruising speed
  • Passengers: 116 in 53 cabins
  • Bar + Lecture room

Why We Like Her


    High ice-class – the Ortelius has an ice-class of UL1 (equivalent to 1A) which means she can easily navigate through solid one-year sea ice as well as loose multi-year pack ice, getting you to spots that other ships might not be able to.


    Lots of open-deck space – the best place to spot wildlife is out on deck, and the Ortelius offers a lot of great outdoor space on different levels of the ship.


    Informal atmosphere – a comfortable ship with an easygoing atmosphere, you never have to worry about whether you’ve got the right dinner wear.

Photos of the Ship

Insider Advice

We’re a different kind of agency. We work on the ships, with the teams, and are currently active in the polar regions. Our insider advice is truly that – straight from the field – and it’s updated in real time if things change.