The Antarctica Ortelius liveaboard – Overall review rating 7.2 out of 10 and 3.5 stars
Are looking to experience the excitement of diving Antarctica from the Ortelius liveaboard? Are you set on scuba diving the pristine waters of Antarctica? If so, you’ll need to be an experienced diver. You must also be an expert with cold water and dry suit diving too.
Antarctica Ortelius liveaboard review: A review of the Antarctica Ortelius liveaboard shows she’s 91 metres (298 feet) long. She accommodates 116 guests and scuba divers across 53 cabins with ensuites, carpets, storage space and have sea views. Western food is served buffet style with vegetarian and vegan options. Diving includes up to two dives per day.
Experience the excitement of diving under ice. Plus enjoy the wonders of the wildlife in the Antarctic polar region both underwater and above.
You also need to have your own dive gear as well (see below for more details on what scuba gear you need to dive Antarctica).
Scuba diving Antarctica offers ice diving and interesting marine life to see both above the water and below. Scuba diving in Antarctica isn’t for everyone. But for the true diving enthusiast with the necessary diving certification and experience, this is an opportunity not to be missed.
With that in mind, let’s take a look at the features of the Antarctica Ortelius liveaboard as part of this review.
Features of Antarctica Ortelius cabin and deck
The Ortelius is more than just a liveaboard boat, she’s all about enjoying the polar region to the max with expeditions and excursion to experience the area and wildlife. Scroll through the above cabin images to take a glance at the types of cabins that are available on this cruise ship.
The features that are included with your stay on the Antarctica Ortelius liveaboard are as follows:
- The Antarctica Ortelius liveaboard is 90.95 metres (298 feet) in length and offers exciting expeditions to the Antarctic Peninsular from November to March each year.
- The Ortelius holds the highest ice-class notation available, making her more than adequate for these voyages
- Designed for up to 116 passengers across 53 cabins.
- Cabins have private en-suite bathrooms, carpets and storage space, desk and chair, flat screen TV, telephone, hair dryer with daily housekeeping and a laundry service. The deluxe cabins also have a sofa, a fridge and tea and coffee making facilities.
- Some of the cabins have sea views as shown in the above images.
- Food includes western style food and is served buffet style.
- Both wine and beer are available at an extra charge including a selection of wines.
- There is both audio and video entertainment as well as a bar.
- Specific dietary requirements can be catered for including vegetarian and vegan options.
- Paid-for internet.
- There’s an observation deck and a sun deck so bring your sun cream with you.
- Extra activities include kayaks, snow shoe/hiking, mountaineering, , photo workshops, zodiac boat rides and helicopter rides and there’s a library on board too.
- There’s a powerful fleet of zodiacs is on hand to ensure guests can make the most of their time in Antarctica.
- Highly experienced expedition specialists on board.
You can check the Ortelius liveaboard availability and prices here.
Antarctica Ortelius scuba diving review
The diving from the Antarctica Ortelius liveaboard has a good review rating. On this Antarctica liveaboard, you’ll be in the hands of experienced and professional crew.
Search for your favourite Antarctica Liveaboard here:
Scuba diving options on the Antarctica Ortelius liveaboard:
Not all trips include an Antarctic scuba diving itinerary. Please check as you book which option does include diving excursions, as these have ‘diving’ marked next to the trip.
Examples of the dive itineraries on the Ortelius liveaboard:
- Antarctica – Basecamp (Ushuaia-Ushuaia) – 13 days 12 nights trip. Approx. 1-2 dives per day depending on local ice and weather conditions. Divers have to be experienced and must be expert with cold water and dry suit diving. You should have completed at least 30 dives including those in cold conditions. Plus see below for polar diving equipment requirements. But bear in mind this is remote diving where there are no decompression facilities. But the diving in Antarctica is never very deep, so the risk of decompression sickness is very low.
- Weddell Sea – In search of the Emperor Penguin incl. helicopters (Ushuaia-Ushuaia) – 11 days 10 nights trip. Approx. 1-2 dives per day depending on local ice and weather conditions. Divers have to be experienced and must be expert with cold water and dry suit diving. You should have completed at least 30 dives including those in cold conditions. Plus see below for polar diving equipment requirements. But bear in mind this is remote diving where there are no decompression facilities.
What the diving is like in Antarctica
Antarctica is one of those destinations where a liveaboard is the best, if not the only way to fully experience and appreciate the magical icy splendour of one of the world’s remotest and least visited places in the world.
For those who are experienced in cold water diving you can expect to see spectacular underwater ice formations as well as an array of wildlife. The wildlife includes whales, seals, elephant seals, penguins and thousands of birds. Plus other underwater creatures include fish, crabs, jelly fish and starfish.
Diving can be from one of the Zodiac boats or from one of the beaches. But you can also enjoy diving along walls too.
The best time to visit Antarctica is between November and March. With December and January being the warmest months, although not that warm! Points to note are that November is penguin mating season and their chicks hatch in December/January.
But if you would like to see whales, you are best to plan your trip between February and March. At this time the waters are also clearer too and not so cold.
You can check the Ortelius liveaboard availability and prices here.
Antarctica Ortelius liveaboard review
There’s only one review by a customer so far that have stayed on the Antarctica Ortelius liveaboard where he commented “The whole experience was sensational. And is Recommended for: 1. ANTARCTIC PENINSULA 2. CREW 3. DINING.”
Video of Antarctica Ortelius liveaboard
Scuba diving equipment needed for diving Antarctica
Polar diving equipment and personal clothing and gear you must bring with you to dive Antarctica includes:
- Dry suit with hood, where the hood can be separate from the dry suit itself.
- Two sets of thick and warm underwater garments to keep you warm underneath your drysuit.
- Dry gloves or adequate thick wet gloves: Gloves are needed to keep your hands warm in sub-zero waters.
- 2 separate freeze protected regulators. Two regulators are required as you will be diving with special 12 litre bottles which have two separate outlets and are are fitted with a “Y” or “H” valve configuration, with DIN or Yoke (INT) adaptable connections.
- Pressure gauge to measure the amount of remaining air in your tank.
- A stabilising jacket or some kind of BC with quick release clips. Which means that you cannot only trust your drysuit for buoyancy control but will also need to use a buoyancy control device too.
- Depth gauge, dive watch or dive computer.
- A compass.
- Diver’s knife.
- Dive torch.
- Mask, fins and snorkel.
- Plus your own weight belt, but don’t worry it’s only the belt as there are weights on board.
I hope you enjoyed this article about the Antarctica Ortelius liveaboard review
I’d love to hear from you. Tell us about your adventures of diving and snorkelling. Please use the comments section below. Please also share your photos. Either from your underwater cameras or videos from your waterproof go-pro’s!
But in particular if you’ve dived either in Antarctica or in particular on the Antarctica Ortelius liveaboard, please share your experiences.
If this article hasn’t answered all of your questions. If you have more questions either about snorkelling or scuba diving (or specifically about the Antarctica Ortelius liveaboard review), please comment below with your questions.
There will also be many more articles about scuba and scuba diving safety tips (and on snorkelling too) for you to read and learn about this fabulous sport.
Have fun and be safe!