Vlissingen, the Netherlands, November 2016 -- Oceanwide Expeditions is celebrating the news that the Ross Sea will become the world’s largest marine protected area by offering discounts on its two upcoming trips to this vast Antarctic wilderness.
The protection status, which goes into effect late 2017, was recently announced by the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources, whose member countries voted to ban fishing (including krill and whales) in a protected zone the size of France and Spain combined. This agreement is a milestone for the protection of Antarctica, one of the world’s last wildernesses and a place to be preserved for future generations.
Oceanwide’s “Spectacular Ross Sea” voyage takes passengers through the Ross Sea, an immense bay south of the Antarctic Circle, one of the planet’s most remote areas and where few expeditions venture. It sails from South America to New Zealand (and in reverse) on the ice-strengthened vessel “Ortelius” – specially equipped with two helicopters to access hard-to-reach sights and afford aerial views of jaw-dropping scenery. The 32-day trip departs on Jan. 13, 2017, from Ushuaia, Argentina; and on Feb. 15, 2017, from Bluff, New Zealand. (This voyage will not be offered again before 2020.)
On the route, travelers sail into the Antarctic Peninsula, cross the Polar Circle, visit Peter I Island, and sail in the Bellingshausen Sea along the ice-edge of “deep Antarctica” into the Ross Sea. Here, voyagers will be treated to a helicopter landing on the towering Ross Ice Shelf, a massive glacier said to be the world’s largest body of floating ice, nearly the size of France. The voyage continues to the uninhabited sub-Antarctic Campbell Island and ends after 32 days in New Zealand. The second cruise offers the same itinerary, but in reverse.
- Land on the massive Ross Ice Shelf, with 164-foot ice walls
- View and photograph amazing wildlife, including Emperor penguins, Orca whales, seals, and dozens of bird species
- Fly to the Dry Valleys, the driest place on the planet, with conditions that replicate those on Mars
- Set foot on the rarely visited volcanic Peter I Island
- Sail to Campbell Island, home to the Southern Royal Albatross
- Visit the historic huts of Arctic explorers Ernest Shackleton and Robert Falcon Scott
* Highlights are weather dependent
Discounted pricing starts at US$19,950 per person for the January departure and US$17,450 for the February departure. It includes voyage, meals and activities during voyage period. More information available at www.oceanwide-expeditions.com.
Reservations and inquiries may be made via oceanwide-expeditions.com, by calling 0031 118 410 410 or via email at [email protected] during business hours Central European Time.
USA & Canada reservations and inquiries may be made via oceanwide-expeditions.com, by calling 1- 800-453-7245 or via email at [email protected] during business hours Central Time.
About Oceanwide Expeditions
Since 1996, Oceanwide Expeditions has offered small-group polar expeditions to the Arctic and Antarctica. They own, manage, and operate the vessels m/v Plancius (116 passengers), m/v Ortelius (116 passengers), s/v Rembrandt van Rijn (33 passengers) and s/v Noorderlicht (20 passengers). The vessels comply with the highest international safety standards for passenger vessels, such as SOLAS (Safety-Of-Life-At-Sea), and allow the crew to navigate safely through pack-ice and remote narrow waterways.
The Dutch “Plancius Foundation” (1981-1996) was the predecessor of Oceanwide Expeditions. Starting in 1983, it was the first cruise operator to organize yearly expeditions to Spitsbergen.