The unexplored Antarctic is one of the most exciting places to visit on earth. The Antarctic is also the last place we expected to be after operating a tropical dive centre for 23 years. But chance led to a meeting, and the meeting led to our first Antarctic Expedition of 2017. Since this time, we have offered the full array of Antarctic Tours and Holidays, through what we perceive to be the best Antarctic Expedition company, Oceanwide Expeditions.
Every two years, we offer a guided Antarctic Dive expedition. We are the only company in the UK who offers guided Antarctic dive expeditions, but we also offer the full array of Antarctic Tours that can be done at any time during the Antarctic spring summer and later summer months. Divers and non-divers alike are welcome on all our Antarctic holidays.
All of our Antarctic Cruises take place on the MV Ortelius, the MV Plancius and soon the MV Honduis. These vessels are specialised Antarctic expedition vessels. The MV Ortelius is a polish built, former Russian “research” (spy) ship, that was bought by Oceanwide and totally refurbished. The Ortelius has the toughest ice strengthened hull that allows it to penetrate deeper into the Antarctic than any other Antarctic cruise vessel apart from Ice Breakers. The MV Ortelius is like a land rover, small, comfortable enough but does the job that few other ships can do. It also has a helideck that can accommodate helicopters for certain tours that are designed to find remote penguin colonies.
The MV Plancius is a former Dutch Naval research Vessel (yes this time we do mean research) which has an ice strengthened hull. As you can imagine from the two naval origins of the ships, the Plancius is like a land cruiser. It is slightly more comfortable than the MV Ortelius, but it is not quite as tough. So Oceanwide use the two vessels in the best way possible. The Plancius does certain cruises and the Ortelius does the cruises where that slightly tougher hull is needed. Having been on the Ortelius and having had the privilege of pushing south into the edge of the ice with her, we have absolute confidence in the Captains, crew and the organisation of Oceanwide expeditions. They are absolutely professional and dedicated to safety. The MV Honduis is coming to their fleet soon. It being built as this website goes to press specifically for Oceanwide expeditions. It will combine a top rated ice hull with even more comfort and a helideck.