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Oceanwide Expeditions Introduces Helicopter Operation in Antarctica for Emperor Penguin and Ross Sea Programs

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Oceanwide Expeditions is excited to announce that we are expanding our program with Ortelius in the 2012-13 Antarctic Season. We will offer three voyages to the Emperor Penguins in the Weddell Sea including helicopters. We will also equip our vessel Ortelius with helicopters during our Ross Sea voyages. This is a significant and exciting undertaking. This does require a schedule and price change to the Ortelius 2012-13 Antarctic Season. We believe that this will offer our clientele two new spectacular programs – absolutely unique in the marketplace.

Weddell Sea Emperor Penguin Voyages – incl. helicopters

Due to political rumours and uncertainties about the flights from Santiago de Chile to Mount Pleasant, Falkland Islands and the fact that we can equip our vessel Ortelius with helicopters, we have decided to revise our sailing schedule for the coming Antarctic 2012-13 season. We will start our season with Ortelius with three spectacular 11-days voyages to the Weddell Sea (starting/ending in Ushuaia) and we intend to visit the Emperor Penguin rookeries south of Snow Hill Island. The use of helicopters has a great advantage and can support us in our goal to have a rendezvous with those “Super Stars” of Antarctica, living in a place that otherwise remain inaccessible for tourists. Oceanwide Expeditions guarantees a responsible approach to nature, therefore helicopters will land in safe distance to the emperor penguin colony which will only be a hiking distance away from the landing site. The voyages to the Weddell Sea will be a thrilling adventure and it is advisable to book your space soonest:

Voyage OTL21: 14 – 24 November 2012

Voyage OTL22: 24 November – 04 December 2012

Voyage OTL23: 04 – 14 December 2012

Prices start from € 7.950 / USD 11.150 per person in a quadruple non private cabin incl. helicopters.

Due to the revised schedule we have furthermore included two 10-days classic departures to the Antarctic Peninsula: voyage OTL24A: 14 till 23 December 2012 and OTL24B: 23 December 2012 till 01 January 2013.

Prices start from € 4.150 / USD 5.150 per person (voyage OTL24B) in a quadruple non private cabin.

Ross Sea Voyages – incl. helicopters

Our vessel Ortelius is the strongest ice-strengthened vessel in its category, however there is still a chance that, due to heavy ice-conditions, we cannot reach the scheduled landing sites in the Ross Sea. We therefore have decided to include helicopter operations for these programs. The use of helicopters can give a great advantage to succeed in visiting the highlights such as the huts of the British Polar explorers Robert Falcon Scott (Cape Evans) and Ernest Shackleton (Cape Royds) and the American Mc Murdo station. Places that are almost exclusively accessible by air are the immersive Ross Ice-shelf and the Dry Valleys. The Dry Valleys are one of the most extraordinary places on earth, an ice free Polar desert with unique geological formations. We intend to offer helicopter landings on the Ross ice-shelf and the Dry valleys. We have furthermore added one (free of charge) additional night to the itinerary for both voyages (voyages OTL26, 16 Jan – 17 Feb 2013 and OTL27, 18 Feb – 20 March 2013). The total duration for both voyages: 31 nights / 32 days. Due to the date changes, voyage OTL28, starting from Ushuaia, visiting South Georgia and ending in Montevideo will consequently take place from 20 March till 06 April 2013.

Expedition voyages and helicopter operations

The trips to the Weddell Sea and Ross Sea are true expedition voyages in the remotest places of our planet. As with all of our voyages, but for these to a much greater extent, the itineraries are influenced by weather, ice and navigational conditions. The helicopter operation is a fantastic offer in itself, but also highly dependent on those conditions. Providing the conditions are suitable, the captain of the vessel will position the vessel at a safe and (for the helicopters and helicopter pilots) feasible distance from the intended landing sites. Ship-to-shore helicopter transfers will enable us to offer the scheduled shore excursions, but every passenger who participates in those mentioned voyages, understands and accepts that no guarantees can be given, including a specific amount of helicopter time. For further information please contact Oceanwide Expeditions.

The Weddell Sea and Ross Sea Expeditions bring us to places with very limited or non-existent infrastructure. During this voyage we become true “solo-explorers” and due to the remoteness, medical evacuations are extremely difficult or simply impossible. The vessel is equipped with an infirmary and a doctor is on board, but the capabilities of onboard medical care are limited. It is therefore absolutely necessary that every participant enjoys a good physical condition, to be explicitly confirmed by the participant’s (family) doctor. We look very much forward to co-operate with you on those great expedition trips.






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