Why not helicopters cross the sea?

Boat trip Antarctica-Ross Sea by helicopter

  • 33 days expedition ship trip with M / V Ortelius
  • M / V SEA SPIRIT, ship with ice class and superior comfort
  • Ushuaia, Antarctic Peninsula, Ross Sea
  • Zodiac excursions, wildlife viewing

Experience the southern part of the Antarctic Peninsula, Peter I Island, Bellingshausen and Amundsen Sea and the Ross Sea. Visit the Ross Ice Shelf, Dry Valleys, McMurdo Station, Macquarie Island, Campbell Island and the historic cottages of Scott and Shackleton.

1 day:

You have free time in Ushuaia until embarkation in the afternoon. Optionally, there is the opportunity to go on an excursion to the Lapataia National Park beforehand. From at least 2 people, approx. 80 euros (advance booking recommended). Travel east through the wildly rugged Beagle Channel into the South Atlantic Ocean.

2-3 Day:

During the next two days in the Drake Passage, you will get an insight into life from the perspective of the polar explorers who defied these regions first: cool salt breezes, rushing seas, maybe even a fin whale surfacing between the waves. After you have passed the Antarctic Convergence, which is the natural boundary of the Antarctic, you are in the circum-Antarctic upwelling zone. This occurs when north-flowing cold water collides with warmer sub-Antarctic water masses. Not only the marine life but also the bird world are changing as a result. Wandering albatrosses, gray-headed albatrosses, black-browed albatrosses, black-browed albatrosses, Cape petrels, southern fulmars, blue petrels, blue petrels, and Antarctic petrels are just a few of the birds you can see.

4th day:

In the afternoon you will reach the Antarctic Peninsula near the Arctic Circle. If the sea ice permits, you can then continue driving down the Pendleton Strait, trying to land on the rarely-visited southern tip of Renaud Island. Here you will have the opportunity to see the first Adelie penguins of the trip and enjoy spectacular views of the icebergs in this surreal, snow-capped setting.

5th-6th Day:

From the peninsula you head towards the open sea, your course is set on Peter I Island.

7th day:

Known in Norway as Peter I Øy, this is an uninhabited volcanic island in the Bellingshausen Sea. It was discovered by Fabian von Bellingshausen in 1821 and named after Peter the Great of Russia. The island is claimed by Norway and is considered its own territory, although it is rarely visited by passenger ships due to its exposed nature. If the weather and ice conditions permit, you can take a helicopter flight on the glaciated northern part of the island. This is a unique chance to get to one of the most remote islands in the world.

8-14 Day:

You then sail through the Amundsen Sea, along and through the edge of the pack ice. Ice conditions vary from year to year and we try to take advantage of the opportunities that arise when there is sea ice. Emperor penguins, groups of seals on the ice floes, killer whales and minke whales along the ice edge and various species of petrels are possible sightings in this area.

15.-17. Day:

The next destination is to enter the Ross Sea from the east, later south towards the Bay of Whales and near Roosevelt Island (in 1934 by the American aviator Richard E. Byrd for President Franklin D. Roosevelt named). The Bay of Whales is part of the Ross Ice Shelf, the largest ice shelf in the world, and is constantly changing as the ice sheets recede. Large icebergs are present here, along with good opportunities for animal sightings. Roald Amundsen gained access to the shelf on the way to the South Pole, which he reached on December 14, 1911. The Japanese explorer Nobu Shirase also had his camp in this area in Kainan Bay in 1912. You can take a helicopter flight out onto the ice shelf if conditions permit. During this part of the trip we will also cross the international date line.

18.-20. Day:

You stay in the Ross Sea and visit Ross Island. In this place you can see Mount Erebus, Mount Terror and Mount Byrd, as well as many other famous places that played an important role in the British expeditions of the last century: Cape Royds, where Ernest Shackleton's hut still stands; Cape Evans, where Robert Falcon Scott's cabin can still be seen; and Hut Point, from which Scott and his men set out for the South Pole. When ice blocks the way but weather conditions are favorable, you can use the helicopters to land at one or more locations in the area. The American McMurdo Scientific Station and New Zealand's Scott Base are other possible places to visit. McMurdo Station is also a 10 km (6 mile) hike to Castle Rock for great views across the Ross Ice Shelf to the South Pole. Additionally, you can make a helicopter landing in Taylor Valley, one of the Dry Valleys, where conditions are closer to Mars than anywhere else on Earth.

21.-22. Day:

As you travel north along the west coast of the Ross Sea, you will pass the Drygalski Ice Tongue and Terra Nova Bay. If ice conditions allow, land on Inexpressible Island, which has a fascinating history linked to the lesser-known Northern Group of Captain Scott's expedition. It is also home to a large Adélie penguin colony. Should sea ice prevent entry into Terra Nova Bay, you can travel further north to the protected area of ​​Cape Hallett and its own Adelie colony.

23rd day:

Next, try a landing at Cape Adare, where humans wintered for the first time on the Antarctic continent: The Norwegian Borchgrevink stayed here in 1899 and sought refuge in a hut that is still surrounded by the largest Adelie penguin colony in the world.

24th day:

As you sail through the sea ice at the entrance to the Ross Sea, you begin your journey north through the Southern Ocean. The aim is to set a course for the Balleny Islands depending on the weather.

25th day:

Your planned route will take you across Sturge Island in the afternoon before crossing the Arctic Circle.

26.-28. Day:

You are sailing the vastness of the Southern Ocean again. Sea birds are very numerous on this stage and we hope for good weather conditions.

29th day:

Macca, also known as Macquarie Island, is a Tasmanian State Reserve that was named a World Heritage Site in 1997. The Australian Antarctic Department has its permanent base on this island, which the Australian seal hunter Frederick Hasselborough discovered while looking for new hunting grounds. The fauna on Macquarie is fantastic, there are colonies of king, donkey and southern rockhopper penguins - as well as nearly a million breeding pairs of the endemic king penguin. Elephant seals and various species of fur seals, such as the New Zealand fur seal, are also present.

30th day:

In a north-westerly direction to Campbell Island, numerous seabirds follow you again.

31st day:

Today's plan is to visit the New Zealand Sub-Antarctic Reserve and the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Campbell Island and enjoy its lush vegetation. The fauna on Campbell Island is also a highlight, with a large and easily accessible colony of southern king albatrosses on the main island. Wandering, Campbell, Gray-headed, Black-eyed and sooty albatrosses breed on the surrounding islands. There are also three types (breeding birds) of penguins: eastern rockhopper penguins, yellow-headed and yellow-eyed penguins. In the 18th century the seals were hunted to extinction in this area, but the elephant seals, fur seals and sea lions have now recovered.

32nd day:

Enjoy the wide horizons of your last day at sea before you reach New Zealand.

33rd day:

Every adventure, no matter how sublime it may be, has to end at some point. You land in Bluff, New Zealand's southernmost town, and you return home with memories that will take you wherever your next adventure is.

The travel program can vary considerably due to the influence of local ice and weather conditions, but also in order to be able to react to current conditions regarding animal observation. Flexibility is of the utmost importance on our expedition-style cruises. The average speed of the m / v Ortelius is 10.5 knots. Helicopter transfers: During these trips we bring our passengers ashore with Zodiacs. We also operate our two helicopters where Zodiacs cannot be used. Possible areas for helicopter transfers are Cape Evans (the location of Scott's Hut), Cape Royds (the location of Shackleton's Hut), the Ross Ice Shelf, Peter I Island, and the Dry Valleys. Our plan is to make five helicopter landings, although a specific helicopter flight time cannot be guaranteed in advance. Helicopters give us a great advantage in reaching certain places that are otherwise almost inaccessible, but this is a true journey of discovery into the most remote areas of the world: weather, ice and other forces of nature will dictate the final route. Conditions can change quickly and affect helicopter operations. Please understand and accept this. Safety is our greatest concern and no compromises can be made. The ship is equipped with two helicopters. If a helicopter is unable to fly for any reason, helicopter operations will cease or be canceled. A helicopter must always be supported by a second working helicopter. No guarantees can be given and in no event will claims be accepted. Special note: crossing the international date line Depending on the direction in which you cross the international date line, a day is lost or won. (One day is added to the west, one day is lost to the east.) Please take this into account when calculating your actual travel time. The days listed in the itinerary reflect the actual time traveled.


  • Cruise in booked cabin category
  • Full board on board
  • Landing with rubber dinghies
  • Helicopter transfer from ship to landing (certain times not guaranteed).
  • Information material & travel guide Antarctica
  • Rental rubber boots
  • Englishsp. Tour guide

Not included:

  • Flights to / from the airport
  • Passport and visa costs, entry and departure taxes
  • Optional excursions
  • Transfers to / from the port
  • Drinks on board (except tea, coffee)
  • Tips
  • Pers. expenditure
  • Travel insurance

Attendees *:

at least 70, max. 108 people

Travel dates 2020:

M / V Ortelius:

Travel prices per person from Ushuaia / to Bluff or vice versa:

4-bed cabin / shower / toilet, bunk beds, porthole: 22.500,-
3-bed cabin / shower / toilet, porthole: 24.500,-
2-bed cabin / shower / toilet, 2 lower beds, porthole, deck 3/4: 28.500,-
2-bed cabin / shower / toilet, 2 lower beds, window, deck 5: 29.500,-
2-bed deluxe / shower / toilet, 2 lower beds, window, deck 5: 30.900,-
2-bed superior / shower / toilet, double bed, window, deck 5: 32.500,-

Prices for single cabins on request.

* NORDWIND REISEN can if the minimum number of participants is not reached
cancel the trip no later than 60 days before the start of the trip.

all prices in Euro

Our travel prices are insured with R + V Versicherung:
Insurance Certificate No. 760 90 979057660

Info sheet EU package travel directive

Flight to and from Ushuaia / Bluff

We book for you the cheap and available flights suitable for your trip as well as the necessary hotel accommodation. The necessary flights and routes differ depending on the travel date and itinerary. The flight is booked as a special rate with advance booking deadline, depending on availability. If desired, additional overnight stays can be included in the arrival and departure package.

We will be happy to provide you with your offer for flights and hotels, including the necessary transfers in Argentina, on request at: NORDWIND REISEN Tel: 08331/87073 or [email protected]