Founded in 1993, Oceanwide Expeditions is one of the world’s oldest and largest expedition cruise companies, operating in the Arctic (Spitsbergen and Greenland) and Antarctica. Oceanwide is well known for its innovative itineraries such as outdoor activity programs and special interest theme voyages.
Oceanwide own and operates its own ships, an armada that ranges from romantic sailing vessels like the Rembrandt van Rijn and Noorderlicht to small modern cruise ships like the 53-cabin MV Ortelius and 53-cabin MV Plancius.
The fleet expands to five in 2019 with the launch of the MV Hondius, an 82-cabin cruiser named for the legendary Dutch mapmaker. The world’s first Polar Class 6 vessel meets the highest demands for ice-strengthened cruise ships and exceeds all of the latest, most stringent requirements of the Polar Code for low impact polar visits.
Oceanwide traces its roots to the 1970s and polar expeditions organized by the Arctic Center at the University of Groningen in the Netherlands, voyages that included a handful of tourists to help fund the scientific research.
From that humble beginning, the company has expanded into a broad range of Arctic and Antarctic adventure cruises, including voyages to Spitsbergen in the Norwegian Arctic and the Falkland Islands in the South Atlantic. They also created Basecamp Antarctica, an adventure cruise with options to hike, snowshoe, kayak, mountain climb, and camp overnight at the bottom of the world.
Oceanwide’s goal is taking passengers off the ship — and into the action — as often as possible. Sea routes are short and direct, allowing for maximum time on shore, while activities are designed to accommodate a wide range of experience and fitness levels.
The company’s expert crews and nimble ships allow for safe passage, speedy disembarkations and supremely flexible itineraries in incredibly remote locations. Cruises feature close-contact, twice-daily outings on land or sea. English is spoken by all staff and crew, and nearly every voyage includes guiding and announcements in English.
Oceanwide has captured a number of prestigious honors over the years including the first-ever Active Travel Award from Outside magazine and is a four-time winner of a World Travel Award as the Leading Polar Expedition Operator.