Join us on the adventure of a lifetime to the faraway reaches of the pristine Antarctic. This 11-day landscape and nature photography expedition will have you immersed in all of the beauty that this untouched region has to offer. From tall icebergs sculpted by nature to resemble buildings, to cute penguins and other wildlife going about their everyday life, you'll experience it all!
What's more, you'll sail the seas onboard a spectacular cruise ship, decked out in a luxurious manner to ensure all of the creature comforts during your trip away from home. With gorgeous summer light, the wonders of the Antarctic and surreal landscapes ahead, you'll find yourself taking your photography skills to new heights as you embrace nature at its best.
Total price: 14900 USD
16 – 27 Jan 2020
Guided by Daniel Kordan
3 Spots Left
Overview of the Tour
The Antarctic Photo Expedition sees us partnering with Aurora Expeditions to provide you a journey that you'll never forget.
You are invited to sail aboard the Greg Mortimer, a new addition to the Aurora Expeditions fleet that is fully stabilised. This polar class 6 vessel will guarantee smooth travels as you make your way to Antarctica on this amazing fly/sail photography adventure.
This tour is suitable for beginners, amateurs, hobbyist and professional photographers alike, with a spirit for adventure and a keen sense to explore outside of the box. You'll make your way by cruise ship from Ushuaia to Antarctica through the tumultuous Drake passage only once. To maximise your time in Antarctica, you'll fly back via Punta Arenas, giving you much more time to explore and photograph the landscape to your heart's content.
You'll receive photography education from 4 award-winning professional photographers, in a range of different modes. From classes to seminars on composition, to informative critique sessions, you'll learn all there is to know about landscape photography in order to expand upon your own portfolio.
This experience will be delivered exclusively aboard this wonderful new cruise ship that has been designed specifically for traversing the Antarctic. The vessel is limited to 100 passengers only, making for a more friendly and family-like atmosphere. A total of 44 spots aboard the Greg Mortimer will be reserved for our photography workshop. We have a total of 15 zodiacs on-hand to facilitate photography from the water and land, as well as an art room dedicated to editing and printing.
Together with Aurora Expeditions, we welcome photographers of all expertise, including your companions who may not be interested in photography at all but who would love to travel in style to Antarctica for an out-of-this-world experience.
About the Greg Mortimer
This incredible 104-meter vessel has been designed specifically for Antarctic expeditions, out of material that can withstand the tumultuous ocean waves and winds that the Drake Passage is known for. The Greg Mortimer has been built to extraordinary standards, making it a world-class ship to ensure luxuriously comfortable travel in even the worst weather conditions.
Day 1: Arrive in Ushuaia- 16 January 2020
Welcome to your first day on the most southernmost point of South America! Upon arrival at Ushuaia in the archipelago of Tierra del Fuego, you'll be met by your photography guides. They will transfer you to your hotel in time for check-in, before leaving you to explore the town at your own pace.
Day 2: Embark upon the Greg Mortimer cruise ship
This is when the adventure truly begins! Your luggage will be collected first thing in the morning from your hotel, then transferred to be processed and loaded aboard the Greg Mortimer ship. As this is happening, you can continue to explore the township of Ushuaia. For those who are already feeling a little adventurous, there will even be enough time to venture out into the nearby mountain range of the Tierra del Fuego National Park. For those still unwinding from the journey to reach Ushuaia, don't be deterred by the mountains yet, as there is a lot to do in town, including shopping at many of the duty-free vendors! Indulge in leather goods and Argentinian chocolates, as well as the other gourmet fare on offer.
In the late afternoon, your photography guides will meet you at the port to welcome you aboard the ship. The shooting opportunities will begin immediately, so be sure to have your camera at the ready! The views as the ship pulls out of the port are spectacular. After you have farewelled the town, you'll have some time to find your cabin and settle in, before meeting with your fellow travellers and the rest of the expedition crew to celebrate the first evening with a welcome dinner.
Day 3: Drake Passage Crossing
Have you heard the tales about the Drake Passage? The crossing over the next two days will be an experience that you'll never forget.
This is where tumultuous waters meet between the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, making for high drama across the seas! Even the strongest of us can feel a little seasick along this 1000 km stretch, so our trusty expedition team will offer some much-wanted distraction in the form of a series of lectures designed to prepare you for the days ahead. You'll learn everything you need to know before your first landing, from the history of Antarctica to the lowdown on its incredible wildlife and pristine environment.
The expedition team will also help you to familiarise yourself with biosecurity procedures and guidelines, which will ensure your safety as well as that of the wildlife. Don't put away your camera during this time as there'll be amazing opportunities to photograph giant albatrosses and soaring petrels as they trail the ship on our journey towards the South Shetland Islands.
Day 4: Drake Passage & South Shetland Islands
Today, you'll get your first glimpse of the South Shetland Islands as we make our way closer towards the tip of the Antarctic Peninsula. Be prepared for towering icebergs, which you'll be able to view from one of the ship's handy observation decks. Taking on different shapes as the warm of the sun melts and sculptures them over time, these icebergs are truly a beauty to behold. In the afternoon, there will be the possibility of making our first Zodiac landing, should the weather and conditions permit.
Days 5 -10: Antarctic Peninsula
Over the next six days, you'll have the opportunity to immerse yourself in the western part of the Antarctic Peninsula. Your expedition guides will tailor each day to make the most of the conditions, using their expert knowledge to get you to the right places at the right times for stunning landscape and nature photography. There will be no fixed itinerary; your shooting locations will rely on the weather, the condition of the surrounding ice, as well as the mysterious movements of the local wildlife.
This time of year, combined with a southerly latitude, means that you'll have up to 18-20 hours of daylight to make the most of each day. The long evenings are the perfect time to witness the surreal magic of the Antarctic light, bringing an intensely enchanting atmosphere to the surrounding nature and wildlife.
We'll sail by extraordinary icebergs and spend our evenings on the lookout for pods of whales, as well as colonies of Gentoo and Adelie penguins. Wildlife photography abounds with numerous compositions, including seals hauled out upon the glistening ice.
With a number of Zodiac landings each day, you'll have ample time to photograph the historical huts ashore. To add to the excitement, there is even be the possibility of camping on the islands, should the weather permit!!
Day 11: Flight from King George Island to Punta Arenas
This is the final day of your journey, during which we will arrive at the Frei Base on King George Island. Sadly, we'll say our farewells to the captivating and remote place that we've called home for the past week. You'll then fly towards the capital of Chile's southernmost region, Punta Arenas, where you'll be transferred to your hotel. After a short rest, we'll then meet for our last dinner as a group, where we'll celebrate the time that we've spent together and reminisce about the fun that we've had on this experience of a lifetime.
Please note that due to the location of King George Island, flight and weather conditions may vary. As such, we apologise in advance if you experience any delays in reaching Punta Arenas.
Day 12: Punta Arenas - 27 January 2020
The adventure has come to an end. After breakfast, you'll make your way towards the airport to begin your journey onwards or home with memory cards full of photos to remember this trip by and a host of newfound friends to keep in touch with for years to come.
Please note that the departure airport transfer is not included in your voyage cost, so please advise your travel agent if you require an airport transfer in order for it to be booked in advance.
Features of the Greg Mortimer Cruise Ship
This custom-designed ship is at the forefront of maritime and nautical advancements. Modern fittings combined with powerful technology ensures a safe and comfortable experience as you travel to the far reaches of Antarctica.
An inverted bow, known as patented marine engineering X-BOW™ technology, ensures smooth and ergonomic sailing out in the open ocean.
Hydraulic viewing platforms
A number of hydraulic viewing platforms provides guests with sweeping views all around. You'll be able to watch the wildlife and gaze at the passing landscape without disturbing the environment, all from the comfort of the cruise ship.
Zodiac launching platform
Specially designed platforms aboard the Greg Mortimer allow for 15 Zodiacs to depart from the vessel, meaning that you'll be able to explore your surroundings quickly without any wasted time. Whether you're keen to photograph penguins or to get to hard to reach places, you'll find endless beauty in the Antarctic to capture with each unique Zodiac landing.
Custom-built activity platform
You'll have the option to participate in a number of activities, all departing from the Greg Mortimer's custom-built activity platform. There is so much on offer, from kayaking to diving and ski-touring, so don't be afraid to get in touch with the expert activity guides onboard, who will be able to help you customise your own adventure.
We believe in conservation and protecting the environment, so it's only natural that the Greg Mortimer reflects these values. This world-class polar vessel features low energy consumption, high fuel efficiency, reduced emissions, low on-board plastic use and minimised light pollution. All of this is designed to lower the impact of our travels upon wildlife and to contribute towards managing our effect upon the environment. In addition, the Greg Mortimer is able to float anchorless during each Zodiac launch, helping to reduce disturbance upon the sea floor.
Your safety aboard the Greg Mortimer is our number one priority. That's why the ship features specialist return-to-port equipment, meaning that operating systems will remain online even in the event of engine failure. In addition, the vessel is Polar Code 6 compliant, meets BV class and has the latest SOLAS requirements. There is even a trained medical team onboard, located in a fully-equipped medical centre, that is ready to respond in the event of any incident or emergency.
The Antarctic Fly/Sail Experience
The fly and sail experience to and from Antarctica is designed to allow you to maximise your time spent photographing the landscape. With only one sailing through the Drake Passage, as well as a flight between Punta Arenas and King George Island, you'll have more time to practice your landscape photography skills and spend less time travelling overall.
Your Expedition Jacket
Upon boarding the ship, you'll receive an expedition jacket from our partners, Aurora Expeditions. This fantastic 2-in-1 jacket will keep you warm and dry during your Zodiac excursions, whilst maintaining style and form. It's a perfect addition to your gear and great for wearing over base layers.
Your Exclusive Photo Book
Every participant in this workshop will receive a complimentary photo book from Aurora Expeditions. This wonderful souvenir will document everywhere you've been, include sailing coordinates, and even feature photographs taken during your expedition. It's the perfect way to remember your amazing adventure to Antarctica.
Ship And Cabin Information
Everything aboard the Greg Mortimer has been designed with your comfort in mind. From staterooms with private bathrooms to personal storage, everything has been thought of so that you can direct your focus towards having an incredibly relaxing and exciting journey. Each room features twin and double-bed configuration options as well as international power sockets, daily cabin service, and all of the basic amenities to keep you pampered aboard.
The Greg Mortimer features a total of 58 Balcony Staterooms, all with en-suite bathrooms and private balconies. Floor to ceiling windows offer vast views of the ocean and your surrounds, while a number of connected Balcony Staterooms provide the perfect accommodation for families or small groups.
Onboard observation points
Onboard the Greg Mortimer, you'll find a number of dedicated observation points which are perfect for spotting wildlife. There is even an indoor 180-degree lounge and outdoor 360-degree open deck, maximising your bird spotting opportunities! Two hydraulic viewing platforms and a 270-degree open sundeck offer even more space for taking in the scenery as it drifts past. In addition, an open-bridge policy aboard the vessel means that you can head up to the bridge at any time to chat with the captain and the officers, or even just to catch a glimpse of the ins-and-outs of how the ship works.
Our itinerary allows for 2-3 Zodiac landings on a daily basis, weather and conditions permitting. On each landing, you'll be able to explore everything on shore, from historic huts to penguin colonies and more. While away your time by photographing spectacular rock formations or snapping telephoto shots of the seabirds as they fly past... the opportunities with each shore excursion are endless! The Zodiac launching platforms are all located at sea level, ensuring faster and safer transfers to shore.
With so much packed into your itinerary, you'll be pressed to find some free time! However, if you do find yourself in need of an activity to keep you occupied, then there is the option of participating in kayaking, skiing, diving and climbing. Whatever your desire, the ship's activity experts will be on-hand to help you customise your experience.
Don't even think about starving during this incredible Antarctic expedition! You'll receive complimentary coffee, tea and snack facilities from the moment that you step aboard. A wide range of menu options will satisfy any hunger, with all meals being served in a large dining room. There's no need to go thirsty either, as house wines, beers and soft drinks are included with every dinner service. During the final day of your adventure, a special four-course farewell dinner will be served with cocktails, making for an exciting time to share and reflect upon your journey with your peers and expedition team.
There is no time for boredom on this workshop. You'll participate in a number of presentations throughout the day, all held within the spacious lecture room. There is so much to take in, from history to culture, biology and climate change. The onboard multimedia room provides photographers with a place to edit and review photos, while two bars and lounges are the perfect place to mingle. If you're keen to learn more, then we recommend exploring the ship's library, where you'll be able to learn at your own pace. Meanwhile, a Wellness Centre with gym equipment, sauna and spa makes for a luxurious end to each and every day!
Arrival transfer from airport to hotel on Day 1 (preferred flights only)
One night’s hotel accommodation with breakfast in Ushuaia on Day 1
Luggage transfer from your hotel in Ushuaia to ship on Day 2
Flight from King George Island to Punta Arenas on Day 11
Transfer to hotel in Punta Arenas on Day 11
One night’s hotel accommodation with breakfast in Punta Arenas on Day 11
On-board accommodation during voyage including daily cabin service
All meals, snacks, tea and coffee during voyage
Beer, house wine and soft drinks with dinner
All shore excursions and Zodiac cruises
Educational lectures and guiding services from expedition team
Access to our onboard doctor and basic medical services
A 3-in-1 waterproof polar expedition jacket
Complimentary use of gumboots during the voyage
Comprehensive pre-departure information
A printed photo book produced with photos from your voyage
Port surcharges, permits and landing fees
International or domestic flights to or within South America, unless specified
Transfers not mentioned in the itinerary
Airport arrival or departure taxes
Passport, visa, reciprocity and vaccination charges
Travel insurance or emergency evacuation charges
Hotels and meals not included in itinerary
Optional excursions not included in the itinerary
Optional activity surcharges
All items of a personal nature including but not limited to: alcoholic beverages and soft drinks (outside of dinner service), laundry services, personal clothing, medical expenses, gratuities, and email or phone charges.
Cancellation and Refund Policy
We strongly recommend you to get a Trip Cancellation & Travel Insurance after booking your trip. If you cancel and the Workshop is otherwise filled, we will refund you the full amount you have paid towards the tuition, minus a $300 service charge. If you cancel and the Workshop does not fill, then you will be refunded according to the following schedule, based on the full fee of the Workshop:
Greater than 90 days from the start date of the Workshop: full refund minus $300 service fee.
75 days or more: 75% refund 60 days or more: 50% refund
Less than 60 days: no refund
Refunds will be paid by the same method that the original payment was made.
We highly recommend that you get a travel and medical insurance. Your own domestic government medical insurance and private health scheme will not cover you whilst you are overseas.