Destination: Antarctic Peninsula, South Georgia & the Falkland Islands
Starting at: $0
Created by photographers, for photographers!. This exclusive cruise offers photographers more opportunities, more shore time and more instruction from veteran photographers than any other cruise to Antarctica. You'll get 14 full days of photography at the Antarctic Peninsula, South Georgia and the Falkland Islands with a luxurious amount of time ashore to take your time photographing. Unlike any other cruise!Contact us about this trip Share
Depart from home
Arrive in Ushuaia, Argentina. The hotel tonight is included.
The morning is free to explore the southernmost city in the world. A bus tour of Tierra del Fuego National Park is optional. In late afternoon we board our ship and set sail to the Falkland Islands. (BD)
We start our journey around the "Scotia Arc," traveling with the prevailing current to the Falkland Islands. We see a variety of birds, including our first black-browed and wandering albatrosses, and thousands of shearwaters and petrels; we also hope to see whales and dolphins. On all our "at sea" days throughout the cruise, there are photography and natural history discussions and slide presentations; plus, if wind conditions are right, great bird-flight shots can be made on deck. (All meals are included while aboard ship.)
During our three days in the Falklands we make landings on four substantially diverse islands with photogenic rockhopper penguins, beaches dotted with oystercatchers and with kelp and upland geese, meadows punctuated with active Magellanic penguin burrows, and exciting black-browed albatross colonies. Other photo subjects should include striated caracaras, snowy sheathbills, imperial cormorants and a host of other waterbirds.
Departing the Falklands, our ship crosses the Scotia Sea. Although we are far from land, there is much to see if you are an active wildlife observer on deck, and numerous leader presentations prepare us for the landings to come. Our course takes us across the Antarctic Convergence, the invisible boundary between the cold Antarctic water and the warmer currents flowing from the South Atlantic. We start to see our first icebergs. Our next landfall is South Georgia, some 800 miles from the Falklands. With favorable weather, we arrive at South Georgia the evening of Day 10.
This absolutely phenomenal island is 102 miles long and 24 miles wide—a mere speck in the vast Southern Ocean. At South Georgia, we repeatedly find ourselves in stunning colonies of king penguins, macaroni penguins and wandering albatrosses. Here, at the most spectacular island on Earth, we usually stop at only one landing site per day, but our experience at these locations surpasses what any other ship offers to its passengers, without exception. We visit the enormous king penguin colony of the incomparable Salisbury Plain for two very full days, Prion Island in the Bay of Isles for fur seals, wanderers and gentoo penguins, Hercules Bay for macaronis, and spend a day each at wildlife-packed St. Andrews Bay and Cooper Bay for good measure. There are innumerable seals throughout the landing sites, including gigantic elephant seals and Antarctic fur seals. The landscape, reminiscent of the last ice age, is dotted with vast glaciers, meltwater streams, alluvial beaches and offshore icebergs. Our six days should allow us to locate and photograph some of the more unusual nesting species, such as light-mantled sooty albatrosses, southern giant petrels and macaroni penguins, as well as to let us take our time looking for the best possible photo situations in the vast king penguin colonies. John Shaw once commented that his first visit to the Salisbury Plain, with its tens of thousands of king penguins, was one of the two best wildlife photography days of his career, rivaled only by his best day in Kenya.
We spend these days cruising the South Atlantic en route to Antarctica via the South Orkneys. Icebergs are now a familiar sight and, depending on our timing we may choose to cruise the South Orkney's iceberg graveyard in hopes of photographing a beautiful berg covered with penguins.
The Antarctic Peninsula and South Shetlands offer photography that packs these exciting next five days. We select landings at wildlife and scenic areas only, avoiding national bases and historic sites that have meager wildlife populations. We visit Paulet Island with its massive Adélie colonies, cruise the Neumayer and Lemaire Channels—the quintessential Antarctic scenery locations—and also land our Zodiacs adjacent to gentoo and chinstrap penguin colonies and loafing beaches. Our leaders use their experience to select the best areas to optimize our photography and ensure our safety.
We spend these two days at sea, crossing the renowned Drake Passage. Cape Horn looms on the horizon as we make our return trip and cruise up the Beagle Channel toward Ushuaia.
Arriving in Ushuaia, we disembark the ship and transfer to the airport to depart for home. (B)
24-night photography cruise as indicated in the Itinerary
Hotel night in Ushuaia, Argentina (November 3, 2013)
All meals aboard the ship
Services of photographer-naturalist guides throughout the voyage
Series of presentations/lectures on photography and natural history of Antarctica
Coffee, tea and snack available throughout the day
Visit the most diverse and photogenic of the Falkland Islands
Six full days of photography at incredible South Georgia
Photograph for five days at the Antarctic Peninsula and adjacent islands
An excellent trip that a non-photographing spouse will thoroughly enjoy
PLEASE NOTE: Due to the nature of expedition cruising, itineraries are subject to change due to weather, ice conditions, natural and cultural events, wildlife viewing opportunities and other logistical considerations. In general, a ship's crew will endeavor to complete the itinerary provided, but the ultimate decision lies with the ship's captain and expedition leaders.