Falkland Islands – South Georgia Islands – Antarctic Peninsula

Antarctica Photography Expedition

  • 9-16 Mar 2017 Available
  • 18-25 Mar 2017 Available
  • 2-15 Apr 2017 Available

This tour, embarking from the southern port of Madryn, Argentina, navigates through the charming islands of the south Atlantic before reaching Antarctic waters. Ideal for keen photographers, you can expect to capture more penguins, birds, seals, ice, and glacial landscapes than anywhere else in the world.

Total price: 3700 USD

Day 1: Arrival - Reine

Our trip around the South Atlantic’s most spectacular islands begins in the afternoon at Puerto Madryn, Argentina. We will embark from the port and sail towards the Falkland Islands. At the beginning of our journey, as we travel through Golfo Nuevo, we have a fine chance of witnessing the many thousands of Southern Right whales that migrate through the area.

Day 2 & 3: At sea, en-route to the Falkland Islands

Our second and third days will be largely characterised by the rolling waves of the South Atlantic. The ship will be followed by a number of photogenic bird species, including albatross, storm petrels, shearwaters, and diving petrels. We’ll be on deck with our cameras at the ready to capture the area’s birdlife in its natural habitat.

Day 4: Arrival at the Islas Malvinas

On day four we will arrive at the Falkland Islands and begin exploring the western outskirts, known as the Islas Malvinas. Included in our itinerary will be Saunders Island, which is home to a range of wildlife ideal for those who want to combine landscape photography with the many species that call the island home. With any luck we’ll come across black-browed albatross and witness their comically clumsy landings. There’s also a large population of local penguins, including Rock Hopper penguins. King penguins, Magellanic penguins, and Gentoo penguins.

If the weather holds up, the group will visit the untouched island of Steeple Jason. There we can shoot the world’s largest Black-browed albatross colony, thought to be around 113.000-strong. If conditions don’t allow a trip to Steeple Jason, we can take a walk along the shore of Carcass Island. If we’re lucky we'll get up close and personal with breeding Magellanic and Gentoo penguins, while there are also plenty of waders and passerine birds in the area.

Day 5: Exploring the Falklands’ Capital

Stanley is the capital of the Falklands, and offers a unique blend of South American culture and old English charm. The Falklands remain a British colony and in the surrounding waters are some hints to the area’s colonial past, including a number of stranded clipper ships from one hundred years ago. The group will be free to roam the town and explore with cameras in hand, and we personally recommend a trip to the local church or museum, although unfortunately the admission for these is not included in the tour!

Day 6 - 7: Crossing the Antarctic Convergence to South Georgia

Leaving Stanley, the ship will sail to the east and on to our destination of South Georgia. The route takes us further south, and we will cross the Antarctic Convergence into significantly colder waters. Close to the convergence there are always plenty of seabirds, including several species of Albatross, Shearwaters, Petrels, Prions, and Skuas. We will have plenty of time and several sessions capturing these magnificent birds in flight.

Day 8 - 11: South Georgia

After what is hopefully a smooth, picturesque sail, day 8 will offer some incredible photographic opportunities straight from our first landing site in South Georgia. If time and weather conditions permit, we will attempt to visit the bay of Elsehul. Elsehul is famous for being an active breeding ground for Fur Seals, so we will be sure to capture as much of the natural spectacle as possible.

After, we will head to potential landing sites at Right Whale Bay, Salisbury Plain, Godthul, St. Andrews Bay, Gold Harbour, Cooper Bay and the Drygalski Fjord - each of which has something different to offer. We will do our best to give you every chance to photograph as much of the stunning landscape and wildlife as possible. Aside from the Fur Seals of Elsehul, we could come across Elephant seals and King Penguins. A moment to remember from the entire voyage will be our stop at Prion Island. There we will observe the breeding grounds of the enormous Wandering Albatross, and witness their chicks take to the skies for the first time.

The next stops at Salisbury Plain, St Andrews Bay, and Gold Harbour are also guaranteed to make any wildlife photographer’s day. As well as being home to the three largest King Penguin colonies in South Georgia, there also happens to be several of the largest breeding beaches for Southern Elephant Seals on the planet. We will be travelling during the peak time of the breeding cycle, so be prepared for incredible scenes as huge Elephant Seals fight over territory and seek to dominate male challengers. It’s going to be epic.

In Fortuna Bay the group has the opportunity to trace the steps of the legendary Ernest Shackleton, a British explorer who set out on an Antarctic expedition in 1916. His crew’s adventure got into some difficulty among the ice, but his momentous hike from Fortuna Bay to Stromness Bay -where he eventually found a settlement and was able to locate a ship he needed to rescue the crewmates he had left behind - has gone down in history.

After our hike, at Grytviken we can have a wander around an eerie, abandoned whaling village. Here King Penguins stroll in the streets and many buildings have been taken over by seals, so you can expect some fantastic photography opportunities unlike anything you have seen before. To get a better sense of the area’s heritage, we’ll visit the Whaling History Museum, as well as the grave of Ernest Shackleton. If all goes to plan, we will sail out of South Georgia in the afternoon on day eleven.

Day 12: The Journey to the South Orkney Islands

After leaving South Georgia, our adventure will take us further south through the sea ice towards the South Orkney Islands. Our ship will among the seabirds once more, especially as we encounter spates of sea ice. Expect to be photographing a range of Antarctic species, including the McCormick Skua and the Snow Petrel.

Day 13: South Orkney Islands

On the thirteenth day we will arrive at the South Orkney Islands. The combination of sea mist, clear waters, amazing wildlife and imperious glaciers make the collection of isles a photographer’s dream. The group will gain special access to the Argentinian base of Orcadas. As you can imagine, the staff don’t get too many visitors, so we will be able to use their facilities and take advantage of the staggering views of the nearby glaciers.

Day 14: Towards Antarctica

On day fourteen we will leave the refuge of the South Orkney Islands and head further south toward Antarctica. It’s going to get colder, but the many species of birds should provide enough entertainment to keep your hands busy and warm!

Day 15 - 17: Antarctic Peninsula

On day fifteen it will be our aim to set foot on the continent of Antarctica. If the sea ice permits, we will stop at Brown Bluff, before heading further south through the Weddell Sea. Aside from navigating through the sea ice, we will also be among the enormous icebergs that break off from the main continent, allowing for some spectacular photography.

If the conditions are good enough, we may choose to spend longer in the Weddell Sea, and could even take a zodiac craft out to get up close and personal with the ice and hunt for those once-in-a-lifetime shots.

Crabeater and Leopard seals, along with Chinstrap Penguins, can all be photographed as we head to the southern side of Trinity Island, one of a number of stops littered off the coast. As well as being in sight of the magnificent, glacial landscapes of Antarctica, Mikkelson Harbour is home to yet more species of Penguin, this time the Gentoo.

Another potential stop, but also a must-see when in this part of the world, is Deception Island. It’s been suggested that the island is called so because it gives the illusion of being a complete island. In fact, Deception has a small opening through which we can sail into its largely hollow middle. Once our ship sails through the entrance and into the natural harbour, the group will have have incredible views of the island’s lagoon. There are also hot springs nearby and another abandoned whaling station. The whaling station in Whalers Bay and the surrounding area is home to thousands of Petrels, Kelp Gulls, Brown and South Polar Skuas, and Antarctic Terns.

To the north we will try and visit Half Moon Island, which, aside from characterising the bleak beauty of the continent, is home to a Chinstrap penguin rookery and an Argentinean Camera station that is rarely in use. After our time on Half Moon Island we will head out once more into the open ocean, in the direction Ushuaia.

Day 18 - 19: To Ushuaia

Our passage north will take us back to the southern tip of Argentina, where we will end the voyage in the port of Ushuaia. On this final journey we can expect to see a wide range of birds, which we can capture in action from the deck of the ship.

Day 20: The end of our adventure

Almost three weeks after we set off, the South Atlantic adventure will come to an end. We will aim to arrive back in Argentina on day 20 of the trip. We should disembark in the morning, after a final breakfast farewell.

Ship and Cabin Information

m/v Plancius
The ice-strengthened vessel Plancius is an ideal vessel for polar expedition cruises in the Arctic and Antarctic.

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Cabins aboard
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Tour Leaders

Iurie Belegurschi

Iurie Belegurschi is an award winning fine art nature and landscape photographer. He was born in Moldova, but moved to Reykjavik in Iceland in 2006 to study tourism and hospitality. Iurie is the leading photography guide and workshop instructor in Iceland, and his tours are much sought after both by locals and international clients. In addition to running photography tours, his unique and jaw-dropping landscape photos have been published worldwide in books, calendars, ad campaigns, commercials and even found their way to highly esteemed newspapers such as The Daily Mail, The Independent, The Sun, The Huffington Post and The Telegraph to mention just a few. Iurie’s two main passions in life are photography and travelling. He is a big fan of winterscapes and night photography, with the latter being his most desired activity.
Capturing starry nights and the elusive Aurora Borealis is something that gives him a sense of fulfillment and peace. Living in Iceland and having this interest, is a match made in heaven.

Iurie co-founded the hugely popular Guide To Iceland platform. This website is the go-to website for all things related to Icelandic tourism. This platform is currently expanding, and Iurie and his team are working hard to establish similar solutions in Norway, New Zealand, Italy, Greenland and the Asian market.

Daniel Kordan

Daniel was born in Moscow area. In his childhood he graduated the art school. After that, he is studied in Moscow institute of Physics and Technology and became an optics physicist. During the study he gain experience not only in physics, but also in mountain climbing and hiking, guiding tourist groups in winter and in summer in Russian mountains. Right after graduation he became a guide of photo-workshops and chief editor of “Continent expedition” magazine. This magazine is about travel and adventures all over the world. He has got several awards in photography: Golden Turtle’ 13 Nature nomination winner, National Geographic Russia contest 2013 and 2014 finalist, Best of Russia’13 and ’14 winner, best photographer’13 finalist and others. He is spending most of his time in Norway, Lofoten islands and in Tuscany at villa Gaia, guiding groups of photographers.
Workshops' Highlights:
  • Understanding the concept of capturing fine art landscape and nature photography
  • Understanding visual design and composition
  • Understanding and working with light
  • Understanding the methodology behind long exposure and astro/night photography
  • Understanding how, when and where to use various filters.

Total Price : 3700 $ per person double occupancy .
Single room supplement: 650$
Registration deposit: 1000$
Maximum Number of Participants: 12
Payment in Full: 60 days prior to the workshop starting date.

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  • Voyage aboard the indicated vessel as indicated in the itinerary
  • All meals throughout the voyage aboard the ship including snacks, coffee and tea.
  • All shore excursions and activities throughout the voyage by Zodiac.
  • Program of lectures by noted naturalists and leadership by experienced expedition staff.
  • Free use of rubber boots and snowshoes.
  • Pre-scheduled group transfer from the vessel to the airport in Ushuaia (directly after disembarkation).
  • All miscellaneous service taxes and port charges throughout the programme.
  • Comprehensive pre-departure material.
Not included:
  • Any airfare, whether on scheduled or charter flights
  • Pre- and post- land arrangements.
  • Passport and visa expenses.
  • Government arrival and departure taxes.
  • Meals ashore.
  • Baggage, cancellation and personal insurance (which is mandatory).
  • Excess baggage charges and all items of a personal nature such as laundry, bar, beverage charges and telecommunication charges.
  • The customary gratuity at the end of the voyages for stewards and other service personnel aboard (guidelines will be provided).

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Cancellation and Refund Policy

If you cancel and the Workshop is otherwise filled, we will refund you the full amount you have paid towards the tuition, minus a $150 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 60 days from the start date of the Workshop: full refund minus $150 fee.
45 days: 75% refund
30 days: 50% refund
Less than 30 days: no refund

Refunds will be paid by the same method that the original payment was made.
Refunds will be initiated within 72 hours of the time that the request is approved.

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