Antarctica Photography Expedition with Daniel Kordan - 2024
Iceland Photo Tours welcomes you on board to the Schooner Amazone, a classic Dutch sailboat. Designed to go on polar expeditions under any conditions. This is a photography voyage that is suitable for photographers of all levels seeking the adventure of a lifetime to Antarctica. The unique nature of this FLY/SAIL adventure means that we will sail through the Drake passage only once, to cross from Ushuaia to Antarctica within roughly two days. On the way back, you will fly to Punta Arenas, thereby extending the amount of time that you will have to explore Antarctica.
The schooner Amazone is a modern expedition sailboat designed by a famous Dutch ship builder Olivier van Meer for comfortable long distance expeditions in polar latitudes. This tour is designed for adventurous photographers and will be guided by award winning pro photographer Daniel Kordan, who will offer a range of processing classes, lectures on composition, as well as critique sessions to help you build upon your portfolio. All of this onboard an extraordinary vessel that’s hosts only 18 passengers, featuring 2 flexible zodiacs and a friendly, family-style atmosphere.
Day 1 - Day 1: Arrive in Ushuaia and embarking the boat - 13 January 2024
We strongly recommend that you arrive Ushuaia 2 days before our embarkation to avoid missing the boat with flight cancellations. There are some nice hiking and photography activities that can be done near Ushuaia, at Terra del Fuego and El Fin del Mundo, the end of the Earth.
As we embark the Amazone Schooner, you will meet the crew who will give your safety instructions.
Then, we start our great adventure to the White Continent. We sail straight through the Beagle channel enjoying the green steep mountains and maybe to see some whales, dolphins and Magellanic penguins .
Day 2 - Days 2–5: The Drake Passage
The Drake passage is the most difficult part of this expedition as this is known for its furious winds and many people are worried about it. And no doubt that crossing this passage will be a great achievement. Each time the condition is different: sometimes everything is clear but sometimes it can be wavy, best is to come prepared and bring plenty of motion sickness tablets and patches.
Day 3 - Day 6: Bellingshausen Polar Station
After we cross the Drake Passage, we will be able to see the beautiful mountains and icebergs of the South Shetland Islands. Our first landing spot is the Bellingshausen Polar Station located in the Waterloo Island where you will see how Russian polar explorers live. We'll visit the southernmost church on the Earth — the Saint Trinity Church plus, we will get the chance to experience a Russian sauna.
Day 4 - Day 7: Yankee Harbour Islands and Halfmoon Island
On the 7th day, we are going to explore the Yankee Harbour Islands and the Halfmoon Island. Yankee Harbour is a protected harbour with a pebble coast where you can find some Gentoo penguin colonies, elephant seals and even fur seals. In Halfmoon Island, we can make different landscape compositions with the Antarctic moss plus if lucky we get to see some elephant seals, gentoo, chinstrap penguins and giant petrels.
Day 5 - Day 8: Deception Island
We will spend a night in a submerged caldera of one of the active volcanoes in Deception Island. The island structure resembles a horseshoe with the best natural harbour inside where one can find shelter and wait till the rough weather subsides. There was a whale factory here at the beginning of the 20th century; its remains are still here. The Bailey Head headland, located on the outer part of the island, is inhabited by the largest colony of Antarctic penguins. This is an amazingly beautiful place — and it is equally amazing to land but in order to get there we'll need zero wind and still ocean.
Day 6 - Day 9: Trinity Island
On day 9th day, we will sail on a boat among the huge icebergs and cliff arches coming out of the water.
Day 7 - Day 10: Enterprise
We'll moor for a night to a sunken ship in the place called Enterprise. But on the daytime, if we are lucky, we'll see one of the most stunning wildlife activities — bubble net feeding, the process when the whales blow bubbles from their noses to encircle their food like a net, and then several whales come up to the surface at once and gulp up the krill caught into their bubble trap. From above these bubbles look like an even spiral. That is an unbelievable, breathtaking show!
Day 8 - Day 11: Orne Harbour Island and Cuverville Island
We'll head after to Orne Harbour where we will see the Gentoo penguins colony and blue-eyed shags. If the weather is good, we'll have the chance to climb some hill and watch the whales and seals. From this viewpoint also, you will see a panorama of the island clusters and icebergs.
We will also explore the Cuverville Island Bay and Neko Harbour. You may photograph the icebergs around the dark, cliffy island of Cuverville. Wildlife photography includes a colony of papua penguins and the seals who are enjoying themselves on the ice floes. There is another penguin colony which inhabits the Neko Harbour. However, our focus in this island is to witness the calving off of the ice chunks in the gigantic glacier as it falls into the water with a roaring sound and makes a big wave.
Day 9 - Day 12: Lemaire Channel and Yalour Islands
We will cross the Lemaire Channel which separates the Booth Island from the Antarctic Peninsula mainland. The narrowest point of this channel is only 300 meters wide. This is an amazing experience to see the sheer cliffs up to 400 meters high rising from both sides of the vessel. Plus orcas and humpback whales are usually spotted in this area. Sailing through this channel is one of the best moments of the Antarctic cruise.
Next is the Yalour Islands, a group of low rocky islands not far from the Academic Vernadsky station. This island is surrounded by icebergs and ice floes with seals resting on them plus some colonies of Adélie penguins.
Day 10 - Day 13: Port Lockroy
We will then stop at Port Lockroy station where you can send postcards. From a whale factory at the beginning of the 20th century, it was trasformed into a British Antarctic Exploration Centre, and in 1996 they turned it into a museum and the southernmost post office in the world. You can mail a postcard or a letter from here, and buy some souvenirs.
Day 11 - Days 14–17: The Drake Passage
We will sail back to Ushuaia so we pass by the Drake Passage again. We'll enjoy a traditional barbecue at the end of the expedition as we share and cherish our Antarctic experience. We’ll have reached the end of our adventure to one of the last great wildernesses on the planet. Please have at least 3 days after we finish the tour in Ushuaia.
Cancellation and Refund Policy
We strongly recommend you to get Trip Cancellation & Travel Insurance after booking your trip. If you cancel the trip you will be refunded according to the following schedule, based on the full fee of the Workshop:
Greater than 180 days from the start date of the Expedition: Full refund minus $2500.
120 days or more: 50% refund
Less than 120 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 medical insurance and private health scheme will not cover you whilst you are overseas.
The tour will always dependent on weather, as the weather can be highly unpredictable. Likewise, sightings of wildlife will be dependent on the movements of the animals themselves and cannot be guaranteed.
13-29 January 2024 - guided by Daniel Kordan
Features of the Schooner Amazone
This expedition is designed to maximise your time in Antarctica and South Georgia, utilising a fly and sail experience between Punta Arenas and King George Island that results in less travel overall during the round-trip to and from our destination.
During this expedition, the Schooner Amazone will be your home away from home. As such, it has been designed to meet your best adventure to Antarctica!
SHIP AND CABIN INFORMATION
The Schooner Amazone is specially designed to offer you an incredible and beautiful experience in the Antarctic. Its dramatic red sails add beauty to the vessel which makes it a picture perfect subject against the icy mountains. This boat is equipped with
• 5 heads
• 5 showers
• a bar
• a fully equipped galley
• a washing and drying machine
• equipment for delivering presentations
• hot water supply and heating in all the areas
• satellite communication
• navigation and life-saving equipment
• 3kW inverter
• 220V diesel generator
• 2 landing boats
A deposit of 5000 USD is due upon registration and will secure your spot on this photography expedition. Second payment of 5000 USD is due by April 2023. Final balance will be due by October 2023
Renowned landscape photographer, Daniel Kordan, is an explorer at heart. Having realized his passion for photography and traveling at a young age, he now spends his time sharing his vision and the many wonders of the world with people all around him.