Start: December 1, 2024 | Ushuaia, Argentina
End: December 22, 2024 | Ushuaia, Argentina
$11900 $11400 (Before November 30, 2023)
Group: Maximum 7 guests
Professional Experienced Captain, First Mate, Sailor, Fantastc Cook
«On the edge of our planet lies, like a sleeping princess, the earth clad in blue. Sinister and beautiful, she lies in her frosty slumber, in the folds of a mantle of snow, glowing with amethysts and emeralds of ice. She sleeps in the play of the icy halos of the Moon and the Sun, and her horizons are painted in pink, blue, gold, and green tones of pastel ... Such is Antarctica - a continent almost equal in area to South America, whose internal regions are actually less known to us than the illuminated side of the Moon».
These beautiful words written by US naval officer and polar explorer Richard Evelyn Byrd Jr. in 1947 remain correct today.
From a visual point of view, little has changed here over the past 80 years, but the logistics have changed a lot. Since the early 2000s, many travel companies have been organizing trips to Antarctica. The most popular type of Antarctic tourism today is an expeditionary sea cruise. There is at least one drawback to this kind of Antarctic tourism for the photographer - the huge number of people on board and as a result - on shore. Modern technologies, navigation, and communication systems are allowing traveling to Antarctica in smaller vessels and we are happy to offer you a such unique opportunity.
If you’re looking to experience one of the most untouched regions of the world in an intimate, unhurried way away from the crowds — we are pleased to offer this private-charter photographic expedition aboard the polar class yacht SY Wind Dancer to you!
Exploring Antarctica on an expedition sailing yacht gives us an opportunity to choose the best spots and conditions for photography. Each day will be different! We can photograph icebergs and wildlife from the yacht and zodiac, land at penguin colonies, and explore historic scientific bases and whaling sites. The flexibility allows us to take full advantage of whatever Antarctica offers, from enjoying incredible southern sunset on the shore to following a pod of bubble-feeding whales with Wind Dancer. We can stop, enjoy and photograph every time we want. The crew and itinerary flexibility mean that when there is an opportunity – we go for it. We’ll also be able to push back the meal time if something interesting is going on onshore or in the water.
This expedition is dedicated to the specific needs and interests of photographers and is crafted to get the best experience possible photographing Antarctic wildlife and Landscapes. Vast Adélie, Chinstrap, and Gentoo penguin colonies will be at the top of our priority list. Other photogenic wildlife we expect to meet includes several species of seals such as Weddell, Crabeater, Fur, Elephant, and Leopard seals. There are also many interesting birds around including Giant Southern Petrels, South Polar Skuas, Antarctic Terns, Blue-eyed Shags, and others. Several species of whales frequent cold Antarctic waters and with some luck, we can witness the unique bubble-net feeding performance. Antarctica is one of the hot spots for photographing wildlife in a great landscape. The breathtaking snow-covered landscape combined with the abundance of wildlife will be among our main subjects. Our perfectly selected time frame will provide the best possible photo opportunities. The ground is mostly covered with snow, busy penguins are in process of building nests and mating (the most successful are already on the nests), and occasional snowfalls make perfect conditions for dramatic landscape and wildlife photography. Depending on the spring progress some Gentoo and Chinstraps in Shetland islands may already have chicks hatched by the end of our trip.
To get an idea of the sort of wildlife and landscape photographs you can take on this expedition please look through the Gallery. You can play the full-screen slideshow even on your phone (just flip it horizontally).
We built this itinerary trying to make our expedition the most effective. We have favorite places on the Shetland Islands and Antarctic Peninsula, and always try to visit them. Nevertheless, the route depends not only on our desires but also on the current weather and ice situation. At this time of the year, we expect areas like the Weddel sea to be mostly closed with ice, but there will be many other areas for us to explore and photograph including an attempt at the Lemaire Channel and Akademik Vernadsky Research Base. We will take advantage of weather and light to maximize our photographic opportunities at all times.
Your photography leader has ultimate knowledge of the best landing spots, animal and bird behavior, and shooting in different, at times challenging Antarctic weather conditions. He will be permanently working with the captain to optimize our route and grab the best opportunities Antarctica will offer.
SY Wind Dancer, a 21-meter steel sail-motor Bermuda sloop was designed by Sciomachen - Naval Architects and Yacht Designers and built by Viking Marine-Rahmi H.Koc in 1996. The metal hull with a long keel line has excellent seaworthiness.
On board is a professional crew with extensive experience in sailing icy waters: Captain, First Mate, sailor, and talented cook.
In 2015 and 2018, a major reconstruction of the yacht was carried out for its operation in the high latitudes of the Arctic and Antarctica. Wind Dancer is an ice-class vessel, and its equipment allows sailing of any complexity, including high latitudes with challenging ice conditions.
For a comfortable stay of guests and crew on board, there are:
Two diesel generators, service batteries, and a powerful inverter provide all the premises of the yacht with a voltage of 220 volts during long passages. An inflatable boat with an outboard motor ensures the landing of the crew on the shore.
The yacht can comfortably accommodate 12 people: 8 passengers and 4 crew members. The accommodation is provided in comfortable cozy cabins with separate beds for 2 people. Each member of the expedition will be provided with a duvet, pillow, bed linen, and towel.
CABINS 1 & 2 |
$11900 $11,400 (before November 30, 2023)
Two lower berths, wardrobe, and drawers. Shared Bathroom.
CABIN 3 |
$11900 $11,400 (before November 30, 2023)
One bunk (one upper and one lower berth), wardrobe, and drawers. Bathroom shared between two cabins.
CABIN 4 |
$12900 $12,400 (before November 30, 2023)
Two lower berths, wardrobe, and drawers. Private bathroom.
Prices quoted per person in US$, are based on twin-share. If you wish to have your own private cabin, the single occupancy supplement is 90% of the twin share price. No single supplement applies if you are willing to share your cabin.
Participating in this voyage does not require a high level of physical fitness but the length, commitment, and remoteness of this expedition require participants to be in overall good physical and mental health.
We will be on one of the biggest and most comfortable sailing boats operating in the Antarctic, with private double cabins, a water maker, 4 bathrooms, hot showers, and a 24/7 running heater keeping the inside dry, warm, and cozy. Anyway, sailing on an Expedition Yacht means that the cabins and common places are rather small and all the crew and passengers share pretty much everything. It can be considered an Adventure in its true meaning!
No sailing experience is necessary but the crew can offer the rare opportunity to learn many things about the ship and life aboard it with hands-on experiences (only if you are interested). In this case, you aren’t a mere spectator – you are an active, participating crewmate! Some of your duties may include ice watch, participation in sailing maneuvers, work in the galley, etc.
This voyage is tailored for amateur as well as professional photographers, but you don’t need to be a photographer to join us on this expedition.
Everyone is different, but we recommend bringing seasickness pills/patches with you (we will recommend proven brands and combinations).
The Drake Passage is renowned for its storms and wild seas, as waves build high and power across the Southern Ocean unchecked by any land mass. But it’s also entirely possible to make the three-day crossing in completely calm seas. If this happens to you, count yourself lucky and enjoy your sweet, blessed Dramamine-free days aboard the yacht. More often than not though, you will experience some rough seas along the way (and maybe miss a couple of meals), but this a remarkably small price to pay for what waits on the other side of the Drake Passage. Incredible wildlife, powerful landscape, and overall experience are well worth the temporary discomfort, so don't let a fear of seasickness scare you away!
Even if you are prone to seasickness, there is a good chance that won't need your medication after crossing the Drake, as seas are generally calm around the Antarctic Peninsula with a lot of sheltered places to explore. Also, after the crossing, you most likely will gain your “sea legs.”
Payments are non-refundable. Please visit the "Terms & Conditions" page for our full Refunds and Cancellations Policy.
If you are excited by the idea of photographing the dramatic landscape and wildlife of Antarctica with a very small group of just seven dedicated photographers - now is the time to book your spot! Please fill out the registration form and we will send you payment instructions if the desired spot is available. Places are very limited and once they are spoken for that's it!