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SOUTH GEORGIA & THE ANTARCTIC PENINSULA: THE TRIP OF A LIFETIME

  • DATE: Oct 21 - Nov 12, 2021 - EMAIL TO INQUIRE
  • DURATION: 23 days (including 18 days at sea)
  • FROM: Punta Arenas, Chile
  • WORKSHOP LEADERS: Glenn Bartley

NOTE - My Select Photo Group is now Full - There is Still Space on the Main Voyage However and I am happy to assist as much as is possible during the trip for all passengers.

AN INTRODUCTION TO THIS PHOTO WORKSHOP

Back in 2015 I had the incredible privilege of visiting South Georgia and the Falkland Islands. To be honest this was a departure from my normal tropical adventures and I wasn’t really sure what to expect. The expedition to this day is my absolute favourite trip that I have ever done and I cannot wait to get back to this part of the world.

Even more incredible this time around is that our adventure not only visits the breathtaking South Georgia Island but also spends considerable time on the Antarctic Peninsula. As great as my last trip was this was the one thing missing.

This expedition is the product of years of experience of one of the top companies that leads voyages to South Georgia and a passion for everything found there.  I am super excited to once again team up with Cheesemans’ Ecology Safaris on this once in a lifetime adventure. On my last trip I was so incredibly impressed with how they handle the daunting amount of logistics required to pull a journey like this together. They are absolutely top-notch pros and I would not even consider going with anyone else.

The itinerary is specifically designed to take advantage of the vibrant early season on South Georgia when snow blankets the mountains and early summer brings special wildlife treats seldom experienced. We will explore vast colonies of King Penguins, elephant seals in their peak of breeding activity, and colonies of Wandering, Grey-headed, Light-mantled, Sooty, and Black-browed Albatross. This cruise allows for many days to explore this truly unique island, the crown jewel of the Antarctic. The landscape filled with expanses of glaciers pouring into the sea provides rare beauty and photogenic impressiveness that words cannot convey. We will enjoy about 6 days in the midst of the most beautiful and wildlife-rich island on the planet!

The priority on this special expedition is to give you the maximum time possible in the field so you can explore at your own pace during a special time on South Georgia and on the Antarctic Peninsula.

This type of trip is not for everyone and is a considerable expense. There is no way around that. But if you have always wanted to get to the Antarctic, or if you have been before but want to re-visit as part of one of my photo groups, then this is the trip for you!

Come explore South Georgia and Antarctica with us!

 

CLICK TO WATCH VIDEO OF MY 2015 TRIP

 

TOP 5 REASONS TO VISIT THE ANTARCTIC REALM ON THIS TOUR

Maximum time in the field: This particular trip is designed to spend as much time in the field as possible to observe all wildlife behavior, sometimes resulting in long days but giving you a more in-depth experience.

Itinerary route: The itinerary route is designed to make many more landings than most trips to South Georgia and Antarctica and that will give us the most possible opportunities with the birds and wildlife.

Global warming: We face an uncertain future when it comes to the earth's climate. Who knows what this area will look like in 5, 10 or 20 years. Now is the time to visit South Georgia...before it is too late!

Increase in Restrictions in this Sensitive Part of the World: Every year it gets harder and harder for tour operators to work in this part of the world. Restrictions and the amount of time that is able to be spent ashore may continue to become more difficult. Visiting this area while it is still possible to really explore is a huge reason to go sooner rather than later.

Photographic guidance: those who have travelled with me know that I am there for my clients and to ensure that they get the best possible images. Please take a look at my testimonials section.

TO SEE MORE IMAGES AND VIDEO

 Showcase  

 

PHOTO ITINERARY

October 21: Depart Home

October 22: Arrive in Punta Arenas, Chile.

October 23: Flights to Falkland Islands, and Embark on our boat the Plancius.

There is only one weekly flight from Santiago to the Falkland Islands. Upon arrival in Stanley early in the afternoon, you will be met at Mount Pleasant Airport and transferred to the Plancius. You will have time to walk through town and explore this small corner of the English empire that appears as if time has forgotten it. Stanley is an attractive town, and the last center of human population we will see before our return to Stanley or arrival in Ushuaia, Argentina at the voyage's end. We will enjoy a welcome with our Captain and our fine staff and crew, as well as our first dinner onboard ship before departing for South Georgia!

October 24-25: At Sea Southeast to South Georgia.

By morning we will be far from the Falklands heading southeast with albatrosses at our stern. If the skies are blue, the weather could be quite balmy, about 15°C, between 50-60°F. Photographers on the stern will have a field day following birds on the wing in their viewfinders. Wandering Albatross should be following us today, plus many Black-browed Albatross and other 'tubenoses', plus we always have a chance of a Southern or Northern Royal albatross on the wing. In these waters we cross the Polar Front (aka the Antarctic Convergence), which is excellent birding habitat. Here, two bodies of water meet and as the salty, cold Antarctic water mixes alongside warmer, fresher water from the north, water temperatures plummet from about 4–6° C down to 0° C in a period of about eight cruising hours. The birds we will see, although not in great numbers, will be outstanding, especially the large albatrosses. Fishing fur seals and pods of whales show the richness of these waters. There is a chance of sighting Fin, Minke, and Southern Right Whale and more elusive species as well. In these waters we have found almost a dozen species of petrels (including three species of storm-petrels and Common Diving-Petrel), six species of albatross, thousands of Antarctic Prions, Southern Fulmars plus Greater and Sooty shearwaters. Snow Petrels are even possible as we round the northeast end of South Georgia. During this time at sea, crossing about 730 nautical miles from the Falklands, we will have lectures on photography, wildlife, and ecology related to the areas we will be visiting. The prevailing current will be in our direction.

Our boat - the Plancius.

Pelagic photo opportunites from the boat are fantastic!

October 26-31: Explore South Georgia Island.

One of the most remote islands in the world, South Georgia is the heart of this expedition, as we spend six days in this wild landscape of penguins, albatrosses, and seals. The mountainous rugged interior, a geologic continuation of the Andes chain, is carved by more than 150 glaciers into spectacular fjords and ringed by islands. South Georgia has incredible possibilities for landings all along the northeastern leeward coastline, the focus of our exploration during these days.

Route

The route to South Georgia.

Possible landing sites on South Georgia.

First glimpses of South Georgia.

The timing of this voyage is carefully chosen to experience South Georgia in a seldom seen but extremely vibrant time. The peak of Southern Elephant Seal breeding is in October, and, during this time, the world's largest seals vie to be 'beachmasters', dominating stretches of beach where females come to pup. We will make it a priority to experience this! We will stop in the northeast of the island for an introduction and a chance at some of the special sites unavailable to us once fur seals are in the height of their breeding, then we will travel south to experience the scale and density of breeding colonies in St. Andrews Bay and Gold Harbour. From there, we will take our time exploring back northward, absorbing the great richness and variety offered by South Georgia to voyagers so fortunate as ourselves. Potential Landing Sites in South Georgia include:

Elsehul: Our first landings in South Georgia will be at beaches that will become prohibitively dense with fur seals later in the season. Elsehul is a perfect example, where the sublimely beautiful Grey-headed Albatross nest on steep tussock grass slopes. Here Grey-headed Albatross are the first to lay eggs, so we are sure to find them sitting on nests looking out over the dramatic cove of Elsehul. They sit above a prime fur seal breeding beach, and, at this date, the Antarctic Fur Seals should not be so territorial as to refuse our passage. The opportunity to see Grey-headed Albatross on their nests up close is one that few can hope for in a lifetime of travel. Black-browed Albatross also nest here, along with Macaroni, Gentoo and King penguins; we can expect to see Gentoos on nests in the saddle between Elsehul and south-facing Undine Harbour. This little sheltered cove sits on the northwestern extremity of South Georgia on the eastern side of the rugged Paryadin Peninsula, blocking southern ocean westerly winds with 400-meter walls built of ancient sedimentary rocks folded and stacked during the formation of the Andes.

Right Whale Bay: Fur seals are beginning to set up territories in Right Whale Bay at this time, a beach that in the height of the breeding season looks to be alive with a constant frenetic movement of seals. At the east end of this dramatic walled cove a colony of King Penguins resides, many loafing in front of a waterfall pouring out of the interior of the island.

Salisbury Plain: 60,000 pairs of King Penguins call this glacial plain home, making it a beloved site for any who explore South Georgia. Salisbury is located in the Bay of Isles, looking out on the Wandering Albatross breeding islands of Prion and Albatross. If you sit down quietly, you may find yourself the subject of King Penguin curiosity as one brave individual might try to see if your shoelaces will detach with a tug. King Penguins have a staggered breeding season, where each adult's activities are dependent upon what they did the season before. Those that had no chick or an early fledging chick the previous season will be courting and mating, whereas those that did have a chick in the previous year may delay breeding. These early breeders have the best chances of successfully fledging a chick this year. Molting penguins can be found lining the fresh water streams that run from the glaciers to the sea. Hopefully snow will still be on the ground around the colony, a canvas of white upon which the penguins walk. The Kings share the beach with fur seals and elephant seals, and many a giant-petrel will be patrolling the shores for the penguins that did not make it through the winter.


Prion Island: An unforgettable experience will be on Prion Island in the Bay of Isles. Each pair of Wandering Albatross has a private estate with at least 30 square meters of open space around the nest site for courtship and takeoffs and landings, a real contrast with the King Penguin's territory of less than one square meter. Here also nest the Southern Giant-Petrels, quietly incubating as long as you keep your distance. Tragically, the Wandering Albatross are declining rapidly in numbers, disappearing at sea due to illegal pirate fishing vessels mining 'white gold', as the Chilean Seabass or Patagonia Toothfish is sometimes called. We will stay on the boardwalk and tread very lightly during our visit to Prion Island in respect for the albatross and petrels and for the sake of the burrow-nesting birds that make their homes on this rat-free island. The charming South Georgia Pipit, the world's southernmost passerine (perching bird), will look upon us curiously, singing a rare songbird's tune. Our visit to Prion comes just before the young overwintering albatross fledge, to start years of seafaring life before finally returning here as young adults with hopes of breeding.


Fortuna Bay: At this beautiful site in the lee of the central rib of South Georgia's impressive mountains, we have good chances for clear skies and calm conditions. Fortuna Bay ends in an extended glacial alluvial plain covered with a fine grass upon which a beautifully photogenic King Penguin colony resides. King Penguins spread across what appears to be a lawn is a remarkable sight! We will search for nesting Light-mantled Albatross on the protected steep tussock slopes.

Shackleton Walk to Stromness (optional): Shackleton, Crean, and Worsley were very near the end of their dramatic and perilous self-rescue when they stumbled down into Fortuna Bay from the interior of the island. They had just one short hike remaining, a westward walk of about three miles over to Stromness Harbour to reunite with civilization after over 17 months in the Antarctic. This very enjoyable historic walk will take us over a 300-meter ridge with a stunning view across the König Glacier and down to the now rusting inactive whaling station at Stromness to reunite with our ship. If you don't know Shackleton's story - CLICK HERE

Hercules Bay: Macaroni Penguins are the most numerous of any penguin on South Georgia yet the most difficult to visit. They have the habit of nesting on steep tussock slopes and are especially fond of inhospitably exposed beaches. We hope to be able to slip into Hercules Bay for a visit to see the striking Macaronis just as they are returning from eight months at sea. A waterfall drops down the back of Hercules Bay adding to the dramatic scene.


Grytviken and King Edward Point: Grytviken was one of the most active whaling stations in the history of whaling. But the flensing plan is now empty and the boilers silent. Over 60 years of whaling history is now well told in the excellent exhibits of the South Georgia Museum. Tim and Pauline Carr are largely responsible for what we see in the museum, the product of 14 years of a labor of love for them. The natural history exhibits are enriching, and after browsing and perhaps doing a little museum store shopping, take a short walk around the bay to visit the whaler's graveyard where Shackleton and his right-hand man, Frank Wild, lie. The history of Antarctic exploration comes alive as we listen to tales of the adventures of Sir Ernest Shackleton. This famous explorer crossed the rugged backbone of South Georgia from the west to arrive at Stromness seeking help for his men stranded on Elephant Island. The crew of the Endurance, hand picked by Sir Ernest Shackleton in England for his 1914–1917 expedition, survived on the nutritious, though unappetizing, meat of penguins and seals while waiting for rescue on Elephant Island. Their ship, the Endurance, was crushed by ice in the Weddell Sea. Shackleton and his men had set off in small boats and landed at Elephant Island with hardly any landing room below the steep cliffs along the shore. From here, Shackleton and a handful of men continued in a small boat to South Georgia, returning to Elephant Island 105 days later to rescue the men. In the graveyard where Shackleton is buried, many young Southern Elephant Seals now snooze atop the whalers who no longer threaten them.

Godthul: Gentoo penguins are now the principal resident of this site where whaling once dominated. Beginning in 1908, whaling vessels anchored here leaving remains now of wooden platform boats called jolles and a beach thick with whalebones. Two waterfall fed small lakes sit on the gentle shoreline before jagged peaks rising into the island's interior. We can expect the sky to ring with the reedy beautiful Light-mantled Albatross courtship calls as they sail in synchronized flight overhead. These subtly beautiful torpedo shaped birds favor nests in the steep tussock slopes above the inlet.

St. Andrews Bay: There are places in the world so far beyond description that any attempt rings hollow. St. Andrews Bay is such, with upwards of 150,000 pairs of King Penguins forming not a colony, but a landscape. You will be mesmerized as you view the many penguins walking along the beach and the gentle sloping landscape as you stroll from the landing site, the air filled with calls and life all around you. But as you walk over the glacial moraine bordering the north end of the colony, the mass of penguin calls hit you, all blended together into one vast wave. Here you will see the bounty of the rich, vast southern ocean. It must be seen, heard, and experienced to be believed.

At this time of year, King Penguins will be far from the only attraction at St. Andrews. The world's largest seal, the Southern Elephant Seal, gathers here by the thousands creating one of the densest concentrations of life on the planet. We can expect to see thousands of females with young pups nursing. Many large male 'beachmasters' seek to own a stretch of beach and are willing to fight in great tonnages of seal jousting, because here lie their best hopes for breeding. The male elephant seal puts so much into his territorial defense that his life expectancy is less than half that of the female. But, if he is a successful beachmaster, this short life is one of great glory! We are very fortunate to be able to experience the elephant seal breeding season, usually long past when most travelers to South Georgia have the chance to visit.

Gold Harbour: Simply, Gold Harbour is a glorious place, with something, indeed many things, for everybody who enjoys nature. This is one of the most protected sites in South Georgia, with great chances for clear blue skies. Fair or foul, under these skies we will find a beach at least as densely packed with Southern Elephant Seals as St. Andrews Bay (though a smaller beach, so fewer numbers overall), about 25,000 pairs of King Penguins, many of whom line a glacial meltwater river winding behind the beach, a Gentoo Penguin colony, steep but hikeable slopes with Light-mantled Albatross nesting on their flanks, and a tumbling icefall bordering the back of the Harbour making for stunning landscapes and the occasional explosion of glacial blocks tumbling down to the coast. More than a few will likely elect to skip lunch, unable to leave this wildlife rich scene.

Royal Bay: Several landing sites attract us to Royal Bay, though the exposed bay is very weather dependent. A growing King Penguin colony has topped 30,000 pairs at Brisbane Point in recent counts, with constant activity bouncing in upon the cobblestone beach boulders through what can be heavy surf. A fjord-like glacially carved valley empties into Moltke Harbour, a backdrop to as many as 1,000 elephant seals. If calm conditions prevail, we will enjoy landings here, but Royal Bay has a reputation for strong winds so we may find ourselves retreating for a return to Gold Harbour, a mighty fine compensation during rough conditions!

Cooper Bay: At Cooper Bay we will strive to get close to the marvelous Macaroni Penguins, the more southerly equivalent of the Rockhoppers, which nest at this accessible landing. A hike up through tussock slopes will reward us with Macaronis in a frenzy of early breeding season activity. Cooper Bay is also home to South Georgia's only colony of Chinstrap Penguins. We are sure to see them traveling through the surf and will likely meet some on the beach or loafing on an iceberg. However, the Government of South Georgia has restricted access to the colony due to a 2004 outbreak of avian cholera, and the colony will probably still be closed to landings. Cooper Bay sits just inside from Cooper Island, a rat-free island that is extremely important breeding habitat for burrow-nesting seabirds and South Georgia Pipits.

Drygalski Fjord and Larsen Harbour: Southern South Georgia differs strikingly in geology from the remainder of the island, and in the sheer walled Drygalski Fjord we can really see this difference. As we cruise up the fjord we can see granite, gabbro, and metamorphic rocks to starboard (ship's right), remnant of the Gondwana continental margin. To port (ship's left), the mountains are built of the 'Larsen Harbour Complex', uplifted ocean floor basalt and granite that rose in the formation of the Andes then was ripped and rafted east to its present location over the last 40 million years. The Risting Glacier calves frequently into the waters of the fjord, stirring up marine life that is quickly snapped up by Antarctic Terns and maybe a few pure white Snow Petrels. We may take a short zodiac trip up Larsen Harbour to check in on a small colony of Weddell Seals who are likely to have pups ashore with them.

Cape Disappointment: Captain Cook was the first to lay eyes on South Georgia, and his great hope was that he had found the tip of a great southern continent. The name Cape Disappointment reflects his feelings when he found that South Georgia was no continent at all. He was none too impressed with South Georgia without apparent exploitable resources, but the Black-browed Albatross that breed in large numbers on the sheer slopes here never did mind his departure. They are less numerous now due to the impact of long-line fishing, but still impressive in number. If weather is favorable we may ship cruise to this southern extreme for a good look and a thorough exploration of this crown jewel of the great Southern Ocean.

November 1-2: At Sea to the Antarctic Peninsula

The route to Antarctica will be packed with watching wildlife from the ship’s deck and attending informative lectures. The waters between South Georgia and the Antarctic Peninsula are rich with fin whales; in good conditions we have seen as many as a hundred in a day! You may also be on the lookout for Antarctic petrel, Kerguelen petrel, and one of the most beautiful birds of the Southern Ocean, the snow petrel. Our lectures are designed to add depth and knowledge to your expedition, and our workshops will focus on photographic techniques and critiques to enhance your photos. En route to the Peninsula, you’ll hopefully have a chance to stop at Elephant Island where Shackleton's men waited four months while never giving up hope of rescue, creating an epic story of the Heroic Age of Exploration.



November 3-8: 6 Full Days Along the Antarctic Peninsula & Shetland Islands

During the early season, it is an exciting time in the Antarctic Peninsula. Ice is beginning to recede, allowing passage to some of our favorite landing sites, and in recent years the Weddell Sea has been more open in the early season, closing back up by December. This means you may have a chance of getting in to search for lone emperor penguins and hopefully land at Adelie penguin colonies if the conditions are right. It’s also when penguin colonies are re-forming with penguins courting, setting up nests, and some laying eggs. We’re very excited to share the Antarctic’s early season with you!

The South Shetland Islands

These are a string of volcanic islands, some still active, that run parallel to the Antarctic Peninsula across the Bransfield Strait. Fondly known as the “Banana Belt of Antarctica,” these islands boast the richest concentrations of terrestrial wildlife in the Antarctic because of their proximity to the rich upwelling waters from the great Circumpolar Current. Even with our luxuriously in-depth itinerary, we will have to choose between many very compelling sites.

Deception Island is a favorite and one of the most exciting islands on our voyage. This horseshoe-shaped, volcanic island is still active, as its hot thermal pools demonstrate. Deception Island also offers one the most unique experiences of the voyage – soaking alongside the beach in the thermal pools surrounded by clouds of steam. Depending on the tide, the water temperature can be fairly comfortable, although it can get so hot that it’s necessary to mix in colder water! Hopefully, you will experience the outer caldera, and then venture inside the caldera via a narrow gap called Neptune’s Bellows. Bailey Head is home to about 100,000 chinstrap penguins, but the sea can make landings tricky with steep swells crashing on an exposed beach. Inside Deception’s huge caldera, your fascinating landing may include a short hike up the mountainside among the lichen-draped cliffs to the scenic overlook. On the beach at Whaler’s Bay, you may find Weddell seals basking.

On a clear day, the chinstrap penguins of Half Moon Island make a delightful foreground to the breathtaking coastline of nearby Livingston Island. At this end of the Earth, the vast scale of nature will open our senses and we ask you to give great respect to the fragile vegetation and the wildlife colonies.

Chinstrap and gentoo penguins breed on Aitcho Island, an island covered in mossy green carpets, a surprisingly bright contrast to Antarctica’s intensely achromatic landscapes. Conditions permitting, walk across the island past the southern elephant seal wallows, offering a terrific chance to see (and smell!) the world’s largest species of seal, also perhaps hauled out Weddell seals and southern fur seals.

From the South Shetlands, we sail southwest across the Bransfield Strait into the fabled Gerlache Strait. Here you can expect whale sightings to ring out from the bridge as the Antarctic Peninsula landscape rises up into a glacier-draped view of mountainous proportion. You’ll sail the waters around Anvers Island, Dallmann Bay to the north, and the Gerlache to the east. Hope for magnificent sunsets, sculpted blue icebergs, and close penguin and whale encounters, each with the potential for an experience that you will never forget.

Over the last few decades, the Southern Ocean has experienced a significant warming trend, showing clear evidence of climate change. The Antarctic Peninsula has been feeling climate change the most with a massive 9F (5C) warming in average winter temperatures over the last 50 years. Although this has dramatically changed and reduced ice distributions, you will still be among a world of spectacular icebergs!

Western Antarctic Peninsula - The Danco Coast, Neumeyer Channel, and Lemaire Channel


Weather and ice distributions will determine whether we travel south down the west coast or sail east through the Antarctic Sound into the Weddell Sea; happily, you have ample time for a thorough exploration of the Antarctic Peninsula. When heading south, travel along the picturesque Danco Coast on the west coast of Graham Land. This area has awe-inspiring scenery with coastlines deeply indented with bays and scattered with islands. Impressive mountains rise sharply from the coast to the central Graham Land Plateau and glaciers descend to narrow piedmont ice shelves. Extensive Zodiac cruising and landings during the best light will allow you to soak in the serenity of this majestic place.

As you travel along the coast, you’ll wander into Wilhemina Bay, Neko Harbour, and Paradise Bay, among the most beautiful areas in Antarctica. These waters rank high on our list of favorite places for Zodiac cruising. Enjoy views of sculpted icebergs and surfacing whales as we cruise the inner bays near spectacular glaciers and ethereal mountains. You can expect wonderful whale behavior in these plentiful summer feeding grounds. The krill swarms are enormous, sometimes even visible on the ship’s depth sounder. Gentoo and chinstrap penguin colonies reside here, sometimes side-by-side, along with their attendant scavengers: snowy sheathbills, brown skuas, south polar skuas, and kelp gulls. Our potential landing in Neko Harbour on the Antarctic continent will treat you with a walk to an incredible view.

Enjoy the view from the ship as it navigates through stunning Neumeyer and Lemaire Channels or around the south end of Anvers Island into Biscoe Bay where you will be completely surrounded by ice-draped peaks soaring dramatically out of the water. Crabeater, Weddell, and leopard seals are often hauled out on the ice floes and whales may even surface between the floes, so keep your cameras ready! Tall, hanging ice cliffs, the fronts of highly fractured tidewater glaciers, decorate most of the shoreline for unforgettable scenery. At the southern part of the Lemaire Channel you’ll arrive at Petermann Island. Located at 65S, Petermann is outstanding for seeing gentoo and Adelie penguins making feeding trips in large groups along a snow-filled penguin highway to and from their nests. The clear water is beautiful for observing and photographing penguin activities. Petermann has seen a reversal in abundance between the two species, with half the numbers of Adelie penguins found here twenty years ago, but twice the numbers of gentoos.

Additional landing sites along the western Peninsula are expected, which ones will depend on conditions (as is the case with any landing). Port Lockroy, located at the end of the very narrow and beautiful Peltier Channelclose to Neumeyer Channel, has a British Antarctica Survey maritime museum and a sprawling gentoo penguin colony. Tiny Cuverville Island is also a treat with gentoo penguins walking amid the snow and entering and exiting the beach.

As you return, you will likely pass through the South Shetland Islands again, possibly for a landing at Hannah Point on Livingston Island. Look for macaroni penguins among the chinstrap and gentoo colonies and keep an eye out for the usual rookery scavengers (skuas, gulls, giant-petrels, and sheathbills). Here you will find excellent examples of Antarctica’s only two flowering plants, the Antarctic hair grass and Antarctic pearlwort, the continent’s complete flora at one site!

November 9-10: Sail to Ushuaia, Argentina.

Named after the 16th Century English seaman, Sir Francis Drake, this waterway of about 600mi separates the southernmost tip of South America from Antarctica. You cross the Polar Front approximately halfway across Drake Passage. Those on watch may sight several species of albatross and petrel following the ship; it is a particularly good area for royal albatross and blue petrel. Stay on the lookout for pods of sperm whales and other whales. Almost 500mi north of the South Shetlands, you will near Cape Horn, with a distant view before turning northeast toward the Beagle Channel. The offshore area is as rich as seawaters can be and seabirds are usually present in huge numbers, especially sooty shearwaters and black-browed albatross if the sea is calm. Sometimes you may see Peale’s dolphins in schools of hundreds. This evening you’ll navigate back up the Beagle Channel to dock in Ushuaia.

November 11 : Disembark in Ushuaia and flights homeward.

 

PHOTO OPPORTUNITIES

On this photo adventure we will focus on the following fantastic opportunities:

Unique Antarctic Wildlife: So many penguins!!! Tens and hundreds of thousands of these iconic birds. Not only as individuals but overwhelmingly large groups. Add on all of the Albatross species and pelagic birds and this trip promises some really unique and incredible opportunites. Plus there will be seals, whales and more surprises.

Flight Photography of Seabirds: During the ocean crossings we can have a blast photographing the pelagic birds that will be following the boat. These are sure to be unique additions to any wildlife photography portfolio.

Spectacular landscape photography: Mountains, glaciers and penguin-scapes! This is one extremely spectacular place and the opportunities for landscape photography are superb. We will also keep our fingers crossed for great weather so that we may be able to create beautiful mountain images.

Using flash effectively as a source of fill light: In all environments iit is extremely important to learn how to use flash - either as fill or as a main source of light.

Digital Workshops:  During the evenings for those who wish to participate, we will have image review sessions and talk about techniques and what we can expect to see the next day.  In these post processing workshops participants will have ample opportunities to improve skills in Adobe Photoshop.  Guided by Glenn, participants can learn how to take their images from straight out-of-the-camera RAW images to stunning final works of art (ready for printing or websites).

Unique Opportunities:

  • Spend six full days on South Georgia Island and six full days in the Antarctic Peninsula and South Shetland Islands.
  • Snorkel or SCUBA dive among icebergs, curious seals, and penguins.
  • See five penguin species (possibly six)! Plus, many species of whales, seals, albatross, and seabirds.
  • Visit king penguin colonies of up to 500,000 birds.
  • Marvel at dramatic snow-capped mountains and glacier-fed rivers.
  • Watch southern elephant seal bulls defend their territories.
  • See wandering albatross chicks and endangered gray-headed albatross on nests, only possible this time of year.
  • Hike or snowshoe on South Georgia Island. Take shorter walks in the Antarctic Peninsula.
  • With only 100 participants, everyone can land and/or Zodiac cruise at once.
  • Our 15 leaders are polar specialists, photographers, and naturalists who will provide lectures, workshops, and guided excursion

    A Few Highlight species include:

  • King Penguin
  • Macaroni Penguins
  • Gentoo Penguins
  • Chinstrap Penguins
  • Adelie Penguins
  • Rockhopper Penguins (Falklands Only)
  • Wandering Albatross
  • Grey-headed Albatross
  • Light-mantled Albatross
  • Black-browed Albatross
  • Giant Petrel
  • Many other pelagic birds like petrels, prions, fulmars and shearwaters
  • Fin, Minke and Southern Right Whales
  • Fur and Elephant Seals
  • And so many more!!!
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    WHY TRAVEL ON GLENN BARTLEY'S WORKSHOPS?

    • Glenn focuses on more personalized attention,instruction and guidance.
    • Glenn is regarded one of the world’s top professional photographers in bird portrait photography. Just go pick up a birding magazine and you will almost certainly find his images.
    • Glenn often utilizes local guides with years of experience in their home areas.
    • Glenn has more experience.  He has been to the places that he will take you – not for a week or two – but for months!!  Glenn knows where to get the best possible images and can show you how to achieve them. 
    • Having completed his Msc. in Environmental Studies Glenn is very environmentally and socially aware.  When we visit communities around the world we give something back to these places and the people who live there. 
    • At the end of the day Glenn’s goal is simple – To give you the best possible photographic workshop imaginable.

    LOGISTICS

    Price:

  • The early bird cost of this photo workshop is USD $14,550 to $22,550 depending on cabin choice (until Oct 15, 2019).
  • Accommodations are designed to be shared (click for more info re. cabin types / costs).
  • Registration is made through Cheesemans' Ecology Safaris (Be sure to mention that you are with my group though if you would like to be part of my group and receive my photographic guidance).

Prices include:

  • All expert photo instruction
  • All leaders, transport, landing fees, permits, port taxes, and passenger fees, including the IAATO (International Association of Antarctic Tour Operators) passenger fee, for all activities unless described as optional.
  • Accommodations (double occupancy, unless booked cabin as a single) for the night of October 22 in Punta Arenas, Chile.
  • Nineteen nights on board the Plancius
  • Meals from breakfast on October 23 through breakfast on November 12.
  • Airport transfers from Punta Arenas Airport to Hotel Cabo de Hornos, regardless of arrival day; on October 23 from Hotel Cabo de Hornos to the Punta Arenas Airport; from the Mount Pleasant Airport to the ship; and on November 11 in Ushuaia from the ship to the airport or your hotel.
  • Coffee and tea throughout the voyage.
  • Trip Materials - information about flights, packing, entry and departure requirements, airport transfers, gratuities, etc.
  • Expedition Log – after your voyage, you’ll receive a color booklet of the expedition.
  • Rubber boots on loan while on board.
  • For snorkelers: snorkeling gear. We will send you more details in the Trip Materials.
  • For SCUBA divers: some SCUBA gear. We will send you more details in the Trip Materials.
  • Onboard lectures during sea days.
  • USB drive with daily schedules.

Price does not include:

  • International airfare to place of tour origin
  • Any additional nights accommodation outside of the tour dates
  • Fees for passport, visas, immunizations and insurance
  • Laundry, phone and other items of a personal nature
  • Medical costs or hospitalization, room service, alcoholic and other beverages, etc. If you have special dietary needs, please indicate them on your Reservation/Release Form.

Payment Terms:

Registration will be completed through the tour operator - Cheesemans' Ecology Safaris.

Suggested Equipment:

It is recommended that each participant bring the following equipment:

  • A digital SLR and a lens of 300mm or greater.
  • A medium focal length lens (e.g. 70-200mm)
  • A wide angle lens (if you are interested in landscape photography)
  • A tripod is recommended
  • A flash
  • Dry bags for landings

HOW TO JOIN THIS PHOTO ADVENTURE? WHAT SHOULD YOU DO NEXT?

Email or call Glenn – 250-412-2904 for more information

More detailed information about your specific tour is available upon request. Upon registration you will receive a detailed information package.

Please note:

  • Glenn Bartley Nature Photography strongly recommends that you purchase travel insurance. Emergency evacuation insurance is also required for this voyage.
  • All funds are quoted in USD dollars and subject to exchange rate fluctuation and gas surcharge if we are billed additionally.
  • We will attempt to stay true to this itinerary. However, certain unforeseeable conditions (political, climatic, environmental, cultural, or wildlife migrations) may require changes to the itinerary. We reserve the right to alter any itinerary at any time, if necessary. We will do our absolute best to notify participants of changes as far in advance as possible.

South Georgia

Ted Cheeseman

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