Photographing Gentoo penguins in Antarctica

Photo by Frans Lanting

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SPECIAL EVENT

Antarctica, South Georgia and the Falklands Photography Cruise

With Master Photographer Frans Lanting aboard the Deluxe Expedition Ship Sea Explorer

Trip Details at-a-Glance

Cost From: $11,595  
Length: 21 days
Arrive: Trelew, Argentina
Depart: Ushuaia, Argentina
Lodging: 19 nights aboard deluxe expedition ship, 1 hotel night
Meals: All meals onboard
Activity: Photography, Wildlife & Natural History, Small Ship Cruising
Trip Level: 21-day expedition cruise, nature walks on uneven ground, Zodiac cruising with wet landings, possibility of rough seas and cold weather
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Highlights

  • Experience the magnificent scenery and amazing wildlife of the Falklands, South Georgia, and Antarctic Peninsula
  • Explore by Zodiac with expert Antarctic naturalists
  • Wildlife wonders from spouting whales to million-strong penguin colonies
  • Special opportunity to learn from renowned wildlife photographer Frans Lanting

Choosing the Right Trip

We work hard to help you choose the right trip for you, paying attention to your individual interests, abilities, and needs. If you have questions about the level of comfort or any of the activities described in this itinerary, please contact us.

References

We are proud to have an exceptionally high rate of repeat travelers. For more information, we would be happy to put you in touch with a client who has traveled with us.

This trip is currently sold out, but we are accepting names on a waitlist and will be offering more photography tours with Frans Lanting in 2016 and beyond, possibly including another Antarctica voyage.

Experience and photograph three epic destinations of the Southern Ocean with one of the world’s leading wildlife photographers! We invite you to join Master Photographer Frans Lanting on an exceptional small-ship expedition cruise featuring an in-depth Photo Workshop. Our voyage brings us to the wildlife-rich oasis of the Falkland Islands, breathtaking South Georgia Island, with its legends of Shackleton and massive colonies of king penguins, and the celebrated Antarctic Peninsula, a world of towering peaks and icebergs. Antarctica is a dream destination for photographers, and with Frans and our expert naturalist guides at our side, the ship's Zodiacs grant us fantastic access to hidden bays full of drifting bergs and shores thronged with chattering penguins and basking elephant seals. With just 20 workshop participants, this is an incredible opportunity to learn from a master, and there is also space for 10 non-photographer companions to enjoy this amazing natural history voyage. Join us for an unforgettable experience of the fascinating world of the Antarctic.
 
Photo Workshop
 
Our Photo Workshop presents an extraordinary opportunity to learn from Frans Lanting, the top nature photographer working in the world today, and to watch him in action during this exciting journey through the Southern Ocean. Frans will share the philosophy and techniques behind his superb photographs through on-board presentations and demonstrations, and each participant will have the opportunity to join at least one instructional field session in small groups. Space is limited and the workshop is expected to fill quickly.
 
Master Photographer Frans Lanting
 
Hailed as one of the greatest wildlife photographers of our time, Frans Lanting has set the standard for a whole generation of photographers. He served as Photographer-in-Residence at National Geographic, with assignments ranging from a first look at the fabled bonobos of the Congo to a year-long odyssey to assess global biodiversity, which filled an entire issue of National Geographic. Lanting’s books have received awards and much acclaim: “No one turns animals into art more completely than Frans Lanting,” writes The New Yorker. This Special Event in Antarctica will be the latest of many that Frans Lanting has joined with Wilderness Travel.

Itinerary at a Glance

Day 1
Puerto Madryn

Located in the Patagonian province of Chubut, Puerto Madryn is one of Argentina's fastest growing cities and the gateway to the Península Valdés.   Puerto Madryn is a popular resort destination for wildlife excursions: visit an exuberant sea lion colony, watch for nesting cormorants and magnificent elephant seals, or experience a walk through a colony of Magellanic penguins and myriad species of native seabirds.

Day 2
Embarkation

Arriving at the ship in the afternoon, you will be greeted by our Expedition Team and ship's officers at a safety and orientation briefing followed by the Captain's welcome dinner. Then, watch the city lights fade in the fresh night air as we sail seaward.

Days 3-4
Southern Ocean

Among the wildlife spotting opportunities as we sail south are the albatrosses, prions, and petrels that frequently follow the ship. Our Expedition Team will be out on deck as well, looking for the whales and dolphins that may also be seen in the area. Our experts will begin the presentations with informative and entertaining talks on the wildlife, history, and geology of The Falkland Islands and Southern Ocean. Helpful briefings on environmental regulations and expedition safety will also be held in the comfortable lounge.

Day 5
West Falklands

The westernmost settled outposts in the Falklands are remote farms that have been family-owned for six and seven generations. The sheep graze alongside albatross colonies and rockhopper, king, and macaroni penguin rookeries while striated caracaras patrol overhead and upland geese graze at the water's edge. A visit to one of these homesteads often includes an invitation for cakes and a cup of tea.

Day 6
Stanley, East Falkland

Chosen for its sheltered harbor and access to abundant fresh water and peat for fuel, Stanley is easy to discover on foot as most shops and services are centered on the port. The museum, the post-office featuring first day covers, plenty of shops with locally made wool items and Stanley's lively pubs will all be available. It is possible to experience the wildlife of the Falklands from the town, including sea lions and Peale's and Commerson's dolphins in the harbor or bird life in nearby Gypsy Cove.
 

Days 7-8
Southern Ocean

There will be plenty of wildlife spotting as we make our way east across the Antarctic Convergence and officially enter Antarctic waters. Shipboard presentations will continue featuring the exciting history and abundant wildlife of South Georgia.

Days 9-12
South Georgia

Its unique position inside the Antarctic Convergence yet outside the limit of the yearly sea ice makes this 3,755 square kilometer island home to tens of millions of breeding penguins, seals and seabirds. Magnificent mountain scenery, glaciers galore, a rugged coastline punctuated with castellate and tabular icebergs, a rich historical tapestry, and an astounding array of wildlife are all available to us as we travel down South Georgia's leeward coast. Landing sites feature huge elephant seals, aggressive fur seals, macaroni penguins, albatross, petrels, skuas, and gulls. King penguins from fuzzy little chicks to fattened adults can be seen in the hundreds of thousands. We will visit historic Grytviken whaling station, home of the whaling museum, Norwegian seaman's church, the active British Antarctic Survey station plus the tiny graveyard where the great Antarctic explorer Sir Ernest Shackleton is buried.

Days 13-14
Scotia Sea

Heading farther south, we continue our informative presentations and wildlife watch as the icebergs become more and more plentiful.
 

Days 15-18
Antarctic Peninsula and South Shetland Islands

The land of superlatives, Antarctica! Our Expedition Leader and Captain will create a flexible itinerary based on weather, ice, and opportunity. Approaching the Antarctic Peninsula from the east we cross the northern boundary of the Weddell Sea; this large cold body of water rotates clockwise driving cold water and ice north towards SG and the South Orkney Islands. Large tabular icebergs born in the Weddell drift north into our path while the ocean currents drive nutrients from the deep, feeding countless species of marine animals. Large groups of wales are common, along with scores of seabirds thriving off the bounty the Weddell provides. Our route will stress the most scenic bays and channels of the Peninsula with stops at penguin rookeries, seal wallows, bird colonies and whale feeding areas as well as sites of historic and scientific interest. The trip may include picturesque Neko Harbor, sheltered Paradise Harbor, Wilhelmina Bay (a favorite of humpback whales!), or the majestic Neumayer Channel. We may stop at an active scientific base such as Poland’s Arctowksi or a historic base such as U.K.’s Port Lockroy or Wordie House. Adelie, chinstrap and gentoo penguins abound, and Weddell, crabeater and elephant seals are often found hauled out to rest along with predatory leopard seals and the aggressive Antarctic fur seal. Minke and humpback whales are frequent visitors in the late season and orca sightings are also common.

Days 19-20
Drake Passage

We will continue our lecture series and wildlife spotting as we sail back to Ushuaia and reflect on beautiful Antarctica and its fragile future. We arrive at Ushuaia in the early hours of Day 21. 

Day 21
Disembarkation in Ushuaia

Morning disembarkation lets you catch a flight to Buenos Aires or stay in Ushuaia for more sights and adventure.

Optional Extensions

If you would like to continue your adventure, we offer the following extension:

What the Trip is Like

The trip is rated Level 1+, Easy. You will be travelling to a very remote destination. You must be able to complete on board safety drills and emergency evacuation procedures without the assistance of others. Rolling seas and windy conditions require you to be stable on your feet, especially when walking on slippery decks or up and down steep gangways. Shore excursions often require hiking over uneven terrain without the benefit of a developed trail. Some agility is required for getting in and out of the Zodiac landing crafts. While several Zodiac landings are dry, many will require that you step in the water to get ashore. Zodiac and shore excursions are weather permitting.

Passport

A valid passport is required for your trip. Be sure to check the expiration date. Your passport must be valid for six months after your date of exit from Argentina. In addition, we recommend your passport has at least two completely blank visa pages for every country you will be visiting. It is very important that the blank pages say “Visas” at the top. The last few pages of your passport, which say “Amendments and Endorsements,” and the final page of your passport, which may not have a page number, are not considered to be legitimate visa pages. You can request a new passport or have extra pages inserted in your current passport through a visa service agency or the US Passport Services Office (http://travel.state.gov/passport/passport_1738.html). Be sure to allow sufficient time to acquire this before your trip.

It is a good idea to carry a photocopy of the photo page and the entry stamp page of your passport as an additional piece of identification, as well as two extra passport photos.

Visas

US citizens do not need a visa for Argentina but there is a Reciprocity Fee for US and Canadian citizens that must be purchased online prior to departure. The fee amount fluctuates so please double check prior to departure. You can pay the fee with a credit card. The fee is valid  for 10 years or the duration of the passport’s validity.  
If you are a citizen of any country other than the US, check with a local consulate for entry requirements.

Note: If you are visiting Brazil on your own or as part of an Iguazu Falls Extension, you MUST have a visa for Brazil. You may contact the Brazilian Consulate to purchase your visa, or our recommended passport and visa processing service, Passport Visas Express (PVE), through the Toucan Club/Helpful Links section on Wilderness Travel’s website at www.wildernesstravel.com/toucan/links. PVE can also be reached by phone at 888-596-6028. Let them know you are booked on a Wilderness Travel trip.

International Health Card

A Yellow Fever vaccination is recommended if you plan to take the optional Iguazu Falls Extension. Have the shot recorded in your International Health Card and carry the card with your passport as proof of vaccination.

Travel Insurance

Due to the remoteness of the locations visited on this trip, all passengers are required to carry valid travel insurance. This insurance must include medical and evacuation coverage, and we strongly recommend that it include cancellation and trip interruption as well. As any potential evacuation from Antarctica can cost up to $150,000, we recommend that no policy carry less than this amount of coverage. We will require information as to travel insurance carrier, policy number, and a 24 hour contact number. 

Trip cancellation insurance reimburses you for non-refundable payments should you need to cancel your trip due to a covered sickness or injury to yourself, a traveling companion, or family member, or for certain other unforeseen circumstances. For details, see the Description of Coverage brochure and enrollment forms included with your confirmation packet. Travel insurance must be paid for before final payment for the trip. If you purchase your own insurance elsewhere, you must provide us with proof of coverage, policy number, and the contact phone number for your insurance carrier.

A Note About Fuel Costs & Rates of Exchange

Given the uncertain, often volatile oil market and the dollar’s decline relative to other currencies, it is extremely difficult to predict fuel costs over the long term, and, more specifically, at the time of these voyages. Our prices are based upon the prevailing fuel rates and rates of exchange at the time of brochure printing, which is well in advance of departure. While we will do everything possible to maintain our prices, it may be necessary to institute a surcharge. Thank you for your understanding.

Special Note

In the very unlikely event that Frans Lanting has to cancel due to illness or other serious emergency, Wilderness Travel will attempt to provide, but cannot guarantee, a suitable replacement. It is understood that in either case, the terms and conditions of the trip, including cancellation penalties, will continue to be in force. Note: This policy is required of us by the cruise operator as a condition to secure the necessary berths.

Additional Cruise Information

Further information about the cruise will be sent approximately four months prior to departure. This packet will include a packing list and other important details. Final meeting and departure instructions, including contact information, will be sent about three weeks prior to departure.

Explanation of Trip Levels

 

Departures & Leaders

2015
Oct 29-Nov 18, 2015

Program Cost

*Scroll down the page to view the deck plan


Prices valid through Spring 2015

Cruise Rates by Cabin Category
Per person, double occupancy

CategoriesCruise Price
Triple Suite $11,595
Porthole Suite $13,395
Window Suite $14,795
Superior Suite $15,895
Deluxe Suite $17,295
Veranda Suite $19,595
Penthouse Suite $21,995
Sea Kayaking: $695
Photo Workshop Fee: $2000
more on pricing

Extension Costs
Iguazu Falls Extension
   from: $985

Deck Plan

Trip Cost Includes:

  • One pre voyage hotel night in Puerto Madryn
  • Shipboard accommodations and all port fees
  • All scheduled landings and excursions
  • All meals onboard
  • One glass of house wine, beer, or soft drink with dinner
  • Coffee, tea, and cocoa available 24 hours a day
  • A pair of rubber expedition boots for use during the voyage
  • A waterproof outer shell jacket for you to keep
  • Group transfer from Trelew Airport to Puerto Madryn for hotel overnight on Oct 29
  • Transfer from the group hotel to the ship for embarkation on Oct 30
  • One group transfer from ship to airport or central location upon disembarkation in Ushuaia on Nov 18
  • Digital Voyage Log

Trip Cost Does Not Include:

Airfare to Trelew and return from Ushuaia; pre- or post-voyage expenses in Buenos Aires, Trelew, Puerto Madryn, or  Ushuaia; passport, visa, or Argentine Reciprocity fees (currently $160); baggage, cancellation and accident insurance; meals and beverages other than specified above; personal expenses such as laundry, telephone calls, faxes and e-mail service; and gratuities to shipboard personnel.

Trip Payment Schedule*

At time of reservation: $1500
Due April 29, 2015: $1500
Due July 29, 2015: Balance

*Please note that this differs from our regular catalog departures.

Cancellation and Transfer Fee Schedule*

Minimum cancellation fee: $500
From 12 months prior to departure (Oct 29, 2014): $1500 non-refundable
From 6 months prior to departure (April 29, 2015): $3000 non-refundable
From 3 months prior to departure (July 29, 2015): 100% of payments non-refundable

*Please note that this differs from our regular catalog departures.

Arrival & Departure Information

Please review the following information before confirming your flight arrangements to Trelew and back from Ushuaia, Argentina.  Many Antarctica travelers like to begin their journey by spending a few days in Buenos Aires to get over jet lag and also to allow for any possible weather delays en route.  Note that cruises are not like other trips—if you arrive late, you miss the sailing and you can’t catch up.

It is always an overnight flight to reach Buenos Aires from the US, so you will have to book your flights to depart the US at least a day prior to Day 1 of the trip. Buenos Aires has two airports; please book your flights from the US to EZE, Buenos Aires’ international airport. You can connect to a flight to Trelew the same day or spend a day or two in Buenos Aires before flying on to Trelew.

Arrival & Meeting Place

Trelew, Argentina
Hotel in Puerto Madryn: To be Announced
Date:  Day 1
Time:  Group transfer times to be announced

Arrival Airport:  Trelew, Argentina (REL) via Buenos Aires, Argentina (EZE)

If you are connecting in Buenos Aires to a flight to Trelew the same day, you need to allow at least three hours connecting time because you may have to transfer from the international airport to the domestic airport, which takes up to one hour. Upon arrival in Trelew, a group transfer will be provided from the airport to the group hotel in Puerto Madyrn (about one hour away) for an overnight. The group transfer will be timed to coordinate with arrival flights. On Day 2, you will be transferred to the boat for boarding in the afternoon.

Departure
Ushuaia, Argentina
You will disembark in Ushuaia about 9:00 a.m. Transfer to the airport for flight to Buenos Aires. Departure flight should not be scheduled until after 11:30 a.m.

Departure Airport (USH)

Fly to Buenos Aires where you can connect to international flight to U.S.  Flights from Buenos Aires arrive into EZE (the international airport) or AEP (the domestic airport).  You need to allow 3 hours connecting time in Buenos Aires to your international flight.

International Air Travel

You are responsible for making your own arrangements for flights to Trelew and back from Ushuaia. Airlines with the most convenient schedules for this trip include:

American Airlines (via Miami or Dallas)
Phone: 800-433-7300
www.aa.com
    
Delta Airlines (via Atlanta)
Phone: 800-241-4141
www.delta.com
 
Airport codes: Miami (MIA); Buenos Aires, Argentina International Airport (EZE); Buenos Aires Domestic Airport (AEP);  Trelew (REL); Ushuaia (USH)


Please do not purchase your tickets until you are confirmed on the trip. Once your tickets have been purchased, please send us a copy of your airline schedule so we can reserve your airport transfers. It is your responsibility to ensure your flight times coordinate with the arrival and departure logistics for this trip.

Sea Explorer

The elegant, all-suite 114-guest Sea Explorer has established itself as one of the finest expedition cruise ships in Antarctica. With an ice-strengthened hull, a fleet of Zodiac inflatable craft for forays ashore, an experienced complement of officers and crew, and retractable fin stabilizers, Sea Explorer can explore the Antarctic Peninsula and Antarctic islands in comfort and safety. All guests are accommodated in outside-facing suites, each of which affords views of the spectacular Antarctic scenery. Excellent cuisine is created by European chefs and served in the stately restaurant at a single, unassigned seating. Sea Explorer also features two lounges, a library, exercise area, elevator serving all decks, and a sun deck with Jacuzzi. The ship meets the latest international safety rules, including those of the U.S. Coast Guard. Sea Explorer’s seamless operation and outstanding, experienced expedition staff ensure a shipboard and on-shore experience in Antarctica that is unmatched.

Extension Accommodations

If you would like to view the accommodations offered with our extensions option:

Note: Listed above are our signature accommodations for this trip. Although it is highly unlikely, we may make substitutions when necessary.

Our Trip Leaders

Here are the Trip Leaders scheduled for this journey (please note that leader assignments are subject to change).

Frans Lanting

Departure Dates: October 29-November 18, 2015

Frans Lanting has been hailed as one of the great nature photographers of our time and has received numerous international awards for his photographic and conservation work. Lanting’s year-long odyssey to cover global biodiversity resulted in the longest story by a single photographer in the ...
Click here for a full bio and list of all upcoming trips

Chris Eckstrom

Departure Dates: October 29-November 18, 2015

Chris Ekstrom is a writer, editor, and videographer whose work celebrates the wonder of the natural world and seeks to explore how people and wildlife can coexist. Her stories have appeared in National Geographic (where she was a staff writer for 15 years), Audubon, ...
Click here for a full bio and list of all upcoming trips

Optional Extensions

If you would like to continue your adventure, we offer the following extension:

Argentina

Iguazu Falls Extension

One of the World’s Spectacular Natural Wonders

Wildlife & Natural History
3 days  -  Level 1