10:54 , February 11, 2013
Posted in: Antarctica 2014

Expedition Antarctica 2014

We invite you to join us on this 15 days photo expedition to ANTARCTICA, specially arranged for nature photographers. WildPhoto Travel will be chartering the ENTIRE ship, M/S POLAR PIONEER, during the period of 22 NOVEMBER – 6 DECEMBER 2014.

Our main goal for this photo expedition will be photographing wildlife and landscape. Antarctica is a great place for photographing penguins and other wildlife, and we will have approximately 10 full days of photography. This is more than twice as much time as you get on normal ship expeditions to Antarctica.

This expedition will be limited to only 54 participants plus expedition guides and staff. Most other expeditions to Antarctica will be with 100+ tourists and without any special treatment for photographers. Our expedition ship is ice-strengthened and together with the experienced Russian crew, this will give us great opportunities to get to the areas we want. With our 5-6 zodiacs and experienced expedition guides we will have space for all photographers to be shooting simultaneously, and will not have to wait for “group 1″ to return back to the ship. We are very confident that this will be a “once in a lifetime” photographic expedition for you.

The ice situation and weather conditions will decide where we can go during this expedition, but our “plan A” is to go through the Antarctic Sound into the Weddel Sea and stay there for 3-4 days. With our ice-strengthened expedition ship we have a fair chance to get close to or get onshore at Paulet Island with great numbers of Adelie Penguins. We also hope to go south towards Snow Hill Island, but we don’t have helicopters on this expedition boat, so it will not be possible to get into any colonies of Emperor Penguins. If the ice is not to dense in the area we still hope to find and photograph some Emperor Penguins on the ice, but this is not something we take for granted. We will not guarantee Emperor Penguins on this expedition, but we will most definitely give it a try. The ice and landscape in Antarctica is great for photography in November / December, and we are confident that this will be a great timing even if the Weddel Sea would be closed during our expedition.

There are some great sites for photography on the western side of the Antarctic peninsula. We will visit some of the colonies of Chinstrap and Gentoo Penguins and some great fjords with glaciers and nice landscapes. We will have one (or two) longer landings most days and not push for 2-3 shorter landings every day. Our expedition is not a normal tourist cruise and we need more time on land than the usual Antarctica itinerary. We hope to get south through the Lemaire Channel during the expedition, but this area is not always open in the beginning of December. On the South Shetland Islands we also have some nice landings, like Deception Island. Our planed itinerary is as stated to the right, but we will adjust the plans when we see how the ice and weather conditions are when we get into the area – it’s an expedition!

Gentoo Penguins, Antarctica. Copyright © Roy Mangersnes

Three of the expedition guides will be professional nature photographers from the WildPhoto Travel guide team we use on our very successful Svalbard expeditions. This will ensure you the best treatment and feedback on photographic issues, and focus on direction of light and background during our zodiac excursions. We have also included a professional landscape photographer in our lecturing team to have specialized photographers to answer all your questions or inspire you during this expedition.

Our vision for this expedition is to be as service-minded as possible for photographers and your desired images. Thus we will offer an option for underwater photography for a group of maximum 10 people snorkelling (not diving). One of our expedition guides is a very experienced diving master in Antarctica and will together with our expedition doctor ensure safe and magic meetings with wildlife in water. We will be very serious about the safety and suitable areas for this activity, and we will mainly do this activity when the rest of the group is on land, so we have enough zodiacs and guides available for the rest of the photographers. We will be selective about who will be included in the “snorkelling team”, and all snorkelers have to bring their own snorkelling equipment. It will be an extra fee for the snorkelling activity.


Gentoo Penguin in ice, Antarctica. Copyright © Ole Jørgen Liodden


Why travel with us on this Antarctica Photographic Expedition?

  • WildPhoto Travel is well-known for our photographic ship expeditions. With 12 successful photo expeditions to the Arctic (Svalbard) we have a lot of experience regarding photographers needs and how to lead these specific expeditions. We have also had 3 groups of photographers on ship expeditions to Antarctica, and we know what’s needed to make this a successful photographic expedition.
  • Three pro nature photographers will be in the photo guide team on this expedition. We have also included one specialized landscape photographer in the lecture team, which in total will ensure you high quality feedback and inspiring lectures during this expedition.
  • We are chartering the ENTIRE ship M/S POLAR PIONEER, for our exclusive use. This is not a sub-charter with a big group of tourists, but a 100% photographic expedition.
  • Other participants on the trip share your interests in Antarctica and nature photography. Good travel companions are important on our expeditions.
  • Our guides and staff will ensure a safe and flexible expedition.
  • We continually obtain updated information on where to find exciting animals, etc., so that we can more effectively approach the species and types of nature we wish to photograph.
  • We will do our best to help you with your desired images, like underwater photography. We need to know your wishes and demands BEFORE the departure to let you know what’s possible or not.
  • This is a rare opportunity for a high-class photographic expedition to Antarctica. Don’t miss this opportunity!


Our expedition ship

Our expedition ship M/S POLAR PIONEER was built in Finland in 1985 as an ice-strengthened research ship, and for many years she plied the treacherous waters of the USSR’s northern coast. In 2000 she was refurbished in St Petersburg to provide comfortable accommodation for 54 passengers. A combined bar/lounge/library area (stocked with a good collection of polar books) was also created by simple internal restructuring.

This class of vessel has a good reputation for polar expedition cruising, due to its strength, manoeuvrability and small number of cabins. All cabins have outside portholes plus ample storage space. The Russian captain and crew are among the most experienced ice-navigators in the world and their enthusiasm is legendary. The spacious bridge is always open to us and the decks are ideal for viewing. The chefs are European, and the dining room is attended by Russian stewardesses.

Polar Pioneer is not a luxury vessel as such, but she is one of the most popular ships for travels to the Polar regions. The accommodation is simple yet comfortable, and the meals are wholesome and uncomplicated. A small fleet (6) of inflatable Zodiacs with outboard motors enable us to travel from ship to the shore or on zodiac excursions.


Deck plan and prices



  TRIPLE: 300, 301 – All reserved
CABIN: Two lower bunks and one upper bunk, a desk, a small washbasin, ample storage and hanging space and portholes. Showers and toilets are very close by and are shared with other Main Deck cabins.
SIZE: Total Cabin: 423cm x 241cm = 10.2 sqm.
PRIZE: USD $9.900 / NOK: 55.950
  TWIN PUBLIC: 302, 303, 304, 305, 306, 307, 308, 309, 310 – Few spots available
CABIN: Two lower bunks, a desk, small washbasin, ample storage and hanging space, a couch and a porthole. Showers and toilets are very close by and are shared with other Main Deck cabins.
SIZE: Total Cabin: 400cm x 245cm = 9.8 sqm.
PRIZE: USD $11.500 / NOK: 62.950
  TWIN PRIVATE: 400, 401, 402, 403, 404, 405, 406, 408, 504, 505, 506, 507 – Only #402 is available
CABIN: Two lower bunks, a desk, windows and private bathroom with shower, toilet and washbasin. #402 and #403 have upper and lower bunks and a couch.
SIZE: Deck 4: Bedroom/Bathroom – 411cm x 260cm = 10.7 sqm, Deck 5: Bedroom/Bathroom – 494cm x 243cm = 12 sqm.
PRIZE: USD $13.200 / NOK: 69.950
  MINI SUITE: 502, 503 – All reserved
CABIN: Double bed in a separate room, foldout couch that can be used as a single bed, TV, video player, windows, desk, table area, fridge, and private bathroom with shower, toilet and washbasin.
SIZE: Living Room/Bedroom/Bathroom – 453cm x 370cm = 16.8 sqm, Bathroom – 120cm x160cm = 1.92 sqm.
PRIZE: USD $14.200 / NOK: 74.950
  CAPTAIN’S SUITE: 501 – All reserved
CABIN: Double bed in separate room, plus foldout couch that can be used as a single bed, forward and port windows, lounge and table area, fridge, TV, video player, and private bathroom with shower, toilet and washbasin.
SIZE: Living Room/Bedroom – 450cm x 500cm = 22.5 sqm
Bathroom – 120cm x160cm = 1.92 sqm.
PRIZE: USD $14.900 / NOK: 79.950



Our safety will have top priority during the entire expedition and security will be provided by the crew and guides of the M/S POLAR PIONEER. We adhere to all applicable safety regulations – especially with regards to in water activities (snorkelling). This also pertains to use of the Zodiac boats (inflatable) in close proximity to icebergs and glacial edges where there may be elements of risk which are not apparent. The safer we feel, the easier it will be for all participants to concentrate on nature and photographic opportunities.


Iceberg. Copyright © Roy Mangersnes.


Inflatable Boats

We will use 5-6 Zodiacs to get closer to photo subjects or while going ashore. It’s a good idea to bring rubber boots due to wet conditions when exploring ashore.


Information concerning photography

There will be lectures/photography courses almost every day during this trip. The photo guides will be happy to help you with camera settings, photo tips or feedback on your images. On this expedition we hope you will not only explore the great Antarctic nature, but also learn from the pros.



You register by submitting a payment of NOK 10,000 to bank account no.: 6185.05.30784 (IBAN: NO6761850530784, SWIFT: NDEANOKK) and signing a booking form [request booking form]. On the backside (i.e. second page) of the booking form, you will find the terms and conditions which pertain to this expedition. Full payment must be made no later than 60 days prior to departure (21 SEPTEMBER 2014). Private cancellation insurance should be purchased by all participants.


The price includes

  • 14 nights aboard the M/S POLAR PIONEER, with boarding on 22 NOVEMBER at 16:00 and disembarking on 6 DECEMBER at 09:00
  • One night + welcome dinner at hotel in Ushuaia before departure
  • All meals aboard the vessel
  • Expedition leader, photo guides, zodiac drivers, expedition doctor and other personnel
  • Excursions with the Zodiacs
  • Transfer with bus after disembarking to hotel/airport


The expedition price does not include

  • Flight to/from Ushuaia
  • Overnight accommodation earlier than 21 NOVEMBER and after the disembarking 6 DECEMBER
  • Personal expenses related to mineral water, alcohol and souvenirs purchased aboard the ship
  • Tips (recommended) for the vessel’s crew members
  • Travel, evacuation and cancellation insurance
  • Personal expenses such as bar and shop charges


If you have any questions, please contact us by email: post@wildphoto.com Welcome to Antarctica!

This post is also available in: Norwegian Bokmål

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