Antarctica
Live the experience of a lifetime!

ANTARCTICA & SOUTH SHETLAND ISLANDS

US$12,495

Tour Length: 14 days
Date: 15 - 28 February, 2023
Small group

Join us on one of the finest ships plying Antarctic waters, the 88-passenger Ushuaia. We have assembled an incredible team of professional photographers, expedition leaders and naturalists to provide photographic instruction, information and guidance throughout the expedition.

On this all-inclusive photographic expedition aboard the Ushuaia, you will have the opportunity to photograph the beautiful and diverse wildlife and incredible polar landscapes of the Southern Ocean and Antarctic Peninsula. We have scheduled our expedition in the late Antarctic spring and early summer, when there is still a chance of fresh snow and the wildlife is becoming more active.

Due to the smaller size of our ship and our group, we have access to all the approved landing sites in the South Shetland Islands and Antarctica; we can go to places where the larger cruise ships can't go. Not only that, our smaller group allows us more time at each landing to photograph, something that is severely compromised when on a ship with more than 100 passengers.

You can expect to see and photograph: whales (orca, minke and humpback), crabeater seals, elephants, leopards and Weddell seals, countless numbers of penguins and many, many albatrosses, petrels and other seabirds.

There will be plenty of instruction on board on wildlife photography, photographic composition, lectures from naturalists and much more - there will always be something going on when we're not photographing, dining or sleeping!

On board the Ushuaia, there is plenty of space in the common areas to relax, read a book or talk about photography. We have two large rooms for our classes, lectures, presentations, image reviews and critiques. Meals on board are quite good: continental and full buffet breakfast, buffet or sit and serve lunch, afternoon tea and three-course dinner.

Unlike most trips to Antarctica, which are done on cruise ships with 150, 200 or 250+ passengers and are not entirely dedicated to photography, we can get you ashore, and our zodiacs will get you to shore safely and quickly, so that you can have as much time as possible for photography.

With this Namaste Photo Tours workshop, you will be with like-minded photographers and travellers, who are interested in maximising every opportunity to capture amazing wildlife and landscape images, and learn as much as possible from the professionals and naturalists on the team.

Don't worry, your non-photographer spouse/partner/travelling companion will enjoy this expedition as much as the others, and they too will enjoy the scenery and wildlife and the guidance not only from us, but from the expedition staff and naturalists.

DAY 1 (15-02-2023). ARRIVAL IN BUENOS AIRES (ARGENTINA)

Upon arrival at Buenos Aires airport (EZE), we will be waiting for you to transfer you to the hotel.

At 19h we will meet the whole group in the Lobby of the hotel, to have dinner and then rest from the long trip.

Accommodation: Buenos Aires

 

DAY 2 (16-02-2023). BUENOS AIRES - FLIGHT TO USHUAIA

We will have an early breakfast and then head to the airport for our flight to Ushuaia.

Welcome to Ushuaia, the southernmost city in the world and the starting point of our expedition to Antarctica.

Upon arrival at Ushuaia airport, you will be met by our staff and transferred to the luxury hotel we have booked.  

During the rest of the day, we will have free time to explore this vibrant port city and adventure hub. 

For an introduction to the local history and wildlife, the interesting Museum of the End of the World is well worth a visit.

In the evening we will meet in the lobby of the hotel to enjoy an exquisite dinner in one of the excellent restaurants in the city.

Accommodation: Ushuaia

 

DAY 3 (17-02-2023). USHUAIA - WELCOME ABOARD!

After breakfast at your hotel, the morning is yours to enjoy Ushuaia.

Explore the charming coastline and enjoy views of the snow-capped Cordillera Marcial, the southernmost peaks of the Andes. Take the opportunity to buy souvenirs or some last minute items such as cold weather clothing.

For lunch, the many cafes, grills and ice cream parlors on San Martin Avenue will satisfy any appetite. 

In the afternoon, you will be transferred to the dock where you will be warmly welcomed on board the expedition vessel M/V Ushuaia.

Settle into your cabin and explore the ship that will be your comfortable home for the extraordinary adventure ahead.

After getting underway, a full programme of events begins with briefings and presentations by expedition staff.

After thefirst of many delicious dinners on board, you can step out onto the open decks to admire the scenery and the beautiful sunset light as we pass through the Beagle Channel, via the Mackinlay Passage.

 

DAYS 4 - 5. CROSSING THE DRAKE PASS

Named after the famous explorer Sir Francis Drake who sailed these waters in 1578, the Drake Passage is the site of the Antarctic Convergence, a natural biological barrier where the cold polar waters submerge beneath the warmer waters of the north. This generates a large amount of nutrients, which sustain the biodiversity of this region.

The Drake Passage also marks the northern limit of many Antarctic seabirds. As we sail through the passage, our staff will be with you out on deck to assist you in identifying the huge variety of seabirds, including the albatrosses that follow the USHUAIA.

The "open bridge" policy on board will allow you to join our officers on the bridge and learn some aspects concerning sailing, whale watching or just enjoy the view. A full programme of lectures will be waiting for you.

The first icebergs and snow-capped mountains indicate that we have reached the South Shetland Islands, an archipelago of 20 islands and islets discovered in 1819 by Captain William Smith with his brigantine Williams. If the conditions in the Drake Passage are favourable, on the third day our expedition staff will accompany you on the first landing and experience the fascinating encounter with penguins and seals.

 

DAYS 6 - 10. DISCOVERING THE ANTARCTIC PENINSULA AND SOUTH SHETLAND ISLANDS

The South Shetland Islands are teeming with wildlife. Vast penguin colonies, beaches ruled by Antarctic fur seals and southern elephant seals make every day on this island group unforgettable. Sailing through the narrow passage to the flooded caldera of Deception Island is truly amazing.

King George Island is the largest of the South Shetland Islands and is characterised by colonies of gentoo and chinstrap penguins, kittiwakes, imperial cormorants, Antarctic terns and southern giant petrels. There are also scientific bases of different countries. Chinstrap penguins, gentoo penguins as well as elephant seals await you on Livingston Island.

As you learn about the remarkable history of the Antarctic Peninsula, you will be thrilled in a way comparable to that of the early explorers. You will have plenty of time to explore its incredible landscape, a pristine wilderness of snow, ice, mountains and waterways, and the amazingly wide variety of wildlife. In addition to penguins and seabirds you will also see crabeater, Weddell and leopard seals up close, as well as humpback, Minke and killer whales.

We expect to navigate some of the most beautiful channels depending on ice conditions: the Gerlache Strait, the Neumayer Channel and the Lemaire Channel are narrow passages between towering rocks and spectacular glaciers. We plan to make at least two shore excursions per day.

Sites for such excursions may also include:

Paradise Bay, literally the best named place in the world, is where we will attempt a proper descent to the mainland. After crossing the iceberg-covered waters of the Antarctic Sound we hope to visit the active Adélie penguin (over 100,000 pairs breed here) and imperial shag colonies on Paulet Island. Nordenskjöld's expedition built a stone shelter here in 1903; the ruins have now been overrun by penguin nests.

Other possible explorations could take us to Melchior Islands, Cuverville Island, Portal Point, Neko Harbour, Pléneau Island, and, ice conditions permitting, to Petermann Island to visit the southernmost colony of Gentoo penguins.

 

DAYS 11 - 12. DRAKE PASS

We will leave the Antarctic Peninsula and head north across the Drake Passage.

Join our lecturers and naturalists on deck in the search for seabirds and whales, and enjoy some of the final lectures.

Take time to relax and reflect on the fascinating adventures of the last few days on the way back to Ushuaia.

 

DAY 13 (27-02-2023). ARRIVAL AT THE PORT OF USHUAIA

Today our ship will sail the waters of the Beagle Channelbefore docking in Ushuaia (around 8 am approximately).

Farewell dinner.

Night in Ushuaia.

 

Day 14 (28-02-2023). USHUAIA - FLIGHT TO BUENOS AIRES - END OF TRIP

Transfer to Ushuaia airport (USH) for your flight back to Buenos Aires.

End of the Photo Tour:

Welcome aboard the Ushuaia!

The USHUAIA has 46 cabins and suites to comfortably accommodate up to 90 passengers, providing ample deck space and an open bridge policy.

The USHUAIA is a ship originally built at the request of NOAA (North American Oceanic and Atmospheric Research Agency), for its oceanography department. It was refitted for passengers, and has been equipped with the most advanced service, navigation and communication standards for Antarctic navigation. It is also equipped with zodiacs, which make it possible to visit places that would otherwise be inaccessible.

All cabins have ample space for luggage. The spacious restaurant serves meals for all passengers simultaneously. There is also a bar, observation lounge/conference room with multimedia equipment, library, changing room and a small infirmary.

Our captains and officers are experts in Antarctic navigation and have a great passion for nature. Our excellent expedition team consists of an Expedition Leader, guides and lecturers, all of whom are experienced in Antarctica, enthusiastic and committed to protecting the environment. Our chefs prepare an excellent variety of dishes including local specialities, and the bar has a wide and carefully selected range of wines and spirits.

Facilities:
FOUR DECKS - DINING ROOM - OBSERVATION LOUNGE/CONFERENCE ROOM WITH MULTIMEDIA EQUIPMENT, BAR AND LIBRARY - PANORAMIC DECK - GIFT SHOP - INFIRMARY - ZODIACS

Roof and cabin plan

On board the USHUAIA

  • Air conditioning and heating

    The vessel is air-conditioned and each cabin is equipped with individual temperature controls. To set these controls to your own comfort level, please do not hesitate to contact our staff.

  • Announcements

    All announcements are made by our loud speaker system. The bridge announces interesting passages and attractions. If there is an emergency call from the bridge, you will surely receive it!

  • Library

    The ship's library, on the main deck F, contains a good selection of international titles, with an emphasis on essential reference books for your destination. A variety of games, including card and board games, are also available.

  • Rubber boots

    For Antarctic voyages, a supply of rubber boots is on board. While there is a wide variety of sizes, it is recommended that you bring your own only if you require a special size. Please also note that these boots have already been worn by other passengers on previous trips.

  • Booths

    Your waitress will arrange your cabin in the morning.

    Change of bed linen:
    It will be changed once during the trip. If you prefer a more regular change, please inform our Hotel Manager.

    Change of towels:
    In order to limit the use of washing powder (for ecological reasons) we only change towels on request. Please leave your towels on the floor if you want them to be changed. If the towel is hung up, we will understand that you will use it again. Thank you for your understanding.

    Toilets:
    Toilet flushes are very efficient, but also very sensitive. Please treat them gently and do not put anything in them except small amounts of toilet paper. Dispose of used tissues or other items in the trash can.

  • Safety deposit box

    Your cabin is not equipped with a safety deposit box. Should you need to store valuables such as money, jewellery and/or documents, please contact the Hotel Manager. Antarctic Travel Company is not responsible for loss of personal effects and valuables.

  • Dining room

    The dining room, on the main deck F, can seat all passengers comfortably in one sitting. No tables are assigned and each passenger will be able to choose where to sit according to their preferences.

  • Meals on board

    You will find the following options in the dining room while on board the USHUAIA:

    Continental and American breakfast buffet.

    Lunch, self-service or table service.

    Afternoon snack.

    Three-course dinner.

    Times vary depending on shore excursions.
    Coffee and tea are offered free of charge throughout the day.

  • Communications

    Telephone and Fax
    The USHUAIA is equipped with the INMARSAT system, which allows direct communication with the ship from telephones and faxes from anywhere in the world.

    To communicate with the USHUAIA from home you will receive a list of numbers prior to your departure. On board you will find a list of important numbers for the use of your cabin telephone. The costs will be charged to your cabin at US$4 per minute, to be paid at the end of the trip.

    Email and internet access
    The ship has computers for your use. Internet codes are available on board at a cost of US$10 per 30 (thirty) minutes. Please note that we do not have Wi-Fi connection on board.

  • Climatic and maritime conditions

    These conditions play an important role in expedition cruises. All planned activities are subject to change or cancellation due to weather and sea conditions. We thank you for your understanding and flexibility.

  • Speakers

    Your team of renowned lecturers will accompany you throughout your trip. While they are giving lectures or leading shore excursions, they will also be on hand to answer your questions and offer insightful knowledge throughout the day. Antarctic Travel Company has selected the lecturers for their professional achievements, their reputation, and their adventurous spirit. We hope you enjoy exploring with them.

  • Lectures and films

    Both are offered in the specially equipped conference room on E Deck. Passengers are encouraged to participate in all of the ship's activities, including the stimulating and informative lectures.

  • Conservation

    Please be aware that many of the places you will be visiting on the trip are unique. At Antarctic Travel Company we are very proud of our outstanding reputation for conservation and respect for all the ecosystems we visit. Please help us to maintain this reputation. Our lecturers and staff will accompany you on shore excursions and give you specific guidance and information about the region. Please do not leave any waste behind and bring it back to the ship, where it will be properly disposed of. For Antarctic cruises you will receive the Antarctic Visitor Guidelines with your travel documents.

  • Electricity

    The power on board is 110 V/ 60 Hz and the outlets in the cabins are multistandard. These outlets accept various types of international plugs. We recommend bringing the necessary special converters and adapters, as only a limited number can be borrowed on board.

    Some outlets in public areas are 220v-240v and are properly marked. These outlets are the ones used in Argentina and accept plugs with two flat inverted V-shaped rods and a third flat rod at the bottom (grounding). It also accepts plugs with two inverted V-shaped rods (without grounding) or two small cylindrical rods.

  • Expedition team

    Your voyage will be led by an Expedition Leader in conjunction with his staff, zodiac drivers and a team of lecturers. Staff members are specially selected and trained to provide an interesting cruise and unique experiences.

  • Shore excursions

    They will be introduced during briefings the day before. Before disembarking, you will be given information about the duration of the landing and the type of landing ("wet" or "dry"). Your Expedition Team will accompany you on your daily shore excursions and provide you with extensive information. Please remember to follow their instructions and advice carefully.

  • Languages

    As part of your experience on this voyage, you will find that many languages are spoken on board the ship. English and Spanish are the languages used by officers and crew (some of the crew may speak only Spanish). Lectures are given in English and Spanish.

  • Medical facilities

    A qualified doctor accompanies each voyage for routine and emergency care. The ship's infirmary is located on E deck. Schedules will be presented in your daily programme. In case of emergency, please call the Bridge (#108). There is a charge for the following consultations:

    In the ship's infirmary US$ 20.

    In your cabin US$ 25.

    There is an extra cost for medication.
    Seasickness is treated free of charge. If you need to take a regular or special medication, please make sure you have enough for the duration of the cruise.

  • Currency

    The currency used on board the USHUAIA is the US Dollar. Euros are accepted, as well as the following credit cards: MasterCard and American Express. The minimum credit card payment is US$100.

  • Wildlife watching

    As long as we are in areas where there is a possibility of wildlife sightings, ship's officers and staff will be on constant lookout. However, do not hesitate to report any sightings to the bridge or staff. If we are fortunate enough to see wildlife, we will announce it from the bridge, no matter what time it occurs. If you would like to go back to sleep, please do so!

  • Payments: Your personal account

    We suggest that you carry at least US$300 (in small notes) for expenses on board. On most voyages, particularly in Antarctica, this sum will be more than sufficient as we will be sailing in an isolated area, where opportunities to spend money are limited.

    For services provided on board the vessel, you will be provided with a personal account using the note system. Your purchases will be recorded and accounted for at the end of the voyage. Your account must be settled in cash (US Dollars or Euros); if you prefer to pay your expenses by credit card instead: we accept MasterCard or American Express for amounts over US$100. Please indicate this to the Hotel Manager during the first few days of your voyage.
    Unfortunately, credit cards will not be accepted for payment of gratuities.

  • Passports

    All passports are collected from the vessel and retained by the Hotel Manager for the duration of the voyage. They must be retained for administrative and security purposes.

  • Smoking policy

    Smoking is permitted on all outside decks, with the exception of the zodiac "deck". Inside the ship, all areas, including cabins, are designated "No Smoking". NEVER throw cigarette butts or other (lit) material into the sea! The wind could blow them back towards the vessel, causing extensive damage.

  • Open door policy

    The USHUAIA maintains an open door policy. If you wish to store valuables, please contact the Hotel Manager.

  • Daily programme

    Each afternoon, during the day's wrap-up session, the Expedition Leader will present the programme for the following day. In addition, a copy will be handed to you in your cabin. Included in the programme will be information on the following day's activities, events, landings, meals and lectures. Please note that as this is an expedition voyage, the daily programme may change due to local sea, weather or ice conditions.

    Also the Captain and Expedition Team may deviate from the programme to take advantage of an unexpected opportunity, such as wildlife sightings, advantageous sea conditions and other local events. Any changes to the daily programme will be announced over the loud speaker system. We thank you for your understanding and flexibility.

  • Tipping

    The customary gratuities on the ship for service personnel are anonymous and are made at the end of the voyage, which will be divided among the crew. You will receive our recommendations on board. Tipping is a very personal matter and the amount you wish to tip is at your discretion. As a generally accepted rule of thumb, we suggest US$15 per person per day. We appreciate that this is in US dollars. Unfortunately, credit cards will not be accepted.

  • Bridge

    The USHUAIA encourages you to take advantage of our "open bridge" policy. During the days we are sailing, the officers invite you to observe the ship's sailing operations and will be happy to answer any questions you may have. We kindly ask you to respect the bridge as the officers' working area. Occasionally, for safety reasons, the bridge may be closed to visitors.

  • Information meetings

    On a daily basis the Expedition Team will summarise the experiences on the ground and update you on our plans for the next day. These informal sessions are usually held at cocktail hour.

  • Hair dryers

    All cabins on upper deck G are equipped with hairdryers for your comfort. Additional hairdryers can be requested from the Hotel Manager.

  • Safety at sea

    Our top priority during the cruise is the personal safety of all passengers and crew. Our vessel complies with all international requirements, as well as U.S. Coast Guard regulations. Officers and crew are well trained and practice emergency procedures to ensure your comfort and safety. Within 24 hours of boarding, there will be an emergency drill, in which all passengers are required to participate. Through this exercise, you will become familiar with the procedures to be followed in the unfortunate event of an emergency.

  • Cleaning and laundry service

    We regret that we are unable to offer laundry or dry cleaning services on board.

  • Dietary requests

    With an advance note, our Executive Chef will fortunately be able to accommodate a variety of specific dietary requests. Please inform Antarctic Travel Company at least three weeks in advance of your cruise if you need to make a special request. We would be grateful if you could also state these requirements on your Booking Form. However, Kosher food is not available.

  • Souvenir shop

    It is located on the main deck F, and stocks men's and women's clothing, photographic film, sundries, gifts and souvenirs.

  • Clothing on board

    Casual, expedition-style clothing is the recommended clothing for the trip. It should be comfortable and versatile as described in detail in the packing list attached to your preliminary documentation.

  • Clothing on land

    Casual and comfortable clothing, expedition style, is recommended for shore excursions. Please refer to the packing list attached to your preliminary documentation.

  • Zodiacs

    The USHUAIA carries its own fleet of Zodiacs and RIBs. The boats can accommodate up to 12 passengers and in the hands of our trained driver, are stable, safe and manoeuvrable.

    Made of heavy-duty plastic, with several watertight compartments, they are very easy to embark and disembark. Their versatility is opening up a whole new world of exploration, and makes the zodiac the key to expedition cruising. They allow you to get ashore and investigate some of the most isolated regions of the world. You will be given instructions on how to properly embark and disembark from this type of vessel.

Public areas

INCLUDED:
  • Transfer from the airport to the hotel.
  • Overnight accommodation in a 4 star hotel (Buenos Aires), the day of your arrival.
  • Day 2. Accommodation in a 4 star hotel (Ushuaia).
  • Day 13. Accommodation in a 4-star hotel (Ushuaia).
  • Day 2. Flight from Buenos Aires to Ushuaia (economy class).
  • Day 14. Flight from Ushuaia to Buenos Aires (economy class).
  • Accommodation on board during the trip (shared double cabin).
  • All meals, snacks, tea and coffee during the boat trip.
  • All shore excursions and zodiac cruises.
  • Educational lectures and guiding services of the expedition team.
  • Access to our on-board doctor and basic medical services.
  • Photographic instruction by our professional photographers throughout the trip.
  • Free use of rubber boots.
  • Port surcharges, permits and landing fees.

 

NOT INCLUDED:
  • International or domestic flights, unless specified.
  • Transfers not mentioned in the itinerary.
  • Passport, visa, reciprocity and vaccination fees.
  • Personal expenses such as laundry and phone calls.
  • Optional excursions not included in the itinerary.
  • Extra activities.
Payment Policy

Reserve Deposit:

The reservation will be effective when a deposit of 20% of the total amount of the trip is paid.
Places will not be reserved without the deposit.

Second payment:

A second deposit of 20% of the price will be required 270 days prior to departure.

Final Payment:

Final payment is due 90 days prior to departure.

 

General Cancellation Policy:

All cancellation requests must be submitted in writing.

Cancellations received 90 days prior to departure are non-refundable but may be used as future credit.

Cancellations received within 89 days prior to departure, including the day of departure, will not be refunded. If cancellation occurs within 89 days prior to departure and full payment has not yet been received, the cancellation penalty will still apply and all payments must be made immediately.

For these and other reasons mentioned above we strongly recommend the purchase of insurance covering cancellation costs.

 

General

1. Accidents:

1.A. Namaste Photo Tours is not responsible for accidents of participants of the trip, nor will it cover medical expenses if necessary. During the trip, each participant is responsible for his or her own safety and physical integrity.

1.B. Namaste Photo Tours is not responsible for accidents or loss of photographic equipment during the trip. Each participant is responsible for his or her own photographic equipment.

2. Punctuality:

2.A. The Photographic Journey starts on a specific date and in a timely manner. All participants must be at the location on the day of the start of the trip. In case of delays due to inconveniences, the participant must contact a Namaste Photo Tours representative as soon as possible.

3. Respect:

3.A. Respect and patience are the basis of a successful Photographic Journey. Participants may be at different levels of knowledge of the subject matter, so patience is required when explaining topics that are already in their domain. Each participant's area of photographing should be respected. No disrespect from a participant to another member of the trip or staff will be allowed.

4. Climate:

4.A.The tour and its itinerary are weather dependent and may change from one moment to the next. We will always keep an eye on the best weather conditions to determine where to go and to optimise your photography.

Itineraries

Itineraries are published for reference only, and are subject to change due to weather conditions, glaciological conditions, at the discretion of the captain and expedition leader, or any other reason beyond our control, without prior notice, and without passengers being able to claim any compensation.

Insurance

The company requests that passengers take out travel insurance, including cancellation and compulsory medical insurance to cover evacuation and repatriation from Antarctica with a minimum ofUS$100,000. Namaste Photo Tours is not responsible for any injury or accident to the passenger (whether or not resulting in death), nor for loss or damage to their belongings. In the event that medical problems arise during the trip, whether on board or on land, and which result in evacuation, use of aircraft or repatriation costs, the responsibility for payment of these services is the sole responsibility of the passenger.

INFORMATION
Live the experience of a lifetime!

ANTARCTICA & SOUTH SHETLAND ISLANDS

US$12,495

Tour Length: 14 days
Date: 15 - 28 February, 2023
Small group

Join us on one of the finest ships plying Antarctic waters, the 88-passenger Ushuaia. We have assembled an incredible team of professional photographers, expedition leaders and naturalists to provide photographic instruction, information and guidance throughout the expedition.

On this all-inclusive photographic expedition aboard the Ushuaia, you will have the opportunity to photograph the beautiful and diverse wildlife and incredible polar landscapes of the Southern Ocean and Antarctic Peninsula. We have scheduled our expedition in the late Antarctic spring and early summer, when there is still a chance of fresh snow and the wildlife is becoming more active.

Due to the smaller size of our ship and our group, we have access to all the approved landing sites in the South Shetland Islands and Antarctica; we can go to places where the larger cruise ships can't go. Not only that, our smaller group allows us more time at each landing to photograph, something that is severely compromised when on a ship with more than 100 passengers.

You can expect to see and photograph: whales (orca, minke and humpback), crabeater seals, elephants, leopards and Weddell seals, countless numbers of penguins and many, many albatrosses, petrels and other seabirds.

There will be plenty of instruction on board on wildlife photography, photographic composition, lectures from naturalists and much more - there will always be something going on when we're not photographing, dining or sleeping!

On board the Ushuaia, there is plenty of space in the common areas to relax, read a book or talk about photography. We have two large rooms for our classes, lectures, presentations, image reviews and critiques. Meals on board are quite good: continental and full buffet breakfast, buffet or sit and serve lunch, afternoon tea and three-course dinner.

Unlike most trips to Antarctica, which are done on cruise ships with 150, 200 or 250+ passengers and are not entirely dedicated to photography, we can get you ashore, and our zodiacs will get you to shore safely and quickly, so that you can have as much time as possible for photography.

With this Namaste Photo Tours workshop, you will be with like-minded photographers and travellers, who are interested in maximising every opportunity to capture amazing wildlife and landscape images, and learn as much as possible from the professionals and naturalists on the team.

Don't worry, your non-photographer spouse/partner/travelling companion will enjoy this expedition as much as the others, and they too will enjoy the scenery and wildlife and the guidance not only from us, but from the expedition staff and naturalists.

ITINERARY
DAY 1 (15-02-2023). ARRIVAL IN BUENOS AIRES (ARGENTINA)

Upon arrival at Buenos Aires airport (EZE), we will be waiting for you to transfer you to the hotel.

At 19h we will meet the whole group in the Lobby of the hotel, to have dinner and then rest from the long trip.

Accommodation: Buenos Aires

 

DAY 2 (16-02-2023). BUENOS AIRES - FLIGHT TO USHUAIA

We will have an early breakfast and then head to the airport for our flight to Ushuaia.

Welcome to Ushuaia, the southernmost city in the world and the starting point of our expedition to Antarctica.

Upon arrival at Ushuaia airport, you will be met by our staff and transferred to the luxury hotel we have booked.  

During the rest of the day, we will have free time to explore this vibrant port city and adventure hub. 

For an introduction to the local history and wildlife, the interesting Museum of the End of the World is well worth a visit.

In the evening we will meet in the lobby of the hotel to enjoy an exquisite dinner in one of the excellent restaurants in the city.

Accommodation: Ushuaia

 

DAY 3 (17-02-2023). USHUAIA - WELCOME ABOARD!

After breakfast at your hotel, the morning is yours to enjoy Ushuaia.

Explore the charming coastline and enjoy views of the snow-capped Cordillera Marcial, the southernmost peaks of the Andes. Take the opportunity to buy souvenirs or some last minute items such as cold weather clothing.

For lunch, the many cafes, grills and ice cream parlors on San Martin Avenue will satisfy any appetite. 

In the afternoon, you will be transferred to the dock where you will be warmly welcomed on board the expedition vessel M/V Ushuaia.

Settle into your cabin and explore the ship that will be your comfortable home for the extraordinary adventure ahead.

After getting underway, a full programme of events begins with briefings and presentations by expedition staff.

After thefirst of many delicious dinners on board, you can step out onto the open decks to admire the scenery and the beautiful sunset light as we pass through the Beagle Channel, via the Mackinlay Passage.

 

DAYS 4 - 5. CROSSING THE DRAKE PASS

Named after the famous explorer Sir Francis Drake who sailed these waters in 1578, the Drake Passage is the site of the Antarctic Convergence, a natural biological barrier where the cold polar waters submerge beneath the warmer waters of the north. This generates a large amount of nutrients, which sustain the biodiversity of this region.

The Drake Passage also marks the northern limit of many Antarctic seabirds. As we sail through the passage, our staff will be with you out on deck to assist you in identifying the huge variety of seabirds, including the albatrosses that follow the USHUAIA.

The "open bridge" policy on board will allow you to join our officers on the bridge and learn some aspects concerning sailing, whale watching or just enjoy the view. A full programme of lectures will be waiting for you.

The first icebergs and snow-capped mountains indicate that we have reached the South Shetland Islands, an archipelago of 20 islands and islets discovered in 1819 by Captain William Smith with his brigantine Williams. If the conditions in the Drake Passage are favourable, on the third day our expedition staff will accompany you on the first landing and experience the fascinating encounter with penguins and seals.

 

DAYS 6 - 10. DISCOVERING THE ANTARCTIC PENINSULA AND SOUTH SHETLAND ISLANDS

The South Shetland Islands are teeming with wildlife. Vast penguin colonies, beaches ruled by Antarctic fur seals and southern elephant seals make every day on this island group unforgettable. Sailing through the narrow passage to the flooded caldera of Deception Island is truly amazing.

King George Island is the largest of the South Shetland Islands and is characterised by colonies of gentoo and chinstrap penguins, kittiwakes, imperial cormorants, Antarctic terns and southern giant petrels. There are also scientific bases of different countries. Chinstrap penguins, gentoo penguins as well as elephant seals await you on Livingston Island.

As you learn about the remarkable history of the Antarctic Peninsula, you will be thrilled in a way comparable to that of the early explorers. You will have plenty of time to explore its incredible landscape, a pristine wilderness of snow, ice, mountains and waterways, and the amazingly wide variety of wildlife. In addition to penguins and seabirds you will also see crabeater, Weddell and leopard seals up close, as well as humpback, Minke and killer whales.

We expect to navigate some of the most beautiful channels depending on ice conditions: the Gerlache Strait, the Neumayer Channel and the Lemaire Channel are narrow passages between towering rocks and spectacular glaciers. We plan to make at least two shore excursions per day.

Sites for such excursions may also include:

Paradise Bay, literally the best named place in the world, is where we will attempt a proper descent to the mainland. After crossing the iceberg-covered waters of the Antarctic Sound we hope to visit the active Adélie penguin (over 100,000 pairs breed here) and imperial shag colonies on Paulet Island. Nordenskjöld's expedition built a stone shelter here in 1903; the ruins have now been overrun by penguin nests.

Other possible explorations could take us to Melchior Islands, Cuverville Island, Portal Point, Neko Harbour, Pléneau Island, and, ice conditions permitting, to Petermann Island to visit the southernmost colony of Gentoo penguins.

 

DAYS 11 - 12. DRAKE PASS

We will leave the Antarctic Peninsula and head north across the Drake Passage.

Join our lecturers and naturalists on deck in the search for seabirds and whales, and enjoy some of the final lectures.

Take time to relax and reflect on the fascinating adventures of the last few days on the way back to Ushuaia.

 

DAY 13 (27-02-2023). ARRIVAL AT THE PORT OF USHUAIA

Today our ship will sail the waters of the Beagle Channelbefore docking in Ushuaia (around 8 am approximately).

Farewell dinner.

Night in Ushuaia.

 

Day 14 (28-02-2023). USHUAIA - FLIGHT TO BUENOS AIRES - END OF TRIP

Transfer to Ushuaia airport (USH) for your flight back to Buenos Aires.

End of the Photo Tour:

SHIP

Welcome aboard the Ushuaia!

The USHUAIA has 46 cabins and suites to comfortably accommodate up to 90 passengers, providing ample deck space and an open bridge policy.

The USHUAIA is a ship originally built at the request of NOAA (North American Oceanic and Atmospheric Research Agency), for its oceanography department. It was refitted for passengers, and has been equipped with the most advanced service, navigation and communication standards for Antarctic navigation. It is also equipped with zodiacs, which make it possible to visit places that would otherwise be inaccessible.

All cabins have ample space for luggage. The spacious restaurant serves meals for all passengers simultaneously. There is also a bar, observation lounge/conference room with multimedia equipment, library, changing room and a small infirmary.

Our captains and officers are experts in Antarctic navigation and have a great passion for nature. Our excellent expedition team consists of an Expedition Leader, guides and lecturers, all of whom are experienced in Antarctica, enthusiastic and committed to protecting the environment. Our chefs prepare an excellent variety of dishes including local specialities, and the bar has a wide and carefully selected range of wines and spirits.

Facilities:
FOUR DECKS - DINING ROOM - OBSERVATION LOUNGE/CONFERENCE ROOM WITH MULTIMEDIA EQUIPMENT, BAR AND LIBRARY - PANORAMIC DECK - GIFT SHOP - INFIRMARY - ZODIACS

Roof and cabin plan

On board the USHUAIA

  • Air conditioning and heating

    The vessel is air-conditioned and each cabin is equipped with individual temperature controls. To set these controls to your own comfort level, please do not hesitate to contact our staff.

  • Announcements

    All announcements are made by our loud speaker system. The bridge announces interesting passages and attractions. If there is an emergency call from the bridge, you will surely receive it!

  • Library

    The ship's library, on the main deck F, contains a good selection of international titles, with an emphasis on essential reference books for your destination. A variety of games, including card and board games, are also available.

  • Rubber boots

    For Antarctic voyages, a supply of rubber boots is on board. While there is a wide variety of sizes, it is recommended that you bring your own only if you require a special size. Please also note that these boots have already been worn by other passengers on previous trips.

  • Booths

    Your waitress will arrange your cabin in the morning.

    Change of bed linen:
    It will be changed once during the trip. If you prefer a more regular change, please inform our Hotel Manager.

    Change of towels:
    In order to limit the use of washing powder (for ecological reasons) we only change towels on request. Please leave your towels on the floor if you want them to be changed. If the towel is hung up, we will understand that you will use it again. Thank you for your understanding.

    Toilets:
    Toilet flushes are very efficient, but also very sensitive. Please treat them gently and do not put anything in them except small amounts of toilet paper. Dispose of used tissues or other items in the trash can.

  • Safety deposit box

    Your cabin is not equipped with a safety deposit box. Should you need to store valuables such as money, jewellery and/or documents, please contact the Hotel Manager. Antarctic Travel Company is not responsible for loss of personal effects and valuables.

  • Dining room

    The dining room, on the main deck F, can seat all passengers comfortably in one sitting. No tables are assigned and each passenger will be able to choose where to sit according to their preferences.

  • Meals on board

    You will find the following options in the dining room while on board the USHUAIA:

    Continental and American breakfast buffet.

    Lunch, self-service or table service.

    Afternoon snack.

    Three-course dinner.

    Times vary depending on shore excursions.
    Coffee and tea are offered free of charge throughout the day.

  • Communications

    Telephone and Fax
    The USHUAIA is equipped with the INMARSAT system, which allows direct communication with the ship from telephones and faxes from anywhere in the world.

    To communicate with the USHUAIA from home you will receive a list of numbers prior to your departure. On board you will find a list of important numbers for the use of your cabin telephone. The costs will be charged to your cabin at US$4 per minute, to be paid at the end of the trip.

    Email and internet access
    The ship has computers for your use. Internet codes are available on board at a cost of US$10 per 30 (thirty) minutes. Please note that we do not have Wi-Fi connection on board.

  • Climatic and maritime conditions

    These conditions play an important role in expedition cruises. All planned activities are subject to change or cancellation due to weather and sea conditions. We thank you for your understanding and flexibility.

  • Speakers

    Your team of renowned lecturers will accompany you throughout your trip. While they are giving lectures or leading shore excursions, they will also be on hand to answer your questions and offer insightful knowledge throughout the day. Antarctic Travel Company has selected the lecturers for their professional achievements, their reputation, and their adventurous spirit. We hope you enjoy exploring with them.

  • Lectures and films

    Both are offered in the specially equipped conference room on E Deck. Passengers are encouraged to participate in all of the ship's activities, including the stimulating and informative lectures.

  • Conservation

    Please be aware that many of the places you will be visiting on the trip are unique. At Antarctic Travel Company we are very proud of our outstanding reputation for conservation and respect for all the ecosystems we visit. Please help us to maintain this reputation. Our lecturers and staff will accompany you on shore excursions and give you specific guidance and information about the region. Please do not leave any waste behind and bring it back to the ship, where it will be properly disposed of. For Antarctic cruises you will receive the Antarctic Visitor Guidelines with your travel documents.

  • Electricity

    The power on board is 110 V/ 60 Hz and the outlets in the cabins are multistandard. These outlets accept various types of international plugs. We recommend bringing the necessary special converters and adapters, as only a limited number can be borrowed on board.

    Some outlets in public areas are 220v-240v and are properly marked. These outlets are the ones used in Argentina and accept plugs with two flat inverted V-shaped rods and a third flat rod at the bottom (grounding). It also accepts plugs with two inverted V-shaped rods (without grounding) or two small cylindrical rods.

  • Expedition team

    Your voyage will be led by an Expedition Leader in conjunction with his staff, zodiac drivers and a team of lecturers. Staff members are specially selected and trained to provide an interesting cruise and unique experiences.

  • Shore excursions

    They will be introduced during briefings the day before. Before disembarking, you will be given information about the duration of the landing and the type of landing ("wet" or "dry"). Your Expedition Team will accompany you on your daily shore excursions and provide you with extensive information. Please remember to follow their instructions and advice carefully.

  • Languages

    As part of your experience on this voyage, you will find that many languages are spoken on board the ship. English and Spanish are the languages used by officers and crew (some of the crew may speak only Spanish). Lectures are given in English and Spanish.

  • Medical facilities

    A qualified doctor accompanies each voyage for routine and emergency care. The ship's infirmary is located on E deck. Schedules will be presented in your daily programme. In case of emergency, please call the Bridge (#108). There is a charge for the following consultations:

    In the ship's infirmary US$ 20.

    In your cabin US$ 25.

    There is an extra cost for medication.
    Seasickness is treated free of charge. If you need to take a regular or special medication, please make sure you have enough for the duration of the cruise.

  • Currency

    The currency used on board the USHUAIA is the US Dollar. Euros are accepted, as well as the following credit cards: MasterCard and American Express. The minimum credit card payment is US$100.

  • Wildlife watching

    As long as we are in areas where there is a possibility of wildlife sightings, ship's officers and staff will be on constant lookout. However, do not hesitate to report any sightings to the bridge or staff. If we are fortunate enough to see wildlife, we will announce it from the bridge, no matter what time it occurs. If you would like to go back to sleep, please do so!

  • Payments: Your personal account

    We suggest that you carry at least US$300 (in small notes) for expenses on board. On most voyages, particularly in Antarctica, this sum will be more than sufficient as we will be sailing in an isolated area, where opportunities to spend money are limited.

    For services provided on board the vessel, you will be provided with a personal account using the note system. Your purchases will be recorded and accounted for at the end of the voyage. Your account must be settled in cash (US Dollars or Euros); if you prefer to pay your expenses by credit card instead: we accept MasterCard or American Express for amounts over US$100. Please indicate this to the Hotel Manager during the first few days of your voyage.
    Unfortunately, credit cards will not be accepted for payment of gratuities.

  • Passports

    All passports are collected from the vessel and retained by the Hotel Manager for the duration of the voyage. They must be retained for administrative and security purposes.

  • Smoking policy

    Smoking is permitted on all outside decks, with the exception of the zodiac "deck". Inside the ship, all areas, including cabins, are designated "No Smoking". NEVER throw cigarette butts or other (lit) material into the sea! The wind could blow them back towards the vessel, causing extensive damage.

  • Open door policy

    The USHUAIA maintains an open door policy. If you wish to store valuables, please contact the Hotel Manager.

  • Daily programme

    Each afternoon, during the day's wrap-up session, the Expedition Leader will present the programme for the following day. In addition, a copy will be handed to you in your cabin. Included in the programme will be information on the following day's activities, events, landings, meals and lectures. Please note that as this is an expedition voyage, the daily programme may change due to local sea, weather or ice conditions.

    Also the Captain and Expedition Team may deviate from the programme to take advantage of an unexpected opportunity, such as wildlife sightings, advantageous sea conditions and other local events. Any changes to the daily programme will be announced over the loud speaker system. We thank you for your understanding and flexibility.

  • Tipping

    The customary gratuities on the ship for service personnel are anonymous and are made at the end of the voyage, which will be divided among the crew. You will receive our recommendations on board. Tipping is a very personal matter and the amount you wish to tip is at your discretion. As a generally accepted rule of thumb, we suggest US$15 per person per day. We appreciate that this is in US dollars. Unfortunately, credit cards will not be accepted.

  • Bridge

    The USHUAIA encourages you to take advantage of our "open bridge" policy. During the days we are sailing, the officers invite you to observe the ship's sailing operations and will be happy to answer any questions you may have. We kindly ask you to respect the bridge as the officers' working area. Occasionally, for safety reasons, the bridge may be closed to visitors.

  • Information meetings

    On a daily basis the Expedition Team will summarise the experiences on the ground and update you on our plans for the next day. These informal sessions are usually held at cocktail hour.

  • Hair dryers

    All cabins on upper deck G are equipped with hairdryers for your comfort. Additional hairdryers can be requested from the Hotel Manager.

  • Safety at sea

    Our top priority during the cruise is the personal safety of all passengers and crew. Our vessel complies with all international requirements, as well as U.S. Coast Guard regulations. Officers and crew are well trained and practice emergency procedures to ensure your comfort and safety. Within 24 hours of boarding, there will be an emergency drill, in which all passengers are required to participate. Through this exercise, you will become familiar with the procedures to be followed in the unfortunate event of an emergency.

  • Cleaning and laundry service

    We regret that we are unable to offer laundry or dry cleaning services on board.

  • Dietary requests

    With an advance note, our Executive Chef will fortunately be able to accommodate a variety of specific dietary requests. Please inform Antarctic Travel Company at least three weeks in advance of your cruise if you need to make a special request. We would be grateful if you could also state these requirements on your Booking Form. However, Kosher food is not available.

  • Souvenir shop

    It is located on the main deck F, and stocks men's and women's clothing, photographic film, sundries, gifts and souvenirs.

  • Clothing on board

    Casual, expedition-style clothing is the recommended clothing for the trip. It should be comfortable and versatile as described in detail in the packing list attached to your preliminary documentation.

  • Clothing on land

    Casual and comfortable clothing, expedition style, is recommended for shore excursions. Please refer to the packing list attached to your preliminary documentation.

  • Zodiacs

    The USHUAIA carries its own fleet of Zodiacs and RIBs. The boats can accommodate up to 12 passengers and in the hands of our trained driver, are stable, safe and manoeuvrable.

    Made of heavy-duty plastic, with several watertight compartments, they are very easy to embark and disembark. Their versatility is opening up a whole new world of exploration, and makes the zodiac the key to expedition cruising. They allow you to get ashore and investigate some of the most isolated regions of the world. You will be given instructions on how to properly embark and disembark from this type of vessel.

Public areas

INCLUDED/NOT INCLUDED
INCLUDED:
  • Transfer from the airport to the hotel.
  • Overnight accommodation in a 4 star hotel (Buenos Aires), the day of your arrival.
  • Day 2. Accommodation in a 4 star hotel (Ushuaia).
  • Day 13. Accommodation in a 4-star hotel (Ushuaia).
  • Day 2. Flight from Buenos Aires to Ushuaia (economy class).
  • Day 14. Flight from Ushuaia to Buenos Aires (economy class).
  • Accommodation on board during the trip (shared double cabin).
  • All meals, snacks, tea and coffee during the boat trip.
  • All shore excursions and zodiac cruises.
  • Educational lectures and guiding services of the expedition team.
  • Access to our on-board doctor and basic medical services.
  • Photographic instruction by our professional photographers throughout the trip.
  • Free use of rubber boots.
  • Port surcharges, permits and landing fees.

 

NOT INCLUDED:
  • International or domestic flights, unless specified.
  • Transfers not mentioned in the itinerary.
  • Passport, visa, reciprocity and vaccination fees.
  • Personal expenses such as laundry and phone calls.
  • Optional excursions not included in the itinerary.
  • Extra activities.
TERMS AND CONDITIONS
Payment Policy

Reserve Deposit:

The reservation will be effective when a deposit of 20% of the total amount of the trip is paid.
Places will not be reserved without the deposit.

Second payment:

A second deposit of 20% of the price will be required 270 days prior to departure.

Final Payment:

Final payment is due 90 days prior to departure.

 

General Cancellation Policy:

All cancellation requests must be submitted in writing.

Cancellations received 90 days prior to departure are non-refundable but may be used as future credit.

Cancellations received within 89 days prior to departure, including the day of departure, will not be refunded. If cancellation occurs within 89 days prior to departure and full payment has not yet been received, the cancellation penalty will still apply and all payments must be made immediately.

For these and other reasons mentioned above we strongly recommend the purchase of insurance covering cancellation costs.

 

General

1. Accidents:

1.A. Namaste Photo Tours is not responsible for accidents of participants of the trip, nor will it cover medical expenses if necessary. During the trip, each participant is responsible for his or her own safety and physical integrity.

1.B. Namaste Photo Tours is not responsible for accidents or loss of photographic equipment during the trip. Each participant is responsible for his or her own photographic equipment.

2. Punctuality:

2.A. The Photographic Journey starts on a specific date and in a timely manner. All participants must be at the location on the day of the start of the trip. In case of delays due to inconveniences, the participant must contact a Namaste Photo Tours representative as soon as possible.

3. Respect:

3.A. Respect and patience are the basis of a successful Photographic Journey. Participants may be at different levels of knowledge of the subject matter, so patience is required when explaining topics that are already in their domain. Each participant's area of photographing should be respected. No disrespect from a participant to another member of the trip or staff will be allowed.

4. Climate:

4.A.The tour and its itinerary are weather dependent and may change from one moment to the next. We will always keep an eye on the best weather conditions to determine where to go and to optimise your photography.

Itineraries

Itineraries are published for reference only, and are subject to change due to weather conditions, glaciological conditions, at the discretion of the captain and expedition leader, or any other reason beyond our control, without prior notice, and without passengers being able to claim any compensation.

Insurance

The company requests that passengers take out travel insurance, including cancellation and compulsory medical insurance to cover evacuation and repatriation from Antarctica with a minimum ofUS$100,000. Namaste Photo Tours is not responsible for any injury or accident to the passenger (whether or not resulting in death), nor for loss or damage to their belongings. In the event that medical problems arise during the trip, whether on board or on land, and which result in evacuation, use of aircraft or repatriation costs, the responsibility for payment of these services is the sole responsibility of the passenger.

Antarctica

Sign me up!

As soon as possible, we will contact you to send you instructions on how to pay the reservation fee (20%) and guarantee your place on this photographic trip.

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