Alluring Antartica With Elise Hardy
“I recently got back from Antarctica and it was absolutely spectacular. Out of about 10 photographer-guides I’ve travelled with in the past, Dale is the best overall! He’s a wonderful teacher, has almost no ego and is always concerned about his clients getting great shots. I never fail to be impressed by his talent in photographing animals and landscapes, his technical ability, attention to detail, and aesthetic sensibility. He’s highly attuned to the animals and their behaviour, which is one reason why his photos are so successful. My photos are much better when I travel with him. I loved the Akademik Ioffe ship and staff. The mostly Canadian staff and Russian crew were excellent and exceeded expectations in professionalism and competence. The food was very good, with many courses and options, and different every single day. The cabins were comfortable with stunning Antarctic views. The staff planned activities all day long to fill up the downtime days so we were constantly entertained and the 3 weeks flew by. I’m so glad I chose this trip and it’s a memory of a lifetime!” – Elise Hardy
Antarctica. It’s a continent that very people have seen and will have the opportunity to visit, and although it may not be a regular feature on frequent flyer’s passport, it’s the ultimate dream for a nature photographer. It’s a place where the ice-blue sea meets towering icebergs that reach high up into the skies, where the rocky mountain peaks perfectly blends the contrast of rock and snow and the water is so clear that reflections look as though they have been painted.
An Antarctica safari is guaranteed to consume all the space on your camera’s memory cards as you capture and immortalise the scenic splendour that surrounds you.
The Classic Antarctica Photography Tour navigates to some of the most interesting areas in the Southern Ocean, including the Falkland and South Georgia Islands, both of which are renowned as among the richest of all sub-antarctic islands. Surrounded by the South Atlantic and by centuries of controversy, the Falklands Islands lie 490km east of Patagonia and has been an overseas British territory since 1833, which the Argentines still dispute up to this day. Five species of penguin breed on this island and the coastline boasts white sandy beaches, elegant cliff tops, historic ship wrecks and basking Elephant seals. The bird photography on this island is immaculate because the approachability of these birds is remarkable and among the 13 endemic plants, are several unusual species, including the Vanilla daisy (Leuceria suaveolens), whose flowers smell remarkably like chocolate!
The tour commences onwards to the South Georgia Islands, which is one of the most remote and rugged islands on earth, situated in the southern Atlantic Ocean in the vicinity of the southern tip of South America and the Antarctic Peninsula. It has been dubbed “the most staggering wildlife show on earth” because its home to a vast number of birds and marine life. The sea fare to the island for this Antarctica tour is never dull as fur seals joyfully swim around the ship, whales wave their graceful flukes and the bird life never fails to disappoint. Upon first sight, the rugged landscape of South Georgia is delightfully decked with colonies of King Penguins in their mind boggling thousands, giant Elephant seals who contest for the ideal mate and long winged albatrosses engaging in courtship.
Although unspoiled for the most part, the South Georgia Islands does have an abandoned whaling station and the grave of the most famous Antarctic explorer, Sir Ernest Shackleton.
Following the island hopping, the ship sets sails for the Antarctic Peninsula into much more frigid waters and as sensational Antarctic species of seabirds, whales and dolphins begin to emerge, icebergs appear as we edge closer to the iced over continent. Weather permitting, possible stop overs include the Orkeny Islands, Elephant Island and the South Shetland Islands to indulge in the rich wildlife and history of the area. On approaching the Peninsula, awe-inspiring tabular icebergs and the ice shelves of Antarctica are first to appear, adorned with regular sightings of resident seal, whale and birdlife.
Large colonies of Chinstrap and Gentoo penguins await, as well as the region’s breeding bird species. Upon arrival to the mainland, colossal icebergs seem to stretch into a never ending land of snow and ice, which will be ventured on if the weather plays along.
The aura of this magical place stems in part from its absolute remoteness. There are no crowds (except for the feathered kind!) and the photographic opportunities, creative interpretations and close up, personal encounters with the animals on this Antarctica tour are immeasurable.
ORYX and WildPhoto Travel are dedicated to ensuring that you have the best possible experience during your expedition with us, return back to your home not only with a collection of memorable moments, but with an arsenal of inspiring images that portray your vision and continuous growth. We are confident in saying that there is truly no other Antarctica tour dedicated to the Antarctic Peninsula expedition that will put all your needs and wants as a photographer as of utmost importance.