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AntarcticaDr. Basil Stathoulis, South Africa

This was my second big expedition with ORYX. As I write this I am reminded of the full title of this young and dynamic company: ORYX Worldwide Photographic Expeditions (now ORYX Photo Tours).

The Antarctic is certainly at the end of our wide world and no doubt on many bucket lists.If you have thought of wanting to go to the Great White continent then plan and book now. If you are a photographer then do it with ORYX.

We travelled in a group of nine with Marius Coetzee, founder of ORYX and expedition leader from 28 December 2013 until 15 January 2014. We were aboard the sturdy purpose-built Russian ice-capable research vessel, the Akademik Sergey Vavilov with a total of 90 passengers. The expedition was managed and run by super staff from One Ocean Expeditions based in Canada. They were professional in every regard, from on ship duties to Zodiac outings and landings, and there was a great emphasis on education with numerous interesting and informative lectures, including from their resident photographers Ira Meyer and Tony Beck.

Even with an expedition crew that has two professional photographic guides you need to have someone like Marius Coetzee to really help you get the shots you want.

Marius has an easy way of discussing the days planned activities and sharing gems about the shots to get. His advice on equipment is first rate and in the field he will seek out the best vantage points and preferentially let his clients shoot. Even with more creative photographers he continuously looks for compositions and movement and shares his ideas freely. This is a rare capability in a first class photographic guide.

ORYX has an extensive network of ground contacts, and landings and transfers are facilitated professionally at ports and airports with no stress for the traveller. As an aside, Marius and I went up to Iguaçu Falls with a private guide, Miguel, and all of ORYX’s abilities including their choice of venue, accommodation and guide scored top marks.

Booking and communication details and other requirements are effortless with Kirsty at the home office.

Get out there and live your life: go on an expedition with ORYX Worldwide Photographic Expeditions.

AntarcticaDr. Johann Slazus, South Africa

Thanks Marius for a great trip! We had a wonderful time and you managed it all fabulously: Asanti Sana! Your tips and suggestions to make the photography more interesting were enlightening. Even the other passengers were impressed.

AntarcticaDebbie Smail, United Kingdom

I’ve been back two weeks now, following a trip of a lifetime to Antarctica with ORYX Photo Tours. It was a phenomenal adventure and exceeded all expectations. Marius is a pleasure to travel with; he has a great sense of humor and is very attentive to all.

I was the least experienced photographer in our small group, but was given all the help and guidance I needed not just from Marius but from all in our group. Marius is very good at reading people and understanding what they will like and when they need help, he ensures that his clients get the shots they want and always puts them first.

I would highly recommend this trip to anyone who wants an epic adventure and go with ORYX as you won’t regret it! Wish I was still there, but alas not, so instead I’m in the process of booking my next trip with ORYX and Marius for later in 2014!

AntarcticaMaurice Taylor, Switzerland

I arrived home safely at midnight on the 16th and was so busy at work that I’m just finding the time now to write to you. I only have positive things to say about the trip, Antarctica was a fantastic experience, Dale was perfect (as always) and the rest of group very easy to get along with.

It’s late in Geneva and I’ll be brief: there is no doubt that I will join another ORYX expedition, I don’t know when, but soon I hope (and with Dale again for sure).

AntarcticaElise Hardy, USA

I recently got back from Antarctica and it was absolutely spectacular. Out of about 10 photographer-guides I’ve traveled 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 behavior, 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. There were other options for Antarctica, but I’m so glad I chose this one and it’s a memory of a lifetime!

AntarcticaMaurice Taylor, Switzerland

In every respect, we truly did have a wonderful time in Antarctica. I do not know where to start… comprehensive and regular communication from the time of our initial enquiry, the friendly tone of all your emails, your promptness in responding to our enquiries, your care and concern.

The experience on Akademik Ioffe: this was our first cruise and it exceeded all expectations. The professionalism and friendliness of all staff, service, amenities, activities, conservation principles, amazing variety and healthy choices at every meal, a surprise birthday cake from Bob for me on 5 January (every birthday was celebrated with a personalised cake with a candle! – so thoughtful), fellow passengers from all ages and stages!

Graham learnt so much from Dale, not only about his camera, but also about new and varied angles for photographing wildlife! This was also our first photographic tour and we look forward to many more. Graham’s passion for birdwatching and photography was more than fulfilled– he has so many amazing shots and our bird count tally was increased by 50 new species!

It is difficult to relate to others what you experience in Antarctica – the stillness, purity, abundance of wildlife, pristineness, the ocean in every shade of blue, the privilege of being there…

I will recommend our overall experience with you all in a heartbeat!

Thank you again for helping us to achieve this bucket list item in such a memorable way.

AntarcticaLorne Martin, Canada

Hi Nicolette, Thanks to you and the entire ORYX team. This was truly the experience of a lifetime. My only wish was that my wife was there to share it with me. Having said that Penny did everything possible to make this trip the absolute best it could be. She was so attentive – to both shooting and post production, that I know my photography skills took a big jump forward. I have been on many photo expeditions over the last 6 or 7 years and Penny’s instruction and attention were well beyond what I have experienced previously.

AntarcticaSimon Belsham, UK

You guys have been fantastic, from my initial enquiries, through supporting me with payments to the information you provided beforehand. But most importantly Penny was an absolute super star. It was an incredible trip. Exhilarating, intense, thought provoking and really fun. Penny was patient, really easy to get along with (for 3 weeks on a boat is not easy to achieve!), supportive and taught us both so much. Having Penny with us the whole time opened my eyes to a different way of seeing things. She has an incredible creative eye, and the way we looked at animal behaviour, and thought about the context that surrounded Antarctica, moved my photography beyond basic documentary to something that had more purpose. Instead of solely trying to capture beautiful images we were trying to tell stories in a place where there are so many important stories to tell. This has not only made my photography better and more interesting (I hope!) but it also given it more meaning. And having more meaning for me has given me a whole new excitement and sense of purpose for my photography in general.

AntarcticaPeter and Anita Gordon, South Africa

Many thanks for the warm welcome back, all your organisation went off seamlessly. We had an amazing experience and after South Georgia and the Peninsular, our souls were enriched and hard drives full of amazing photos. The rest of the trip was also amazing, with a lot of great memories.We are eventually getting over the jet lag and would really like to thank you and your team for all the hard work that you put into making this once in a lifetime expedition such a success.