The Final Frontier
The Adventure of a Lifetime!
V.I.P. Scouting Expedition
DateJan 26 - Feb 10, 2019
Trip length16 Days
Arrive inBuenos Aires
Depart fromBuenos Aires
We’ve been waiting a long time to launch this tour, and the moment is finally here!
Join us on our inaugural V.I.P. small group scouting expedition in January 2019 to the ultimate bucket list destination… Antarctica.
Have you ever dreamed of following in the footsteps of Shackleton, Amundsen, and Scott? Us too but without the early twentieth century hardships and canned food! So, instead of just sitting around and dreaming about Antarctica we decided that it was high time to make this dream come true. For our clients (and let’s be honest, for us too) we’ve put together an exciting itinerary that will have us all sailing across the legendary Drake passage, exploring South Georgia Island, before navigating our way to the icy continent itself.
You’ll sail the south seas in luxury on our state of the art ship, the Ocean Endeavour, which was designed specifically for polar region sailing.
Our intrepid crew arrives in the beautiful capital city of Buenos Aires before embarking on our private charter flight to Ushuaia, Argentina. Take some time to explore these two very unique South American destinations before your icy adventure begins. If you’d like to extend your journey in Buenos Aires either before or after the tour, our team is there to help you arrange your extended stay.
As we cross the Drake passage you’ll be in good hands with our intrepid photography leader and the stalwart crew aboard Endeavour. On the crossing, you’ll have the opportunity to work on your photography and post-production skills with expert guidance in both group and one-to-one sessions. Your expert crew will also impart their knowledge about penguins, seabirds, elephant seals and all the other wildlife that you will encounter on this epic journey. You’ll also learn about the history and exploration of the region dating back hundreds of years.
South Georgia island, also known as the Galapagos of the poles is the home to hundreds of thousands of seabirds and penguins. In fact, South Georgia’s king penguin rookeries are the largest in the world. You’ll have no trouble capturing incredible photographs at this amazing destination and you’ll be the envy of your friends back home when you show them your best shots. Visit abandoned whaling stations and learn stories of inhabitants who called this island home.
Photograph stunning ice formations on a Zodiac ride, witness glistening glaciers, share fun-filled moments with inquisitive penguins, and behold the rugged coastline of the Antarctic Peninsula from a sea kayak. Antarctica will astonish and delight, and never disappoint. This will be a trip you’ll be dreaming about for years.
Our Pledge To You
The Discovery Gold Standard
01 Our Ship
Ocean Endeavour is a comfortable, well-appointed small expedition ship expertly engineered to explore the Polar Regions. The ship has an ice-strengthened hull, Zodiacs for exploration and remote landings, and advanced navigation equipment. The newly-refurbished vessel offers a superb guest experience with an expansive choice of cabin categories, large cabins and common areas, a sundeck and observation area, plenty of deck space for polar landscape viewing, and lounges for learning and reflection.
Endeavour is also one of the only polar adventure ships in Antarctica focused on health and wellness and offers a contemporary approach to cuisine and newly-designed health and fitness features. Facilities include a spa serviced by organic spa provider VOYA, His & Hers saunas, a saltwater pool, a gym, and a juice and smoothie bar. Complimentary activities include yoga and stretching classes, the Scientists in Residence program, and more adventure activities than any other vessel in our operator’s fleet of polar ships.
02 Photo Opportunities
This is an extraordinary voyage that you’re about to embark on and it is filled with awesome photo ops.
On this expedition, we’ll explore Buenos Aires, Ushuaia, South Georgia Island, the South Shetland Islands, and of course… the icy continent, Antarctica itself! Each of these places offers its own unique and spectacular possibilities for you to capture the quintessential images that you have been dreaming of.
What will you potentially witness and photograph? We’re glad you asked. Many different species of penguins that will number in the tens of thousands, Right, Blue, Sei, Humpback, Minke, Fin, Sperm and Killer whales, orcas, several dolphin species, Southern elephant seals, Antarctic fur seals, and seabirds galore.
You’ll also want to keep your camera ready to shoot floating ice formations and icebergs, abandoned whaling stations, mountainous landscapes, sea kayakers, and the most epic selfie of your life!
03 Our Photographer Leaders
Discovery co-founder Ken Kaminesky will be leading this scouting expedition and he’s looking forward to sharing this incredible voyage with the nine lucky guests that will be joining him. You’ll have ample time on board the ship to discuss photography, learn post-processing techniques, and get images critiqued all in a private setting.
Out in the field, Ken will be with you photographing side by side, capturing stills and video for Discovery. Photography aside, we expect you’ll have the time of your life on this scouting expedition. Traveling with us means there will be lots of laughs, interesting stories, delicious meals, and fun-filled adventures where you’ll be treated like family and will leave with new lifelong friends and cherished memories.
The Mystical Seventh Continent
Your ULTIMATE Bucket List Destination
The Adventure Begins!
Buenos Aires, Argentina
You may arrive in Buenos Aires at any time during Day 1 of the itinerary. Upon your arrival in this splendid city, known for its rich architecture and European heritage, you will independently transfer to the group hotel (pre-night hotel included).
Our team is available to help you book extra days in Buenos Aires, should you wish to arrive early and explore the Argentinian capital before we depart for Antarctica.
The End of the World
Ushuaia, Argentina and Embarkation
After breakfast at the hotel, the group will transfer to the airport and board our private charter flight to Ushuaia, Argentina.
Upon arrival, you will have a little time to explore this quaint port town before heading to the pier.
Embarkation will occur in the late afternoon, after which your vessel will sail down the historic Beagle Channel. This famous channel transects the Tierra del Fuego archipelago in the extreme south of South America. Think of the Beagle Channel as the tasty appetizer before your main course arrives. You will want to get out on deck and keep your eyes open as there are several bird species to capture your attention and test your photography skills.
The Expedition Team will keep you busy by testing your knowledge of seabirds, penguins and the history of South Georgia as they begin their educational lecture program. Your first days will include time to get acquainted with fellow travelers and learning about the shore landings, Zodiac excursions and kayaking opportunities that await you.
The first indication that you are approaching South Georgia is the sighting of birds around a group of rocky spires called Shag Rocks. Rising out of the icy ocean waters, have your binoculars and cameras ready to photograph these rocks. Shags and prions often rest here.
After enjoying South Georgia from a distance, we’ll head towards its sandy beaches to find a protected bay for your first land excursion. Landing sites on South Georgia are varied, and are largely determined by the weather conditions of your voyage. Whichever landing sites we visit, they’ll provide you with wildlife encounters that cannot be enjoyed anywhere else on earth.
This is one of the most fertile breeding grounds in the world for sub-Antarctic wildlife, with beaches littered with penguins - in particular king and macaroni penguins. Many rookeries number into the 100s of thousands! It won’t take you long to realize that South Georgia is a paradise for bird lovers as burrowing seabirds, albatross and petrels can be seen in abundance.
You’ll find that South Georgia is also scattered with abandoned relics and evidence of human activity from centuries gone by. Once a popular base for whalers and sealers, Captain James Cook first reported on the abundance of wildlife here in 1775. His report resulted in an almost complete decimation of fur seals and a drastic decline in both whale and elephant seal populations. Your Expedition Team will help bring those days to life for you, as you’ll visit old whaling stations and enjoy lectures and presentations on the South Georgia of then and now. Thankfully, you’ll witness that many species have seen a remarkable population rebound on the island.
One of the most significant sites you will visit on the island is located on Grytviken. This is one of the first whaling stations established in sub-Antarctic waters. Many travelers find this place of special appeal as it is home to the remains of one of the best known Antarctic explorers, Sir Ernest Shackleton.
Antarctica, here we come!
Antarctica awaits, along with its own penguin and seal species. While you’re at sea, you can enjoy quiet time or take in presentations by the Expedition Team, which will cover everything from the history and geology of Antarctica to tips on identifying different species and what makes each of them unique.
This is what you've been dreaming of
The Antarctic Peninsula
The most common reaction to arriving at the White Continent is a sense of reverence and awe. The experience is hard to put into words. You will discover that Antarctica is a land of extremes: at one moment you’ll be overcome with a feeling of complete silence and loneliness, the next you’ll be laughing at the comical antics of a curious penguin.
Zodiac cruises, visits to current research bases or abandoned whaling stations and, of course, communing with seals and penguins are sure to keep you smiling each and every day. Perhaps you’ll catch sight of the fearless penguin-eater, the leopard seal, or come eye–to–eye with a curious minke whale while out on a Zodiac. Each day and each landing will present a new collection of creatures to entertain you and keep your camera busy.
If you find yourself wanting more,then perhaps you’ll treat yourself by booking our kayaking Adventure Option (reserve in advance when booking your trip), or if you’re feeling a bit overwhelmed, a little shock therapy courtesy of a Polar Plunge might be what you need!
The Journey Home Begins
After more than a dozen days of memorable wildlife encounters, your journey home begins. Crossing the Drake is your unofficial rite of passage, putting a final stamp of completion on your Antarctic adventure.
The End of the Adventure
Disembark in Ushuaia and Fly to Buenos Aires
We will arrive in Ushuaia in the morning after breakfast. After disembarkation, we will taste a little of Patagonia by touring Tierra del Fuego National Park before we transfer to the airport for the return group charter flight to Buenos Aires.
Embracing the unexpected is part of the legacy – and excitement – of expedition travel. There are no guarantees that we can achieve everything we set out to accomplish. A measure of flexibility is something all of us must bring to a voyage. There are nearly 200 recognized sites in the Antarctic Peninsula and South Shetlands and the places mentioned above may be changed to others equally as interesting.
Get To Know
DateJan 26 - Feb 10, 2019
Trip length16 Days
Max group size9
Overview of shooting locations
Photography skill level
Recommended photography equipment
- DSLR or Mirrorless camera(s) – Full frame, Crop Sensor, or Medium Format
- Carbon Fibre Tripod
- Super wide angle lens 15mm or less (full frame)
- Zoom lens 24-70mm
- Zoom Lens 70-200mm
- Super telephoto prime or zoom lens 400mm or higher
- 1.4x and/or 2.0x teleconverters
- Neutral Density Filters
- Laptop computer with Lightroom & Photoshop
- Dry Bags
Join us in Antarctica
Ken Kaminesky is a veteran commercial travel photographer, Fujifilm Global Ambassador, Zeiss lens Ambassador, writer, consultant, and entrepreneur with over twenty years of experience in the photography industry. Ken's iconic photography has featured in major publications including the New York Times, Condé Nast Traveler, and twice on the front cover of National Geographic magazine.