Antarctica is a photographer’s dream. The stunning array of wildlife set amidst a land of wild and untamed beauty makes for some of the most alluring and dramatic photos on earth. Strangely though, photography focused cruises are rare. In fact, there is only one Antarctica photography cruise departing in 2017. This trip is exclusive to Natural World Safaris, please contact them directly for the full trip details.

The Antarctica Photography Cruise journeys to the 7th continent with award-winning photographer, Andy Rouse, at the very best time for Antarctic photography. Travelling early in the season allows you to witness penguins on ice, see stunning icescapes rising out of the sea and watch seals passing on ice floes; experiences unique to this time of year.

One of the main highlights of the Antarctica photography cruise is that you actually get to spend 7 full days on the peninsula, more than most expeditions to Antarctica. This itinerary allows you to travel round the top photographic spots without feeling like you are rushing your encounters. Not only does the Antarctica photography cruise allow you extra time on the white continent itself, but as you are travelling on a relatively small ship with a maximum of 94, all passengers are able to go on land at once (as there is a limit of 100 persons on land at any one time). This means no one misses out on exciting wildlife encounters, and as there is a limit to 10 people per Zodiac, you will have plenty of space to carry your camera equipment and will be able to manoeuvre into the best positions for photography.

Throughout the photography cruise you will enjoy a full photographic lecture programme suitable for all levels of knowledge, including nightly critiques, workshops and feedback sessions which will enable you to hone your photography skills and learn new techniques required for capturing images of this fascinating landscape. Andy Rouse and Andrew James are both professional, commercial photographers so with their guidance you will not only come away with memorable snapshots of your time in Antarctica but photos you can be truly proud of.

The Antarctica photography cruise is the ideal option for people with a passion for capturing the world around them.


Antarctica Photography Cruise – Route Map

Antarctica Photography Cruise – Route Itinerary

Please remember that ships must sail to the weather and that exact landings and visits cannot be guaranteed in advance.


Arrive in Argentina’s Ushuaia, the world’s most southern city. This is the starting point for your journey to the frozen south.  Depending on what time you arrive you may have time to explore this picturesque city including visiting the selection of restaurants, shops and bars. Head back to your hotel to relax before your adventure begins.


This morning is your last chance to make any last minute purchases prior to boarding the ship and starting your ultimate Antarctica photography cruise. The Akademik Ioffe will be your home away from home for the next 12 nights as you travel down to the Antarctic Peninsula. Settle into your cabin and get to know your neighbours before the ship sets sail towards the great white continent. You will have time to familiarise yourself with the ship’s on-board facilities and get all your equipment charged and ready for your arrival.


The first part of your journey on-board the Akademik Ioffe is navigating the Drake Passage. This infamous crossing involves traversing the deep waterway that connects the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans between Cape Horn and the South Shetland Islands. It can be rough at times so be prepared with sea-sickness medication if required.

As you travel, listen out for the sounds of countless seabirds riding the currents created by the wake of the ship, and join expert photographers in trying to photograph them. There will be numerous species to look out for including the light-mantled sooty albatross, wandering albatross, grey-headed albatross, black-browed albatross, cape petrel, giant petrel, blue petrel and Antarctic prion.

Depending on the sea and weather conditions, Andy Rouse and his team will provide informal lectures and specialist photography workshops to help you prepare for your upcoming wildlife encounters. The expert naturalists on-board will also share their knowledge of the wildlife and ecosystems to give you a wealth of information about this mesmerising continent.


Over the next week, as much time as possible will be spent out in the Zodiacs to allow for up-close encounters with wildlife and interesting angles for landscape photography. Your guides will try to visit the best locations in Antarctica for photography but this will of course depend on day-by-day conditions.

You will hope to encounter a number of unique species including whales, sea birds, seals and of course lots of different penguins. But it won’t be totally wildlife focused; the landscapes are definitely worth capturing as they are unlike anywhere else in the world. If conditions allow you’ll have chance to visit Petermann Island, Half Moon Island and landing sites on the continent itself including Paradise Harbour and Neko Harbour. Weather permitting, you’ll be able to step foot on the white continent too! When not out exploring, there will be workshops and photography critiques to help you hone your skills.

Not only will the cruise incredible for photography but there is also an excellent social side with evenings spent in the bar and a splash of fancy dress too! You can expect to make friends for life.


It is now time to depart Antarctica and begin the journey back to Ushuaia. Your exact departure time will depend on your location as well as sea and weather conditions. As your trip back through the Drake Passage will take some time, you have chance to socialise, relax and edit your incredible images. Andy and his team will also focus on post-production photography tips to help you make the most of the images you have taken. The wildlife watching may not be over yet though, so look out for whales and seabirds along the way.


Today you will arrive back into Ushuaia, say goodbye to the crew and your fellow passengers then disembark the ship. Your memories of the trip will last a lifetime, as will your selection of images you have captured along the way.

Trip Variations

The Antarctica photography Cruise does not have any variations as this is a special chartered cruise catering towards travellers with a love of photography. Although most other Antarctic cruise itineraries have an element of photography, it is not the sole purpose of the cruise.

How much fitness is required for the Antarctica Photography Cruise?

The Antarctica Photography Cruise is by no means extreme and only a very basic level of fitness is needed. You will be given the opportunity to accompany your guides on daily shore landings once on the peninsula which will require a little walking. However, you will not be rushed or forced to walk any great distances. You will also have the opportunity to hike up several hills to get the best angles for landscape shots. Whilst this is not mandatory, the more fit you are the more you will enjoy it!

What is included in the Antarctica Photography Cruise?

Please note here that all operators offer slightly different packages. The list below is what we would expect to be included for the Antarctica photography Cruise – 13 days.

•1 night hotel stay in Ushuaia before departure

•11 nights on-board the vessel

•Arrival and departure transfers to and from airport

•Daily zodiac excursions once in Antarctica

•Expert on-board photography workshops from Andy Rouse

•Photo critiques

•Post-photo editing tips

•Waterproof boots for shore landings

•Expedition parka

•12 breakfasts, 10 lunches, 9 dinners (some operators do not include food)

•Ratio of at least 1 expedition member per 10 guests

Antarctica Photography Cruise – Cost

The Antarctica Photography Cruise is an exclusive chartered cruise offered by only one travel company. Prices begin at US$8,000 (£6,500) for a basic shared cabin. Expect to pay double for a suite.

These prices do not include flights. Expect to pay in the region of $1,500 from America and £2,000 from the UK. You will also need to factor in the cost of gear as the weather in Antarctica is extremely cold, even in high summer.

For full details on this Antarctica Photography Cruise please click here.

Best time to do the Antarctica Photography Cruise

The Antarctica Photography Cruise is a chartered cruise that departs only once a year. The cruise itself is focused on photography and therefore departs when the weather is best for this pursuit. In 2017 the cruse will be departing on November 17th.

Departing earlier in the season gives travellers the best chance to view courtship rituals between penguins and young chicks hatching. The earlier part of the season also provides the most dramatic icebergs as they have yet to melt. This provides an incredible backdrop for photographers wanting to capture the true side of Antarctica.

Also expect seal pups, long sunsets, huge ice-floes and glaciers! The early part of the Antarctic season is truly a photographers dream.

To see our detailed page on when to visit Antarctica, please click here.

What gear will I need for the Antarctica Photography Cruise?

Bring your camera gear! This is definitely the most important element on your Antarctica photography Cruise. You will need several zip-lock bags, extra batteries and filters to get the best out of your Antarctic photography. Please see our Antarctica photography tips page for more detailed information.

The weather is also a major factor. The beginning of the season is still very cold and you will need to bring appropriate cold-weather clothing. This includes items such as a parka, gloves, beanie, thermal underwear and fleece.

To see our full packing list, please click here.

Do I need travel insurance for the Antarctica Photography Cruise

Absolutely. Travel insurance is mandatory for all Antarctica cruises. You will need to look closely at the insurance policy offered to you as many insurers don’t actually cover you whilst you are on-shore! You also need proper emergency evacuation cover. For our detailed article on Antarctica insurance, please click here.

Ships that sail the Antarctica Photography Cruise Itinerary

This 96 passenger vessel is one the strongest in the water and comes with stabilizers and an ice-strengthened hull. Fully equipped with a modern feel, the Akademik Ioffe offers a complete lecture theater and wellness program which includes yoga instruction (select departures), registered massage therapist, daily meditation, hot water spa, sauna and a refreshing salt-water plunge pool!

Click here for more detailed information on the Akademik Ioffe.

Recommended Antarctica Cruise specialist

The Antarctica photography Cruise is run by Natural World Safaris. It is an exclusive itinerary only provided by them. To book the photography cruise you will need to go through their website.

Further Antarctica cruise itineraries

Antarctica Circle Cruise

Antarctica Express Cruise

Antarctica Peninsula Basecamp Cruise

Antarctica Fly South – Cruise North Tour

Antarctica Via Falklands and South Georgia

Weddell Sea Cruise

Ross Sea Cruise


If you have any further questions or queries regarding the Antarctica Photography Cruise, please just leave a message below and we’ll get back to you within 24 hours.

Thank you and happy travels!