• Antarctica safari, penguin

Why Antarctica

The remote region of Antarctica is a photographer's paradise. From stunning ice statues and breath-taking reflections to peppy penguins and unique marine mammals there will be something to catch your photographic eye at every turn. The rugged wilderness landscape is unlike anything you will experience anywhere else in the world.

Sprawling icescapes seem to stretch for miles and seeing tabular icebergs towering above you will leave you astounded.

Although the wildlife in Antarctica is truly unhabituated, the penguins appear completely unfazed by human presence which enables photographers close-up encounters without disturbing the peace. 

Will Bolsover in South Georgia | © Jonathan Z Lee

When to Go

For photographers, without doubt, the best time to travel is early in the Antarctic season. This is when the landscape and wildlife it at its most pristine and you will be able to capture images showing incredible ice formations and penguins set against a classic white backdrop. Typically this is the time that most of the professional images you see of Antarctica are taken. Travelling later in the season the snow and ice recede leaving grey stone backdrops and the penguin colonies are dirty and muddy. Our when to go section breaks down by month what you can expect to find in Antarctica.    

Icebergs, Antarctica

What type of ship to choose

The best type of ship for photographers exploring the polar regions are small ships with less than 100 passengers on board; in Antarctica only 100 people are allowed to land on shore at any one time so travelling in a smaller group allows everyone to experience longer shore landings at the same time without waiting in turn.

Another important feature of ships travelling to Antarctica is stablisation. Very small ships lack stability making for uncomfortable sea crossings. Ideally choose a ship with a good stabilisation system for comfort during crossings such as the infamous Drake Passage and while navigating inshore waters.

Although there are plenty of exciting shore landings and wildlife encounters in Antarctica, as you are venturing to such a remote location, there are inevitable days at sea throughout your trip. During these journeys it is important you have facilities on board to keep you entertained. Some small ships to Antarctica still manage to fit in an on-board gym, spacious and comfortable communal areas and even sauna and heated plunge pool

Finally, considering the ice class of your ship is essential, especially earlier in the season. Choose ships with high ice classes to ensure close access to iconic wildlife locations and breath-taking landscapes.

Adelie penguin, Antarctica

Why NWS is the leading choice for photographers

We are the travel outfitter of choice for many professional wildlife photographers because we understand what they need from a trip. We have access to the very best Antarctic departures across a range of leading ships and will work with you to ensure you are on the best possible expedition for your requirements.

Antarctica Photography Safaris

View our Antarctica photography safaris, or talk to one of our specialists for more details on Antarctica photography. Please note we recommend a budget of from £7,000 / $10,000 USD per person for our style of trip to this destination.

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