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.