Diving, Snorkeling, Photography

Scott Portelli profile shot from Antarctica, diving in the Antarctic circle

This is an exclusive trip with a maximum of 10 guests on our Snorkel/Dive trip with Waterproof Expeditions
(6 spaces available)

Ever thought about snorkeling with Seals or Penguins, or diving in the ice in a polar region, or just exploring the landscape and it’s natural wonders. Antarctica is the most remote destination on the planet. Abundant wildlife, massive icebergs the size of cities, spectacular untouched mountain ranges. whales glide by in search of food, penguins huddle together in the thousands and seals play in the nutrient rich southern ocean. The Antarctic circle is a photographers paradise.

In March 2019 we are running a diving, snorkeling and photography trip to Antarctica. Spend 11 days in Antarctica, the last remaining wilderness on the planet. The workshops are designed for all levels and if you are feeling brave you can grab a drysuit and get in the water for a different perspective.

This Fly/Fly itinerary features the best of the Antarctic circle across ten days and allows for more exploration. Get up close with tabular icebergs, vast colonies of Gentoo penguins and dramatic volcanic landscapes; the Antarctic Peninsula’s many islands are alive with leopard seals busy with courtship, bustling penguins and maybe whales!

  • Diving/Snorkeling in Antarctica with seals and penguins
  • Exploring the landscape surrounded by Icebergs and an abundance of wildlife
  • Photography workshops with award winning wildlife photographer Scott Portelli

Dates: 2nd – 12th March 2019 (ANP125)

Duration: 11 Days | Fly/Fly

Start: Punta Arenas (flight to Puerto Williams)

Finish: Punta Arenas (flight from King George Island)

Ship: Polar Pioneer

Activities: Sea Kayaking (From US $1050pp), Scuba Diving (From US $975pp), Polar Snorkelling (From US $600pp)

Included:

Transfer from hotel to Punta Arenas airport on Day 1
Flight from Punta Arenas, Chile to Puerto Williams, Chile on Day 1
Town tour, transfers and lunch in Puerto Williams on Day 1
Flight from King George Island to Punta Arenas on Day 10
Transfer from Punta Arenas airport to hotel on Day 10
1 night accommodation in Punta Arenas post-voyage on Day 10
9 nights’ ship accommodation in your chosen cabin category with daily cabin service
All meals, snacks, tea and coffee during voyage
All shore excursions and Zodiac (inflatable boat) cruises
Educational lectures and guiding services from our expert team
Access to our on-board doctor and basic medical services
A custom-designed polar expedition jacket to keep
Free gumboot hire during the voyage
Comprehensive pre-departure information
Professionally produced voyage journal (one per booking)
Port and landing fees and charges

DECK CABIN PRICE PER PERSON
Deck 3 Triple, shared facilities US $9,700
Deck 3 Twin, shared facilities US $11,400
Deck 4, 5 Twin, private economy facilities US $13,100

Snorkeling Supplement (From US$600 pp)
Diving Supplement (From US$975 pp)
Sea Kayaking (From US $1050pp)

To register your interest to join us in Antarctica for this once in a life time experience, click here.

Pre departure information for this tour, click here

Poster-Antarctic Circle-Tour-Page-Diving-Underwater-with-Seals-and-Penguins

Download Forms

Client Booking Form
Personal Details Form – Divers
Personal Details Form – Snorkelers
Pre-departure information Snorkeling
Pre-departure information ScubaDiving

Expedition Highlights

  • Fly/Sail Itinerary: more time to explore!
  • Spectacular icebergs in the Weddell Sea
  • Discover fossil-rich Seymour Island
  • Gorgeous long summer days on the peninsula
  • Some of the region’s largest penguin colonies
  • Historic huts and volcanic landscapes
  • Snorkeling option (surcharge applies)

Day 1 – Punta Arenas

Embark in Ushuaia and settle into your comfortable cabin. There is time to greet fellow passengers and explore the ship before evening cruise down the Beagle Channel. NOTE: Some departures will start with a night in Punta Arenas followed by a flight to either King George Island or Puerto Williams. Please check the port for each departure date. The following itinerary is a guide and will change dependent on the voyage departure.

Days 2 to 3 – King George – Antarctic Peninsula

Our polar experts speak about Antarctica’s unique wildlife and history and prepare us for landings with environmental, activity and Zodiac briefings. All eyes are peeled for first iceberg, first penguin and first glimpse of land, the mercurial sea stacks outlying the South Shetland Islands. If conditions allow, we may have a chance to go ashore by late afternoon on Day 3.

Days 4 to 9 – Antarctic Peninsula

We explore the Peninsula’s west coast, with the frenzied activities of penguin parents and chicks as the summer days begin to shorten. Cormorant chicks bravely making their first flights from sea cliffs. Zodiac cruise amongst ice floes replete with basking Weddell and leopard seals and revel in unparalleled beauty of Antarctica’s landscape. We make a continental landing, possibly hiking up for spectacular views. As we continue south, ice conditions govern our movements. Whether we cross the Circle via the ‘inner route’ or the Bellingshausen Sea, we celebrate in style. With luck, we reach magnificent Crystal Sound, pass through the Gullet and steam on to Marguerite Bay. Orcas, humpbacks and minkes feed in the channels. If ice conditions allow, we may visit historical Stonington, Pourquoi Pas and Detaille Islands before returning north to warmer climes.

Day 10 – King George Island

We arrive at mountainous King George Island. If time and weather permit we explore penguin and seal-rich waters of Fildes Bay and visit the surprising Trinity Church at Bellingshausen Station, before catching our charter flight back to Punta Arenas in Chile, where we transfer to our overnight accommodation.

Day 11 – Punta Arenas

After breakfast bid farewell to fellow expeditioners before continuing on with your own arrangements. Additional Information: On arrival in Punta Arenas a transfer is included to Aurora Expeditions preferred hotel. It is advised that you overnight in Punta Arenas, but not mandatory. Onward flights from Punta Arenas should not be booked until after 1700 hours. PLEASE NOTE: The above is a guide based on ANC002G. Expedition itinerary will change dependent on departure and arrival points

 

Please note that all of our itineraries are at the mercy of weather conditions and not all landings are guaranteed. Our itineraries are flexible and will change voyage to voyage, allowing the best chance to make the most of surprising wildlife displays and unexpected opportunities.

 Antarctica Diving Snorkeling Photography Tour

Download Forms

Client Booking Form
Personal Details Form – Divers
Personal Details Form – Snorkelers
Pre-departure information Snorkeling
Pre-departure information Scuba Diving

 

Top 5 tips for underwater polar photography

Photographing in 1-degree water can be challenging for any underwater photographer, but there are a few things that you can do to ensure the best results in the harsh conditions.

Bubbles on your dome port – In cold water bubbles will continually form on the dome port as the cold water aerates the glass or acrylic port. This can ruin some amazing photos as they are very difficult to remove in post-production. So a few simple tips.

  1. Have a tube of mask anti-fog gel or liquid and coat the surface of your dome port before you get into the water. This will help reduce the aeration on the dome port. If you are doing split shots, you might also want to ensure there is a layer on your done so the water beads off the glass better and you reduce water blotches in your photos.
  2. Be conscious that the aeration bubbles will form on the lens and carry a small chamois cloth or use your gloves to brush the surface of your dome regularly while in the water. If you get into the practice of checking your dome regularly, you will reduce the chance of a photograph covered in air bubbles.

Lens fog/condensation –  the warm and the cool air will create condensation inside the housing and your camera which may fog your lens or dome port, try and set up the camera in a consistent temperature and avoid opening the camera housing until the equipment has returned to room temperature. You can avoid damaging your equipment by simply making sure the environment you are working maintains a consistent temperature when assembling your gear.

Keep your batteries warm – before you set up your camera and get underwater, make sure your batteries are fully charged and keep them warm as long as you can before you assemble your camera and underwater housing. Battery life is dramatically reduced in low temperatures, so make sure you have plenty of spare batteries readily available. When you are out on the water diving, keep a dry bag with you with any spare equipment you might need, as you never know when you might need to change a battery or card. However in most cases you want to avoid opening the housing and camera on the water, as it only takes a few drops of salt water to damage your equipment.

Checklist – set yourself a simple to follow checklist to avoid issues and mistakes before getting in the water, because once you are underwater there is not much you can do if you have mistakenly put the camera together incorrectly or forgotten a crucial part. And always test your camera equipment and lighting/strobes on the surface before you hit the water. Some things to avoid and what I put on my checklist:

  1. Manual focus is off on your lens and auto focus is working for the chosen lens. I have been shooting star shot the previous night and had my camera set to manual and my ISO very high and my lens on manual focus, then put it into the housing and been underwater only to realise when I returned to the surface that nothing was in focus. Some housings may have the ability to change the focus manually but in an environment such as Antarctica you need to be reactive and have your equipment optimized for the shooting opportunities.
  2. This is one mistake I have made on a few occasions, leaving the lens cap on the camera inside the underwater housing. You find it strange that everything is black. Once you are underwater there is nothing you can do about this without resurfacing and taking a risk in opening your underwater housing on a moving boat. Definitely add this to your checklist.
  3. Dust on inside of the dome – It sounds simple, but check the inside of your dome to make sure there are no lose dust particles moving around. Yes, these can be removed in post-production if you are shooting stills, but it is almost impossible to remove marks when you are shooting video. This is the difference between a nice crisp visual that people enjoy watching or a mark on the video that you can’t help but notice that ruins your beautiful video.
  4. Memory card is empty and ready to shoot – it is easy to forget to delete or format a memory card before each shoot and then realise after you have shot a few hundred frames that you are running out of space. Always back up your cards after each dive and ensure a clean memory card is ready for each time you get in the water. Also some cameras will let you shoot without the memory card, I always turn this feature off, as this is a mistake you can’t afford to make
  5. Check your o-rings on your camera housing as the cold and warm air can expand and contract these, they should be clean and free of any particles, it only takes one strain of hair to flood a very expensive housing. Always carry spare o-rings as well, as you never know when you might need to change this due to the weather affecting the elasticity of the rubber seals.

Cold Hands – One thing I find when shooting in Antarctica is your hands get really cold (obvious, I know!) But because your hands are often holding your housing and your fingers are wrapped around the handles, they don’t move as much and will get a little stiff. What happens then is you find it hard to press the buttons on your camera housing. You also want to wear warm gloves under your wetsuit but not so thick that you can’t easily change the settings on your camera.  Look for warn thin gloves and check you can easily change the settings on your camera.