Antarctica Yacht Expedition, Jan 2025 (FULLY BOOKED)

This is an exclusive trip with a maximum of 7 participants (By application only)

Antarctica is the most remote destination on the planet with an abundance of wildlife, gigantic icebergs the size of cities and majestic mountain ranges. During January/February, it’s the migrating whale season and there’s often sightings of orca, humpback, minke, and southern right whales. You’ll also see thousands of penguins huddling together like a scene from Happy Feet and leopard seals playing joyfully in the rich Southern Ocean. The Antarctic is a photographers paradise.

Date: 28th December to 26th January 2025

Duration: 28 days

Start and finish: Ushuaia, Argentina

Costs: $24,500 USD (all inclusive)

Deposit: $2,500 USD (Non refundable)

Activities: Wildlife, landscape, zodiac cruising, underwater photography and snorkeling.

Note: If you are intending on snorkeling you will need to bring your own Drysuit and polar snorkeling equipment. We recommend you have cold water diving/snorkeling experience before entering the water in the polar regions.

Prerequisite: As this is an expedition ship, you will be exposed to the harsh elements of the southern ocean and experience on small vessels in open oceans is recommended. This is a working yacht so there will be periods where you are involved in the day to day support for the expedition crew sailing the yacht (regular 3 hour watch during the crossings). A good level of fitness is required when part of an expedition yacht.

Download Application Questionnaire

Word Doc version: here.

PDF version here


  • Comprehensive pre-departure information
  • All meals and drinks onboard during the voyage
  • Guiding services from our trip leader and expedition experts
  • Exploring the landscape surrounded by icebergs and an abundance of wildlife
  • Step ashore in Antarctica, the last great wilderness
  • All shore excursions and Zodiac (inflatable boat) cruises
  • Port taxes and charges
  • All entry fees to historic landings sites
  • Transport to and from port to yacht


  • International or domestic flights to/from yacht/port
  • Airport transfers
  • Airport arrival or departure taxes
  • Visa, passport, and vaccination charges
  • Travel insurance or emergency evacuation charges
  • Hotels and meals not included in the itinerary

If you are interested in joining this special expedition then contact us directly to apply to be a part of this unique experience. 

The Vessel

Icebird is ideally suited to chartering in Antarctica with an ice re-enforced aluminum construction, 6 water tight compartments and a heated double glazed pilot house saloon offering all round views of the spectacular scenery scrolling past as the yacht is under way.

The yacht is insulated through out and climate controlled with reticulated hot water radiators and air conditioning. Even the bathrooms have heated towel rails. A large garage in the aft compartment allows plenty of storage for a large aluminium hulled rigid inflatable boat as well as skis, kayaks, dive gear and other equipment for making the most of the exciting destinations.

The yacht is equipped with an indestructible Aero-rig, a 100ft rotating carbon spar with fixed boom, a serious no-fuss sailing rig that is eminently suitable for sailing the southern ocean. Icebird can be tacked or gybed with just a turn of the wheel, and with her 3.3m keel down she
will tack through 80 degrees, or run down wind with ease, her sails set square to the wind.

The yacht is a very special yacht built in one of the best European yards to a very high specification which included preparation for Antarctic and Arctic waters, and is classified for operating in all oceans including Arctic and Antarctic waters.

Life onboard

Yacht life is not for everyone, but being part of a small group adventure on an expedition vessel to Antarctica involves a sense of adventure, patience and team work. This journey can be one of the most challenging but rewarding experiences. we encourage all applicants to prepare for small spaces, limited resources (i.e showers every few days or so, tight sleeping quarters, early morning watches etc). The comradery and the shared experience is something that will make your life onboard enjoyable, so we encourage you to take it all in and enjoy being in one of the last remote places on the planet.

Cabin Layout

The forward cabin has 2 bunks to port and 2 to starboard, which is a very large double that can be divided and the aft cabin has 3 bunks.  Clients are also welcome to sleep up in the boom with sleeping bags (BYO).

The journey (sample only, subject to regular changes based on weather)

Trip Leader – Matthew Smith

Antarctic Trip leader, Underwater, wildlife, nature photographer 

Hailing from the UK, Matty Smith emigrated to Australia in search of the fantastic lifestyle and wildlife photographic opportunities the country has to offer. He has travelled extensively across the globe leading trips to remote and exotic locations and photographing some of the most amazing creatures above and below the surface.

A born leader and educator, Matty loves to impart is vast knowledge of photography and share his experiences for capturing those special moments. In Antarctica he will be your guide to the great white continent and help facilitate unique opportunities to get you in the right place at the right time.

His commitment to wildlife, nature and the underwater world is evident from his stunning body of work depicting some of most elusive creatures on our planet. It is this passion that has won him international acclaim at some of the most prestigious competitions in the world. These include but are not limited to:

Ocean Photography Awards – Portfolio Winner 2022

Underwater Photographer of the Year – Best British Photographer 2022

Ocean Geographic/Brian Skerry Award of Excellence Winner 2020

Australian Geographic Nature Photographer of the Year – Multiple category winner 2018

National Geographic Nature Photographer of the Year – People’s Choice Winner 2018

Dive Photo Guide Underwater Art Photographic Prize – Overall Winner 2016

Australian Geographic Nature Photographer of the Year – Overall Winner 2014

Natural History Museum WPY Prize Winner 2014

He has been exhibited across the globe and is regarded as one of the leading innovators within his field of photographic expertise. He is constantly trying to push the boundaries in photography and has a very deep technical approach to his work and travel. He is also a Nikon Ambassador and sponsored by Aquatica Digital water housings.

In February 2023 Matty, along with Scott Portelli and a small group of intrepid wildlife photographers sailed from Ushuaia in Argentina across Drake passage to the Antarctic Peninsula in an epic adventure and life-changing trip for all involved. In 2025 we aim to take the adventure to the next level.

Armed with a high level of enthusiasm and expert knowledge, Matty will be leading the next expedition to Antarctica in search of Leopard Seals, Whales, penguins, and whatever other opportunities come our way.

Some of Matt’s images from this past Antarctic season:


Top 5-tips-underwater-polar-photography – .DOC

Underwater Encounters with an Apex Predator

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