Sailing Yacht Expedition – South Georgia Exclusive Photography Expedition, 2026

WPGA-King-Penguins

This is an exclusive trip with a maximum of 8 participants

Have you ever dreamt about following in the footsteps of legendary explorer Ernest Shackleton and exploring the awe-inspiring landscape and natural wonderland of South Georgia? How about getting up close and personal with the island’s magnificent wildlife including penguins, albatrosses, elephant and fur seals? In 2026, international award winning photographer, Scott Portelli will be leading an exclusive 29 day expedition exploring the rich history and incredible natural wonders of the area.

Details

Dates: 1st – 28th October 2026

Duration: 28 days

Start: Stanley (Falkland Islands)

Finish: Stanley (Falkland Islands)

Cost: $37,900 USD per person

Deposit: $2,500 USD Per Person (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 yacht, 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.

Expedition Highlights:

  • Take in the amazing South Georgia landscape and experience the abundance of wildlife including, king penguin rookeries, nesting albatrosses, elephant seal and fur seal colonies
  • Snorkel in the kelp forests and experience leopard seals and penguins underwater
  • Explore abandoned whaling stations and historic huts
  • Visit the stunning Nordenskjold Glacier
  • Receive expert photography guidance by award winning wildlife and nature photographer, Scott Portelli

 

The Vessel

The bare aluminum hull and deck structure is reinforced to withstand navigation in brash ice without deformation.

The schooner sail plan provides manageable sail handling in high winds and rough seas; and also redundancy, as the two mainsails are of equal size – the aft sail will fit on the forward mast.

A robust fixed keel with a solid aluminium machined centerboard allows for safe navigation in shoal waters.

Twin engines, with well protected propellers.

A workshop forward of the accommodation means running repairs can be made at sea.Hawser reels on in the transom and another on the foredeck can be used for shore anchors.

The bamboo interior joinery and furniture is comfortable yet hard-wearing and easy to maintain. Able to sleep 12, the yacht is designed for both private use and commercial chartering.

A sturdy gantry frame on the transom will carry an expedition RIB (a second RIB is stowed on deck) as well as the sat-nav antennae so in case of damage to the Axxon carbon masts, the yacht will not lose navigation and satellite communication capability. It also doubles as mainsail traveler track foundation.

A diesel stove in the spacious aft salon/dinette/galley provides efficient, reliable and comfortable heating to combat freezing temperatures. Radiators throughout the accommodations. During construction special attention was devoted to the insulation to combat the cold and condensation.

Life onboard

Yacht life is not for everyone, but being part of a small group adventure on an expedition vessel to the Sub-Antarctic 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.

Trip leader, Wildlife Photographer and Antarctic expedition specialist – Scott Portelli

Scott Portelli has spent thousands of hours in remote locations across the globe filming and photographing nature, wildlife, the underwater environment and wild places.

Some of his recent accolades include:

Winner of Diversity Portfolio in HIPA Awards 2023

Highly commended at the prestigious Wildlife Photographer of the year in London in both 2016 & 2022,

Winner in the Australian Geographic Nature Photographer of the Year 2021, and has previously been awarded winner in the animal behaviour category in 2017 and 2019

1st  Place Winner as part of a team representing Australia at the World Photographic Cup 2021.

Winner at the GDT Nature Photographer of the Year 2021  in the Other Animals category.

Winner in the Human & Oceans category at the Ocean Geographic Pictures of the Year awards 2021

Winner at Travel Photographer of the Year 2015 & 2018 and runner up in the landscape category in 2020.

National winner of the Sony World Photography awards 2016

Scott has spent over a decade working in the polar regions with a focus on Antarctica and the Sub-Antarctic areas producing a unique portfolio of fine art photography that showcases the intricate environment and its intriguing inhabitants. Working in extreme conditions, Scott’s photography provides a rarely seen glimpse above and below the surface in some of the harshest places on the planet.

To find out more about Scott, please visit: https://vimeo.com/132677858

Photography

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

Map

South_Georgia

Map of South Georgia by European Space Agency 

Voyage Inclusions

  • All food, drinks (including local beer and Argentine wine)
  • Port fees, required permits, and IAATO passenger fees
  • Snorkeling (gear not included)
  • Transfer to and from Stanley
  • Accommodation onboard
  • Workshops & guiding services
  • Comprehensive pre-departure information

Voyage Exclusions

  • Personal clothing and equipment
  • Travel insurance
  • Airport arrival or departure taxes
  • Passport, visa, reciprocity fees and vaccination charges
  • Hotel and meals in the Falklands
  • Hotels and meals not included in itinerary
  • Iridium communications while on board
  • Cost of medicals
  • Dry suits for Snorkeling
  • International or domestic flights, unless specified
  • Transfers not mentioned in the itinerary
  • Travel insurance or emergency evacuation charges
  • Optional excursions not included in the itinerary (Falklands)
  • Optional activity surcharges
  • Snorkeling equipment, wetsuits/drysuit, fins, mask, snorkel, hood, gloves etc

FAQ

How do I get to the departure point?

This expedition will begin and end in Stanley in the Falklands Islands. The Falkland Islands (direct your travel agent to Mount Pleasant Airport) is reached via Santiago and Punta Arenas on a once per week basis every Saturday with Lan Chile Airline. There is also a flight more or less once weekly from Brize Norton in the UK on the RAF flight now operated by a sub-contracting airline. This is an expensive, but time saving alternative. However, the flights can be cancelled or delayed without notice due to military priority.

What is the weather like in South Georgia?

South Georgia is in the South Atlantic Ocean and has a polar climate due to the proximity of the Antarctic current. This keeps the seas cold throughout the year (approx. 2 degrees C in October). The prevailing winds are westerly with mountain winds blowing straight up the western side and down the eastern side. The air is warmed and dried during this process making the East side of the island more sheltered and warmer. Temperatures in October are usually between -2 and 8 degrees C, warmest on the east side.

Is our itinerary flexible to accommodate the weather conditions?

Our itinerary is at the mercy of weather conditions and not all landings are guaranteed. Our itinerary is flexible, allowing the best chance to make the most of surprising wildlife displays and unexpected opportunities.

Do I need a medical before we set sail?

All expeditioners will need to have a medical before departure as we are operating in a remote area, and it’s best for all concerned to have no surprises.

How fit do I need to be to sail?

These trips are designed for fit, agile and active people who have adventurous and positive outlooks. Participation is the key to enjoyment. No sailing experience is required. There is no age limit as we have had fit and active people of all ages, but this is a working yacht and you will need to participate in watches during the crossings.

Will I have a chance to help out on board?

This is a real ‘hands on’ expedition and everyone will need to be active in making the trip work. All tasks aboard are shared including: sailing, helming, anchoring, even cooking and domestic duties. Our aim is to take like-minded people on an experience of a lifetime and the expedition will work best if everyone is prepared to lend a hand and be a part of the crew.

What communications equipment is on board?

The Yacht has state of the art weather and communications systems. She is also equipped with Xaxero’s Sky-Eye System for real time satellite image downloads of weather systems which can be cross referenced with weather information from the Global Marine Network.

Bookings

To register your interest to join us in South Georgia for this once in a lifetime experience, click here.

Terms & Conditions and Cancellation Policy

Please review our Terms & Conditions and Cancellation policy

Download Liability Waiver

For more information contact us through the website or directly via email at scott@scottportelli.com or +61 (0)402124453