The 2018 Humpback whale season is about to kick off and as we get closer to seeing these majestic gentle giants, I can’t help but think of some of the truly amazing encounters we had last season. After 17 years taking people to swim with whales, I am still pleasantly surprised by the multitude of different behaviours I observe that have rarely been seen before. Last year we had baby whales licking their lips with their big frilly tongues, adult interactive whales that would spy-hop inches in front of us, false killer whales trailing the boat, pilot whale pods extending for kilometers across the ocean. So much to see in a season.
But I think the highlight would have been the 15 plus Humpback whales pursuing each other in what is called a ‘heat run’. The heat run is the ultimate wildlife encounter, multiple whales competing for a female which can last for hours or even days. Males show a multitude of behaviours while in a heat run: bubble netting, open mouth gulping, physical contact, loud acoustic sounds, it is truly one of nature’s great events. After 17 years I have documented some of the most common and unusual behaviour seen by Humpbacks in the region, but it is truly heart-thumping and adrenaline-pumping action to be a part of.
Check out the footage capturing this amazing behaviour above and below the surface:
Humpback whales and Orcas have been sighted in large numbers feeding on herring. Scott Portelli and Waterproof Expeditions offers great opportunities for Whale Watching, photography and snorkeling in the crystal clear Arctic waters, which is an experience in itself!
This trip is for anyone interested in Orcas, Humpback whales, white tailed Eagles, Arctic winter, Northern lights, Moose and spectacular landscape. The best time of the year for this phenomena is November through the end of February when the balance between light and access to herring and whales is at its best. The winter days in Norway provide excellent light for photography. We will spend the daylight hours looking for whales and other wildlife and, if the opportunity occurs, snorkel in the crystal clear waters.
With the newly rebuilt live aboard yacht MV ‘Malmö’, we are flexible to follow the herring and the Orcas deep in the fjords and deliver great chances of success.
During the darker hours you will enjoy the warm and cozy comfort of the expedition yacht while our expert guides entertain you with presentations and educational information on wildlife and cinematography. Excellent food is served with a fine selection of wines and beers.
Arrival at Evenes or Tromso airport and transfer to the harbor to board the MV Malmö in the afternoon.
Day 2 – 6
We follow the schools of herring and pods of Orcas in the protected surroundings of the beautiful Norwegian fjords. Prepare for cold but rewarding days out at sea with spectacular sightings of an unique display of nature. Have your cameras charged and whenever possible be ready to slip into the cold water for a Polar Snorkel adventure or enjoy the phenomena from the spacious deck on board the comfortable expedition yacht, MV Malmö.
Disembarkation and transfer to the airport.
A comfortable expedition vessel, recently refurbished and a piece of maritime history, with large wooden deck space and ‘al fresco’ dining area. With 2 large zodiacs and experienced expedition team, the ship provides the ideal platform for small groups, families, friends and incentives looking for the ultimate Arctic wildlife experience in the utmost comfort.
The vessel carries a maximum of 15 guests in 7 outside twin cabins.
4x Twin cabins with bunk beds and private shower and toilet in the cabin
2x Twin cabins with bunk beds and shared facilities and washbasin in the cabin
1x Triple cabin with bunk beds and private shower and toilet in the cabin
All cabins are serviced daily and a laundry service is available.
International cuisine is served in the cozy lounge with bar and direct access to the ‘al- fresco’ dining area outside.
The bar is stocked with alcoholic beverages and sodas and of course we take care of your special wine request.
A separate Saloon with lots of books and tv screen is a great room for relaxing moments after an exciting day full of adventures.
Dates & Rates
Start and finish in Tromso:
14 – 20 November 2017 – limited availability
21 – 27 November 2017 – limited availability
7th – 13th January 2018 – limited availability
Twin Private Cabin € 3.385 per person
Twin Shared Cabin € 3.295 per person
Triple Private Cabin € 3.185 per person
Falkland Islands Wildlife Photography Trip – February 2018 (7 or 14 days)
The Falkland Islands located in the South Atlantic Ocean off South America are the perfect destination to experience the wonders of nature and wildlife; an unpolluted environment with fantastically clear blue skies, seamless horizons, vast open spaces and stunning white sand beaches. Wildlife is free to roam and many species have chosen the Islands as their home including gentoo and magellanic penguins, southern sea lions, Commerson’s and Peale’s dolphins and over 200 species of birds.
Join me on this exclusive trip for a maximum of 5 guests for the most wildlife encounters you will have in one amazing place. See penguins, sea lions, elephant seals, a multitude of bird life and so much more as we explore 5-6 Islands over a 2 week period. The highlight of this trip will be a visit to these islands:
Saunders (Rock hoppers, nesting albatross, birds of prey) Bleaker island (Magellenic penguins, rock hoppers, cormorants) Carcass Island (Elephant seals, gentoo penguins, magellenic penguins, rock hoppers, sea lions, birds of prey)
Sea Lion Island (Elephant seals, gentoo penguins, magellenic penguins, rock hoppers, sea lions, birds of prey, cormorants)
Volunteer Point (King penguins, gentoo penguins, magellenic penguins)
This trip is designed to maximise your time with the wildlife and experience a small group intimate experience. Join multi-award winning photographers on the ultimate wildlife opportunities to see sub-antarctic species in one of the most accessible places on the planet.
Boutique tour group – Maximum 5 people.
Unique up close and personal wildlife viewing including visits to penguin and seal colonies, bird watching opportunities and experiencing the natural beauty of the Islands.
Expert photographic advice from award-winning wildlife and nature photographers.
Dates: 10 February to 24 February 2018
Duration: 7 or 14 days
Start: Santiago or Punta Arenas, Chile
Finish: Santiago or Punta Arenas, Chile
Included: Internal flights (Falklands), accommodation (14 days), all meals, expert award winning wildlife and nature photographers as guides/hosts.
Excluded: Overnight Accommodation Santiago prior to tour, Excess baggage costs on local flights
Note: Excess baggage on internal flights if you choose to bring more than the domestic luggage allowance which is 20kgs
(Excess luggage is charged at gbp1.40 per kilo per flight sector on the domestic flights.)
The International luggage allowance would be 2 pieces at 23 kgs each (46 kg total) per person when you book with the group.
7 day Tour visiting Saunders, Bleaker and Carcus Islands – £2,650
14 Day Tour Visiting Saunders, Bleaker, Carcus, Sea Lion Island, Volunteer Pt, Stanley – £4,900
This is an exclusive private tour with 4 people maximum
If you want to find out more contact me for these 2018 dates,
Most of the excursions are by 4WD or the walk is less than 500 meters from where we stay, so we can comfortably get around and see all the amazing wildlife up close and personal with minimal travel.
Scott Portelli is a Sydney based photographer who has traveled the world extensively photographing in some of the most remote destinations, including The Arctic, Antarctica, Falklands, Galapagos, Azores, Africa and the South Pacific.
Scott is an award winning wildlife, nature, aerial and underwater photographer. A member of the Australian Institute of Professional Photography (AIPP) he is regarded as a leading professional in his field.
In 2016 he was announced National winner of the Sony World Photography awards and in the same year awarded at the prestigious wildlife photographer of the year. He was recently awarded at the National Geographic Nature Photographer of the year, receiving an honorable mention.
With his experience in the Sub-Antarctic and Antarctic regions, he brings a wealth of knowledge to every expedition and ensures that each trip optimizes photographers chances to capture the best that the wildlife in the region has to offer. He teams up with one of the most accomplished wildlife and nature photographers in Australia, David Stowe, to bring you an intimate experience in this amazing destination.
David Stowe is a Sydney based professional photographer with over 20 years experience photographing people and wildlife.
He has a deep passion for the environment and the wildlife within it, especially birds. There’s not many corners of Australia that he hasn’t gone to in search of rare and beautiful species and he wouldn’t be offended if you called him a bird nerd!
In 2015 he was awarded the Australian Geographic ANZANG Nature Photographer of the Year, and has also been awarded by the AIPP (Australian Institute of Professional Photography) as a Master of Photography, and two time winner of the NSW “Science Wildlife and Wild Places Photographer of the Year”.
His bird images have been featured in many books and magazines, as well as the Pizzey & Knight Field Guide to Australian Birds App.
A friendly guy who loves helping people learn more about photographing nature and by doing so hopefully inspiring people to look after our precious planet.
Day 1 – Saunders Island
Day 2 – Saunders Island
Day 3 – Saunders Island
Saunders Islands was the site of the first British settlement in the Falkland archipelago. The island is now one large farm of about 30,000 acres and is well known for its sizeable colony of Black browed albatross in addition to being home to elephant seals, king penguin and rock hoppers. The North of the Island is made up of two large peaks and it is the thin strip of land between these peaks known as ‘the Neck’ which is home to large colonies of Magellanic and Gentoo penguins.
Day 4 – Bleaker Island
Bleaker Island is home to 3 species of penguin, a large imperial cormorant colony, southern giant petrels, many smaller birds, a variety of waterfowl on the ponds and is one of the few places where the rare flying steamer duck can be observed. Marine mammals such as southern sea lions and dolphins are often seen in the area. The settlement is situated in the middle of the island and still operates as a cattle and sheep farm.
Day 5 – Bleaker Island
Day 6 – Carcass Island
Carcass Island is a haven for small bird species including Cobb’s wren, striated caracaras (known locally as “Johnny Rooks”), white bridled finches and short-eared owls. Elephant seals bask on the northern beaches, magellanic penguins reside close to the settlement, gentoo penguins and other marine mammals inhabit the southern end of the island. The scenery is varied with beautiful white sandy beaches, tussac paddocks, rocky hills and clifftops.
Day 7 – Carcass Island
Day 8 – Carcass Island
Day 9 – Sea Lion Island
Sea Lion Island is home to elephant seals, gentoo penguins, magellenic penguins, rock hoppers, sea lions, birds of prey and cormorants. Beautiful tussac plantations cover one fifth of the island and provide a perfect habitat and protection for much of the island’s varied fauna. Opportunities for photography and wildlife watching are limitless and start literally steps away from the purpose-built Lodge. Besides the tussac, there are sand beaches, cliffs, freshwater ponds and heathland, all with their own wildlife. Pods of killer whales may be seen between November and January circling the island in pursuit of the elephant seals and sea lions that breed there. Leopard seals and larger whales are also seen from time to time. A memorial to the HMS Sheffield, sunk in nearby waters, is also situated on the island.
Day 10 – Sea Lion Island
Day 11 – Sea Lion Island
Day 12 – Volunteer Point
Volunteer Point is one of the most popular and important tourist destinations in the Falklands. There is an abundance of bird activity in the area and is home to the largest king penguin colony in the Islands, as well as gentoo and magellanic penguins, waterfowl and other birds. Volunteer Beach itself is a beautiful white sandy beach, approximately 2km long, and is where many of the penguins can be seen entering and leaving the ocean.
Day 13 – Volunteer Point
Day 14 – Stanley (transfer to airport back to Punta Arenas)