More photo pros. More photo ops.
The most extraordinary way to experience Antarctica.
UPDATE: This expedition is sold out. We have Antarctica in December 2020 open, and also Falklands, South Georgia, and Antarctica in October of 2020 open.
More time on the Antarctic Peninsula—more than most expeditions!
Ten photo pros and five naturalists on board our own private ship. Other expeditions have but one or two. A 7:1 ratio of guests to pros!
We go where other ships can’t—so you can capture more amazing photographs.
Single occupancy cabins available.
Join us on one of the best ships that sails the Antarctic waters, the ice-strengthened Ushuaia. We've assembled an amazing team of pro photographers, expedition leaders, and naturalists to provide photography instruction, information, and guidance throughout the expedition.
We “own” the boat. We control the itinerary. This allows us to maximize photographic opportunities with as many shore landings as possible, and as many days in Antarctica as possible. Our ship is small, and can go to all landing sites. Our group size will be between 60 and 70 guests, with 10 pros and 5 naturalists.
On this 12-day all-inclusive photographic expedition you’ll have opportunities to photograph the beautiful and diverse wildlife and incredible polar landscapes of the Southern Ocean and the Antarctic Peninsula. We’ve timed our expedition at the end of Antarctic spring and the very beginning of summer, when there’s still a chance for fresh snow and the wildlife is beginning to be most active.
This year’s expedition is longer than our previous trips: we have 7 full days at the Antarctic Peninsula—more than most expeditions. Because our ship and group size are smaller, we have access to all approved landing spots in the South Shetland Islands and Antarctica—we can go places where the large cruise ships can’t. Not only that, but our smaller group size allows us more time for photography at each landing, something that is severely compromised when you are on a ship that has more than 100 passengers.
You can expect to see and photograph abundant wildlife: whales (orca, minke, and humpback), crabeater, elephant, leopard and Weddell seals, countless numbers of penguins,blue-eyed shags, and many, many albatrosses, petrels, and other sea birds.
Everything is all-inclusive from the time we embark our ship on December 2, 2019, until the time we say goodbye on December 13, 2019. There will be plenty of on-board instruction on wildlife photography, beginning and advanced Lightroom, photographic composition, technical refreshers, naturalist lectures, and more.
On board the Ushuaia, there’s plenty of space in the common areas to relax, read a book, or talk photography. We have two big rooms available for instruction, lectures, presentations, image reviews, and critiques. Meals on board are quite good: the breakfast buffet has both continental and hot options, lunch is served at your table, there’s an afternoon tea in the common area, and the day ends with a three-course dinner. Mealtimes are set by us, and are based on our shore excursions—photography first!
Most Antarctica trips are not dedicated fully to photography, and because they are on tourist cruise ships with 150, 200, or 250+ passengers, they can’t get as close to the landings as we can. Our Zodiacs will zip you to shore safely and quickly, so you more time for photography. With Muench Workshops, you will be with like-minded photographers and travelers who are interested in maximizing every opportunity to capture amazing wildlife and landscape images, and to learn as much as possible from the pros and naturalists on the team. Don’t worry, your non-photographer spouse/partner/traveling companion will enjoy this expedition just as much as everyone else, and they too will enjoy the landscape and wildlife and the guiding from not only us but the expedition staff and naturalists.
All-inclusive tuition for this expedition starts at $11,495. We have two types of single cabins available and four different types of twin-cabins available, and four suites, as well. Tuition for this expedition depends on your choice of accommodation. Click for details on the ship, pricing, accommodations, and more.
Based on Cabin
December 1–13, 2019
But you must be able to embark and disembark zodiacs in possible rough waves and you must be able to handle walking in very deep snow and on snowy, icy, slippery, and uneven ground. On board ship you need to be able to climb fairly steep stairs between decks.
Sold Out – Wait List
Itinerary and General Information
About the Wildlife: This workshop offers significant opportunities for photographing wildlife, and while we do our best to maximize our wildlife encounters—based on past experiences, local knowledge, and the current conditions—we need to impress upon you that the wildlife really is wild and that we don’t control it.
December 1, 2019: Arrive in Ushuaia, Argentina on or before this day. Book your own lodgings or use the group rate we have secured at two hotels in Ushuaia. Meet your team of pros, have a welcome drink, and pick up your pre-departure materials between 3:00 PM and 6:00 PM at the Hotel Albatross.
December 2, 2019: At 4:00 PM, embark the Ushuaia. After you have settled into your cabin, we sail along the famous Beagle Channel and the scenic Mackinlay Pass.
December 3–4, 2019: We cross the Drake Passage. Named after the renowned explorer Sir Francis Drake, who sailed these waters in 1578, “the Drake” also marks the Antarctic Convergence, a biological barrier where cold polar water sinks beneath the warmer northern waters. This creates a great upwelling of nutrients, which sustains the biodiversity of this region. The Drake also marks the northern limit of many Antarctic seabirds.
As we sail across the passage, our naturalists and the rest of our team will be out on deck to help you with photography and identification of an amazing variety of seabirds, including many albatrosses, which follow in our wake. The Ushuaia's open bridge policy allows you to join our officers on the bridge and learn about navigation, watch for whales, and enjoy the view. We also have a full program of photography classes planned, including:
The Art of Seeing
Basic Review of Exposure and Settings
Composition and Light
Landscape Photography Techniques
Wildlife Photography Techniques
Beginner’s and Advanced Lightroom (Library Module)
Beginner’s and Advanced Lightroom (Develop Module)
Our first sightings of icebergs and snow-capped mountains indicate that we have reached the South Shetland Islands, a group of twenty islands and islets first sighted in February 1819 by Captain William Smith of the brig Williams. With favorable conditions in the Drake, our expedition team will accompany you ashore as you experience your first encounter with the penguins and seals.
December 5–11, 2019: We are exploring and photographing the Antarctic Peninsula and the South Shetland Islands. The South Shetland Islands are a haven for wildlife. Vast penguin rookeries and beaches ruled by Antarctic fur seals and southern elephant seals make every day spent in this amazing island group unforgettable. Sailing through the narrow passage into the flooded caldera of Deception Island is truly amazing. King George Island, the largest of the South Shetland Islands, features colonies of nesting Adélie and chinstrap penguins, kelp gulls, blue-eyed cormorants, Antarctic terns and Southern giant petrels, and is home to scientific bases of many different countries. Macaroni, chinstrap and gentoo penguins, as well as elephant seals await you at Livingston Island.
The Antarctic Peninsula’s remarkable history will provide you with a type of excitement often only associated with the early explorers. You will have plenty of time to explore and photograph its amazing scenery, a pristine wilderness of snow, ice, mountains and waterways, and an incredible, wide variety of wildlife. Apart from penguins and seabirds you are very likely to see Weddell, crabeater and leopard seals as well as minke, killer (orca) and humpback whales at close range.
We hope to navigate some of the most beautiful waterways (depending on the ice conditions): the Gerlache Strait, the Neumayer Channel, and the Lemaire Channel. The latter are narrow passages between towering rock faces and spectacular glaciers.
We plan to have as many landings and zodiac excursions per day as possible, given our progress and weather conditions. Some of the possible landings include:
Paradise Bay, perhaps the most aptly named place in the world, where we attempt a landing on the continent proper.
After negotiating the iceberg-strewn waters of the Antarctic Sound, we hope to visit the bustling Adélie penguin (over 100,000 pairs breed here) and blue-eyed cormorant colonies on Paulet Island. The Nordenskjöld expedition built a stone survival hut here in 1903. Today its ruins have been taken over by nesting penguins.
After negotiating the iceberg-strewn waters of the Antarctic Sound, we hope to visit Paulet Island, home to the bustling Adélie penguin (over 100,000 pairs breed here) and blue-eyed cormorant colonies. The Nordenskjöld expedition built a stone survival hut here in 1903. Today its ruins have been taken over by nesting penguins.
On all of our landings and excursions, there will be at least one dedicated Muench Workshops team member for every ten guests. In addition, we will have our team of five naturalists and expedition leaders from the Ushuaia accompanying us on every landing and excusrsion.
Each day will feature time for image reviews and critiques, as well as post-processing instruction from the Muench Workshops team. There will be plenty of time for downloading and processing of your images, as well as to catch up on much-needed rest. Remember, the ship is “ours,” so we will set the expedition clock and timetable.
December 11–12, 2019: We leave Antarctica and head north, back across the Drake. Join our naturalists on deck as we search for and photograph even more seabirds and whales. We will use the time on our journey back for final image reviews and critiques—of course with post-processing instruction as well. And we will all take the opportunity to relax and reflect on the fascinating adventures of the past days on the way back to Ushuaia.
December 13, 2019: We arrive back in port at Ushuaia by 8:00 AM. We disembark the Ushuaia after breakfast. Expedition concludes. Flights home or elsewhere can be anytime after 11:30 AM on December 13, 2019.
Note: This itinerary is a guide only. Our exact route and program will vary to take best advantage of local weather and ice conditions and opportunities to view wildlife. Changes will be made by the Captain, Muench Workshops and Expedition Leaders to facilitate the best results from the prevailing conditions. A daily program sheet will be issued on board. Flexibility is the key to success!
What to Bring and How to Prepare for Your Workshop
Please see our How To Prepare For Your Workshop page now for guidelines on workshop prep, gear, and packing. Approximately 90 days before your workshop, you will be sent a PDF with more specific instructions.
- Meals and lodging onboard December 2–13, 2019
- Waterproof boots for shore excursions
- Photographic guiding and instruction from 10 pros
- Many hours of basic and advanced Lightroom Instruction
- Multiple image reviews and post-processing sessions
- Shuttle bus to the Ushuaia Airport on December 13
What’s Not Included?
Air transportation to/from Ushuaia, Argentina. Hotel and meals in Ushuaia before and after our expedition dates (we have a block of rooms reserved though, with a group rate). Passport and visa fees. Items of a personal nature. Alcoholic beverages and soft drinks. Tips for the ship’s crew (recommended $15 per passenger per day). Ship to shore communication (ship’s email, satellite phone). Medical Evacuation Insurance (required). Travel Medical and Trip Cancellation Insurance (optional, but recommended). Anything not specifically listed as included.
Prices are listed here. A deposit of 30% is due upon registration and will secure your spot on this expedition. Further payment of $4,500 USD is due by December 1, 2018. Final balance will be due by June 1, 2019. Your payments are firm commitments and are not refundable, which is why we strongly encourage you to have trip cancellation insurance. Payments can be made by your credit card, personal check, or bank transfer.
While not expected, a standard clause with all such voyages is that if fuel prices increase between now and our voyage more than anticipated, there is the possibility of a fuel surcharge.
In addition to the above, all of Muench Workshops’ Terms and Conditions apply.
Flights are into and out of Ushuaia, Argentina (USH airport code). Plan your flights to arrive Ushuaia on or before December 1, 2019. We recommend staying in Buenos Aires the night before, enjoy the city and ensure a timely arrival into Ushuaia on the 1st. It is important to note that embarkation is at 4:00 PM on December 2, 2019 and there is no possibility to reach the ship if you miss this departure.
Flights home or elsewhere can be anytime after 12:00 PM (Ushuaia time) on December 13, 2019. Air tickets can typically be purchased beginning 330 days in advance, Muench Workshops will advise you when you can begin booking.
If you’ve had Antarctica on your “must-do” photography list, if you want to photograph and capture amazing wildlife and polar landscapes, and if you want to be part of this jam-packed photography expedition, click the “Sign Me Up!” button below now!
Questions? We are always available by email or you can call us anytime at +1 917-854-8118.