Small Group – Amazing Photo Ops – Intensive Instruction
The most extraordinary way to experience Antarctica.
Very small photo group of 28 guests with 4 photo pros and five naturalists on board our small expedition ship. A 7:1 ratio of guests to pros! Other expeditions have but one or two pros for 100s of guests.
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 sail the Antarctic waters, the ice-strengthened M/V Ushuaia. We’ve assembled an amazing team of pro photographers, expedition leaders, and naturalists to provide photography instruction, information, and guidance throughout the expedition. For this expedition, we are a small group of 28 on board the ship which has a max of 80 guests. We work closely with the expedition team onboard and carefully plan our itinerary to 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 enought to go to all landing sites.
On this 9-night / 10-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.
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, 2020, until the time we say goodbye on December 11, 2020. 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 a large room available for instruction, lectures, presentations, image reviews, and critiques. Meals on board are really tasty! 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 larger 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 have 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, wildlife, and the guiding from not only us but the expedition staff and naturalists.
All-inclusive tuition for this expedition starts at $12,500. All cabins have en suite facilities, and you have a choice of three levels of twin cabin or a private cabin as well. Your cost for this expedition depends on your choice of accommodation. Click for details on the ship, pricing, accommodations, and more.
Questions? We are always available by email or you can call us anytime at +1 917-854-8118. 2020 Antarctica FAQ
Don’t forget that we always do a Patagonia add-on, after Antarctica. Only 8 guests, small group, amazing landscapes!
December 1–11, 2020
Easy: 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.
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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, 2020: Arrive in Ushuaia, Argentina on or before this day. Book your own lodgings or use the group rate we have secured at our hotels in town. Meet your team of pros, have a welcome drink, and pick up your pre-departure materials between 3:00 PM and 5:00 PM at the Hotel Albatross.
December 2, 2020: At 4:00 PM, embark the Ushuaia. After you have settled into your cabin, we begin our journey through the Beagle Channel and push out into the Drake Passage, direction Antarctica.
December 3–4, 2020: We cross the Drake Passage.
Giant petrels, albatross and smaller Cape petrels are our companions as we transit the Drake Passage. Join the ship’s Captain on the bridge and learn about the operations of our vessel. Through the days our team of photo pros and naturalists educate us with a series of presentations on photography, the environment, wildlife and history.
We 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 4–8, 2020: Take a deep breath—you have arrived. Welcome to Antarctica! This morning the magnificent snowy peaks are laid out before us. It’s a truly awesome sight. The waterways of the Antarctic Peninsula are home to deep bays, pristine coves and inlets, and numerous small islands. The Gerlache coastline features heavily glaciated mountains permanently covered in ice and snow. Rocky outcrops are home to gentoo, adelie and chinstrap penguin rookeries and the waters are rich in marine life. We frequently encounter seals, including the powerful leopard seal. Curious humpback whales and the smaller minke whales are present much of the time as they feed on the vast schools of krill. Sightings of orca are not uncommon. Every day we plan an exciting range of activities including guided hikes on shore and visits to wildlife colonies with our expert naturalist guides. The historic huts and science stations located along the peninsula provide a fascinating glimpse into the past and potential future. Zodiac cruising in the ice, searching for seals and whales is a memorable activity and brings us great photo ops. Our team of photo pros will be on hand to help you with your camera settings and image composition.
On all of our landings and excursions, there will be at least one dedicated Muench Workshops pro for every seven guests. In addition, we will have our team of five naturalists and expedition leaders from the Ushuaia accompanying us on every landing and excursion.
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 8, 2020: After several busy days of exploration along the Antarctic Peninsula, we head for the South Shetland Islands. If the weather conditions allow, we sail the ship into the flooded volcanic caldera at Deception Island, a very dramatic location. History is all around us as we explore the old whaling station, with its rusted relics and dilapidated wooden buildings.
December 9–10, 2020: As we make our way back to South America, the educational presentations continue and we enjoy an entertaining and memorable voyage recap by our Expedition Leader. If weather conditions allow, we hope to make a rounding of Cape Horn. It’s a fitting place to reflect on a wonderful expedition. Approaching the entrance to the Beagle Channel in early evening light, we enjoy a special dinner attended by the Captain of the ship.
December 11, 2020: 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 11, 2020.
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 2–11, 2020
Photographic guiding and instruction from 4 pros
Many hours of basic and advanced Lightroom Instruction
Multiple image reviews and post-processing sessions
Shuttle bus to the Ushuaia Airport on December 11
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, if any. 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. A second payment of approximately 30 % is due by December 1, 2019. Final balance will be due by June 1, 2020. All prices and payments are in USD. 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 3:00 PM on December 1, 2020. It is important to note that embarkation is at 4:00 PM on December 2, 2020 and there is no possibility to reach the ship if you miss this departure.
Flights home or elsewhere can be anytime after 11:30 AM (Ushuaia time) on December 11, 2020. 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!
Don’t forget that we always do a Patagonia add-on, after Antarctica. Only 8 guests, small group, amazing landscapes!
Questions? We are always available by email or you can call us anytime at +1 917-854-8118.