More Photo Pros. More Photo Ops. The Most Extraordinary Way to Explore The Falklands, South Georgia, and Antarctica.
October 12 – November 3, 2022
Join us for a Southern Ocean adventure like no other! On this all-inclusive 22-day journey, we’ll experience the best that the region has to offer, including the subantarctic Falkland Islands, South Georgia, and the Antarctic peninsula. This trip has it all! We’ll encounter diverse and abundant wildlife, be awed by expansive landscapes, and visit historic sites that evoke the days of early exploration.
We’ve timed our expedition for the end of the Antarctic spring and the very beginning of summer, one of the best times for photography in the region. In the subantarctic islands, this is courtship time for seabirds; vast numbers of them are gathering. King, macaroni, gentoo, and chinstrap penguins are mating and beginning to tend eggs, and the previous year’s king penguin chicks are shedding their down. Wandering albatross chicks—nearly grown by now—are beginning to test their wings. Elephant seals are consolidating their harems as females arrive en masse to the beaches, and a few fur seals may also be spotted. On the peninsula, snowfall is still likely during late spring, adding drama to icy landscapes and wildlife tableaus, and the whales are starting to arrive at their summer feeding grounds in the region’s nutrient-rich waters. Expect rapidly changing spring weather, but also dramatic skies and unparalleled light conditions. Fewer visitors this time of year means greater opportunity to explore.
For this journey, we’ll be traveling aboard the ice-strengthened vessel M/V Ushuaia. Originally built for the United States agency NOAA (National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration), the Ushuaia has been refurbished to accommodate our small group of photographers passengers in 46 comfortable cabins and suites. The well-appointed public areas feature a large dining room, an open-plan observation lounge/lecture room with modern multimedia equipment and well-stocked bar. Ample deck space provides plenty of vantage points for photography, and a full complement of zodiacs ensure wildlife viewing opportunities along the otherwise inaccessible coastline. The Ushuaia’s captain, officers, crew, and expedition staff are all highly experienced in Antarctic navigation, and have great enthusiasm for the region; we are welcome to visit them in the bridge. Meals on board are quite good—the breakfast buffet has both continental and hot options, lunch is served at your table, and the day ends with a three-course dinner. You won’t go hungry! Mealtimes are set by us, and are based on our shore excursions—photography first.
Muench Workshops is the sole charterer during this time period, so we “own” the boat. We control the itinerary. We’ll be able to make adjustments to our course for ice conditions, light, and extraordinary wildlife and landscapes. This allows us to maximize photographic opportunities with as many shore landings and zodiac excursions as possible. Our ship is small, and can access all potential landing sites—we’ll go where the big ships can’t, and make more landings. And with only 60–70 guests alongside 10 pros and 8 naturalists, our instructor ratio is unmatched. Expect one-on-one instruction in the field, and our signature image reviews in the evenings and during sea days. We’ll have plenty of talks too, on the region’s natural history, and on photography topics—wildlife photography, beginning and advanced Lightroom, photographic composition, technical refreshers, and much more. We are dedicated to helping you capture the natural beauty of Antarctica! Don’t worry, though, your non-photographer spouse, partner, or traveling companion is also welcome, and we’re happy to help them make the most of the adventure too.
As always, everything’s all-inclusive. Click for details on the ship, pricing, accommodation, and more. Here is the Expedition FAQ.
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.
Please note: The below itinerary is a representative guide only. Our exact route and program may vary with local weather and ice conditions, as well as wildlife viewing opportunities. Our prospective route will be evaluated daily by the Captain and/or Expedition Leader, and a program sheet will be issued on board each morning. Flexibility is the key to success.
October 12, 2022: Arrive in Ushuaia, Argentina anytime before 1:00 PM today, then meet us at the Albatros Hotel between 3:30 and 5:30 PM for introductions and important pre-embarkation information.
October 13, 2022: We’ll be embarking the M/V Ushuaia at 4:00 PM. After a welcome drink, we’ll introduce the Muench Workshops Team and our expedition staff, and then you’ll have some time to get to know your new shipmates. We’ll set sail this evening for the western Falkland Islands, known for their rugged beauty and wealth of seabirds.
October 14, 2022: At Sea. Join our team on deck to spot whales and dolphins, and to practice seabird photography. Our naturalists will be on hand to help you identify an array of seabirds, including several species of albatross, petrels, storm-petrels, and more. You may also want to take advantage of the Ushuaia’s open bridge policy—learn about navigation and ship operation, or just enjoy the view. We will 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 and Advanced Lightroom (Library Module)
- Beginner and Advanced Lightroom (Develop Module)
October 15, 2022: Arrive to the Falkland Islands. If weather conditions are in our favor, we’ll have our first shore excursion today. The following islands are potential options for shore landings:
West Point Island
West Point Island lies off the most north-westerly point of mainland West Falkland. An attractive settlement sits on the edge of a small harbor on the eastern side of the Island, in the lee of Black Bog Hill and Michael´s Mount. The valley between these two peaks rolls over the center of the island to the dramatic Devil´s Nose, one of the Island´s main draws. From here visitors are treated to splendid views of Cliff Mountain, the Island´s highest point at 1,250 ft (381 m), and the highest cliffs in the Falklands. We hope to encounter a vast colony of rockhopper penguins and black-browed albatross here, nesting in close proximity to one another.
Carcass Island lies to the north-west of the Falklands archipelago. A mature tussock plain covers much of the lower ground below Jason Hill to the east. The availability of abundant cover—and the absence of cats, rats and mice —have allowed for a large population of small songbirds. Gentoo and Magellanic penguins also nest here, and Peale´s and Commerson´s dolphins frequently approach the shoreline. The settlement here has beautiful gardens, and we may be invited for tea with the locals.
October 16, 2022: Eastern Falkland Islands—At Sea
Following an overnight sail, we will arrive this morning in the quaint town of Stanley. Established in the early 1840´s as a ship repair stop, and later as a base for whaling and sealing expeditions, the town today boasts a charming Museum, souvenir shops, pubs, and a fish and chip house.
For those interested in outstanding wildlife, look no further than the outskirts of town. Southern giant petrels, kelp gulls, and dolphin gulls patrol the shoreline, the endemic Falkland steamer duck feeds in the coastal shallows, and turkey vultures are regularly found perched on prominent buildings. Less obvious but no less frequent around Stanley are black-crowned night herons, red-backed hawks and peregrine falcons. Take a stroll around the town gardens to see Upland geese, and a variety of songbirds as well.
In the early afternoon we’ll depart the Falkland Islands for South Georgia.
October 17–18, 2022: At Sea
We have an extensive lecture program planned for you during our days at sea. Our signature image review sessions and lectures will be offered throughout these days, enabling the Muench Workshops pros and expert naturalists to share their knowledge of photography, wildlife, and the unique ecosystems we will be encountering.
October 19, 2022: At Sea—South Georgia
South Georgia in our sights! Rugged South Georgia, with its heavily glaciated peaks and abundant wildlife, is regarded as one of the most beautiful and awe-inspiring places on earth. If the weather is favorable for a landing, we’ll aim to visit one of the following sites in the late afternoon:
Elsehul is a beautiful little harbor, situated at the northwestern extremity of South Georgia, on the eastern side of the knife-edged summit ridges of the Parydian Peninsula. It is the only visitor site on the island. Colonies of nesting black-browed and grey-headed albatrosses nest above the harbor sheltered waters, and are easily observed by zodiac.
Right Whale Bay
Historical records for Right Whale Bay date back to at least 1922, when South Georgia was still a center for commercial whaling. Situated between Craigie Point and Nameless Point, along the north coast of South Georgia, the bay’s black ashen beach is home to a small colony of king penguins, giant petrels, gulls and breeding elephant seals.
October 20–24, 2022: South Georgia
Our exact itinerary will depend on local ice, wind, and sea conditions, but the following destinations are among those that we would like to explore:
Sometimes called the “Serengeti of the South,” Salisbury Plain is a wildlife site without parallel. Several large glaciers provide dramatic backdrop for tens of thousands of king penguins nesting among tussock grass. We’ll be literally surrounded by throngs of curious, gentle penguins. Southern Giant Petrels and Elephant seals also abound. Prepare for an awe-inspiring experience as huge male elephant seals joust on the beach and female elephant seals tend to their heavy big-eyed pups. Fur seals will also be present at the back of the beach.
Prion Island is a beautiful islet covered in tussock grass, and an ideal nesting site for wandering albatross. The site offers comfortable viewing platforms, accessed by wooden boardwalk, where we hope to watch the albatross engaged in their spectacular courtship displays.
Grytviken lies within King Edward Cove, a sheltered harbor tucked between Hope Point and Hobart Rock on the western shore of Cumberland East Bay. The rusting ruins of the Grytviken whaling station are situated on a level plain at the head of the cove. Now the site of the South Georgia Museum, the station remains a focal point of interest for many visitors, as does Sir Ernest Shackleton´s grave in the nearby whaler´s cemetery, and his memorial cross on Hope Point.
The scenery in this area is exceptionally beautiful, even by South Georgia standards. The glaciers and snow covered peaks of the Allardyce Range—Mt. Sugartop, Mt. Paget, Mt. Roots, Nordenskjöld Peak, Mt. Kling and Mt. Brooker—form a magnificent backdrop to the cove, and the views from King Edward Point in particular must be among the finest on earth.
Godthul is a 3km long inlet, situated 9km east of Cumberland East Bay, on the eastern shores of Barff Peninsula between Cape George and Long Point. A floating factory ship was stationed here each summer between 1908 and 1929, and a small shore depot supporting the whaling operations was established close by at the southeast corner of the harbor. Rusting barrels, wooden boats, and scattered bones are fascinating relics of the whaling era. Today, gentoo penguins are abundant on Godthul’s tussock plateau and light-mantled sooty albatrosses nest in the cliffs that encircle the harbor.
St Andrews Bay
The surf-tossed coastline at St. Andrews Bay runs north-south in a 3km long uninterrupted sweep of fine dark sand, bounded in the interior by the Cook, Buxton and Heaney Glaciers. The bay hosts the biggest colony of king penguins on South Georgia, and early in the season, fur seals and elephant seals are also abundant. Leopard seals patrol the rocks at this end of the beach, hunting for penguins along the edge of kelp beds. Sheathbills dart in and around the penguin colony, and Cape petrels nest in a small number on the cliffs north of St. Andrews Bay. A few white-chinned petrels and light-mantled sooty albatrosses nest on the tussock slopes. Brown skuas and Antarctic terns breed on the outwash plain and scree slopes at the north end of the beach.
Cooper Bay is an indentation in tiny Cooper Island, at the southeast extremity of South Georgia. Cooper Island holds Special Protection Area status; it is important for its vast colonies of chinstrap and macaroni penguins, snow petrels, Antarctic prions, and black-browed albatross. We’ll likely also spot fur seals on the beach.
Drygalski Fjord is also located in the far southeast of the island. The glaciers found in this dramatic fjord have retreated significantly in recent decades, but they still remain one of the most striking features of the coastline. With a little luck, we may get a chance to see a glacier calve.
October 25–26, 2022: At Sea
The next two days will be spent crossing the Scotia Sea towards the Antarctic Peninsula. Take advantage of the time to be out on deck, catch up on some reading, check through and edit your photos, or simply reflect on the magical experiences of South Georgia. Lectures and our signature image review sessions will be offered throughout these days.
October 27, 2022: Elephant Island, South Shetland Islands
We hope to have a chance to view the enigmatic Elephant Island either from the zodiacs or from the ship. Sir Ernest Shackleton fans will need no introduction to this historic windswept island. In 1916 Shackleton was forced to leave 22 of his men stranded on these shores, while he and five others embarked on an unbelievable last-ditch rescue attempt. What followed is one of the greatest rescue stories of all time.
October 28, 2022: At Sea—Antarctic Peninsula
We’ll meet with the Expedition Team to prepare for the Antarctic Peninsula and South Shetland Islands. Later today, we hope to arrive at the Antarctic Peninsula in the area of the scenic Antarctic Sound. Time and weather permitting, we’ll be making a landing today at one of the following sites:
Argentine Antarctic Station, Esperanza
The east side of the Antarctic Peninsula traverses the Antarctic Sound northwest-to-southeast. Hope Bay and the Argentine Station Esperanza are located on the western side of the Sound. Esperanza is one of only two civilian settlements in Antarctica, and a variety of scientific initiatives are undertaken here annually.
Brown Bluff is located on the Tabarin Peninsula, south of Hope Bay. The site has been identified as an Important Bird Area (IBA) by BirdLife International because it supports a breeding colony of about 20,000 pairs of adelie penguins, and about 550 pairs of gentoo penguins. Other birds nesting at Brown Bluff include Cape petrels, Wilson’s storm petrels and kelp gulls. Weddell seals regularly haul out here and leopard seals often hunt offshore.
October 29–31, 2022: Antarctic Peninsula and the South Shetland Islands
Some of the sites we’ll potentially be visiting over the next couple days:
The Gerlache Strait separates the Palmer archipelago from the Antarctic Peninsula. It offers scenic cruising through snow-covered mountains and large icebergs, and is also a popular place for spotting humpback whales.
The Hydrurga Rocks are a small group of islets east of Two Hummock Island in the Palmer Archipelago, at the northern entrance of the Gerlache Strait. Chinstrap Penguins, Blue-eyed Shags and Kelp Gulls are confirmed breeders here.
Dark, rocky Cuverville Island lies in the scenic Errera Channel, at the center of the Gerlache Strait. The island has been identified as an Important Bird Area (IBA) by BirdLife International because it supports a breeding colony of about 6500 pairs of gentoo penguins, the largest for this species on the Antarctic Peninsula. Other birds nesting at the site include southern giant petrels and Antarctic shags.
Deception Island is an active volcanic crater, accessed by a narrow inlet. Remnants of an old whaling station still line its steaming black sand beaches, and a walk up the caldera wall provides impressive views across the crater and out to sea. A handful of birds nest here, including Antarctic shags, and chinstrap penguins can sometimes be spotted on the beach.
Half Moon Island
Crescent-shaped Half Moon island stands in the entrance of Moon Bay, between Greenwich and Livingston Islands. The island has been identified as an Important Bird Area (IBA) by BirdLife International because it supports a breeding colony of about 100 pairs of south polar skuas. The island also supports about 2000 pairs of nesting chinstrap penguins, as well as a number of terns, gulls, storm petrels, petrels, skuas, sheathbills and shags. Weddell and Antarctic fur seals regularly haul out on the beaches, and whales are often spotted just offshore.
November 1–2, 2022: At Sea
We leave Antarctica and head north across the Drake Passage. Join our lecturers and naturalists on deck as we search for seabirds and whales. We will also enjoy some final lectures. Take the chance to relax and reflect on the fascinating adventures we have had over the past days.
November 3, 2022: Disembark M/V Ushuaia at approximately 8:00 AM. Expedition concludes. We’ll have transportation arranged from the pier to the Ushuaia Airport. Flights can be arranged for anytime after 11:00 AM this day. We’ll have a bus transfer from the pier to the Ushuaia Airport on November 3, 2022, after disembarkation. Buses will leave from just outside the port at a time TBD. If your flights are later in the day you can take taxis on your own.
Map of our Planned Route
Moderate: You must be able to embark and disembark zodiacs in possibly rough waves and you must be able to handle walking in snow and on possibly slippery, uneven ground.
Arrive Ushuaia – Malvinas Argentinas International Airport (USH), Ushuaia, Tierra del Fuego before 1:00 PM on October 12, 2022. Flights out can be made after 11:00 AM on November 3, 2022.
What to Bring
Please see our page How To Prepare For Your Workshop. We will send you a detailed information document 90 days before your workshop. This document will include specifics of where and when to meet, gear and clothing recommendations, and more.
- Double occupancy lodging. Single available for $150 supplement. (Hotel only, limited availability.)
- All meals, soft drinks, and snacks during the workshop
- All permits and park fees
- Tips for crew, drivers, and local guides
- Meals and lodging onboard the ship
- Waterproof boots for shore excursions
- Many hours of basic and advanced Lightroom instruction
- Multiple image reviews and post-processing sessions
- Naturalist lectures and presentations on board
- English speaking local guide throughout the workshop
- Photographic guiding and instruction from 9 pros
- Image reviews and post-processing instruction
- Adventure, fun, inspiration, and a great time!
- Travel to and from Ushuaia, Tierra del Fuego.
- While not expected, we do reserve the right to add a surcharge for possible fuel cost increases. This can happen even right up until the time of the expedition, but we try to get as much notice as possible.
- Passport and visa fees (if applicable).
- Any meals or accommodations before or after the workshop dates.
- Items of a personal nature.
- Alcoholic beverages.
- Medical Evacuation Insurance (required).
- Travel Medical (required).
- Trip Cancellation Insurance (optional, but recommended).
- Anything else specifically not listed as included.
- Single rooming available for $150 supplement. (Hotel only, limited availability.)
- Your non-refundable deposit will hold your space in this workshop.
- Further non-refundable payment is due by October 1, 2021.
- The non-refundable balance is due not later than March 15, 2022.
- The payment amounts are determined by your cabin choice.
- In addition to our standard Terms and Conditions, for this workshop all payments are non-refundable, and this is why we recommend comprehensive travel insurance including trip cancelation.
- Need special payment arrangements? No problem, just ask us.
|Cabin Choice||Tuition||Deposit||Further Payment||Balance Payment|
|Standard Twin Semi-Private Bathroom||$18,995||$5,700||$8,000||$5,295|
|Standard Plus Twin Private Bathroom||$22,995||$6,900||$8,000||$8,095|
|Standard Plus Triple Private Bathroom||$18,995||$5,700||$8,000||$5,295|
|Premier Twin Private Bathroom||$24,995||$7,500||$8,000||$9,495|
|Superior Twin Private Bathroom||$27,995||$8,400||$8,000||$11,595|
|Standard Single Semi-Private Bathroom||$33,995||$10,200||$8,000||$15,795|
|Standard Plus Single Private Bathroom||$41,995||$12,600||$8,000||$21,395|
|Premier Single Private Bathroom||$44,995||$13,500||$8,000||$23,495|
|Premier Single Private Bathroom (orig2)||$39,995||$12,900||$8,000||$19,095|
“I went to Antarctica with Muench Workshops. Have been on several adventures with them (7 or so ... and counting) - they are rockstar photographers (without the rockstar egos :)), patient and compassionate, and just so much fun to travel with. They exceed my expectations every time, and I've made many wonderful friends along the way. They are going back to Antarctica in 2018 ... ”
“There is just no way even now to put into words the feeling of sitting in the zodiac on mirror still icy water, in the fog, in this incredible silence among the icebergs the size of a modern day hospital on the BOTTOM of the earth. Who gets to DO that? Who gets to feel that? When I look at the images I took on this trip I FEEL that feeling again. SO yes you met my expectations, So yes you exceeded my expectations but I really didn't know what I was expecting. It was an EPIC trip that I still am trying to wrap my head around as I go back to work and the normal routine of normal life. ”
“Thank you all for a great trip. All the experts on the trip were amazingly helpful which made the trip! ”