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ANTARCTICA

December 11–18, 2024  |  Fly + Cruise Photo Journey  |  Aboard the Magellan Explorer

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Why Travel to Antarctica with Open Sky?

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1. Seamless Fly + Cruise Model

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2. Expert Leadership and Safety

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3. Thorough Pre-Trip Prep

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3. Perfect Time of Year

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DOWNLOAD TRIP BROCHURE FOR FULL DETAILS

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EXPEDITION HIGHLIGHTS AND EXPERIENCES

Explore stunning iceberg fields and massive fjords on daily zodiac excursions.

Explore the Antarctic Peninsula and South Shetland Islands on daily zodiac outings that immerse you into an other-worldly landscape of towering ice monoliths and seaside mountain ranges.  Camera-in-tow, our Zodiac experiences offer unparalleled photography accessibility for scenery and wildlife on land and over the water.

Experience up-close encounters with Antarctica's wildlife

Have you dreamt of spending a day amongst a penguin colony? Or perhaps watching a whale breech for air just feet away from you? December is prime-time for wildlife observation on the Antarctic peninsula. Create impressive, up-close photos of  seals, penguins, whales, and seabirds alongside professional wildlife photographers, scientists, and area experts.  

Workshop your photography alongside experts in the field

Our Open Sky Expeditions travel expert and photo pro Temu Nana will accompany the group throughout the experience. You will have the opportunity to receive professional photo instruction in the field, and post-production workshops while aboard the ship. Take your photography to the next level in one of the wildest places on earth. 

Sail in luxury aboard the five-star Magellan Explorer

Step back onto the Magellan Explorer after a day in the field to warm up in the sauna, or enjoy a warm signature cocktail at the bar. The Magellan Explorer is a state-of-the-art expedition cruise ship with amenities designed to impress. Smaller than most Antarctic cruise ships, it offers a more intimate and personable experience. 

VIEW DETAILED ITINERARY IN BROCHURE
VIEW ACCOMMODATION DETAILS

SEE RATES AND INCLUSIONS

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EXPEDITION ITINERARY

No journey in Antarctica is exactly the same. The Expedition Team sets the voyage route to take advantage of the ever-changing opportunities provided by nature, crafting a unique and extraordinary experience each time. While the exact itinerary changes with each expedition, you’ll explore several spots that offer the best possible overview of the varied Antarctic environment. Your voyage may include visits to sites such as Paulet Island, Hope Bay, Port Lockroy, Petermann Island, Paradise Bay, Deception Island, the Lemaire Channel, or many other magnificent places. The list below presents the general schedule of the trip:

DAY 1 : DECEMBER 11, 2024

Arrival in Punta Arenas, Chile

Arrive in Punta Arenas, Chile (no later than 2pm) and transfer to your centrally located hotel. In the afternoon, attend a mandatory briefing providing important information about your voyage and reviewing the essential guidelines for Antarctic visitors. Gather for a welcome dinner later this evening and meet your fellow adventurers while enjoying a typical regional menu. [Overnight at the Cabo de Hornos Hotel or similar in Punta Arenas].

DAY 2: DECEMBER 12, 2024

Fly Drake Passage + Embark the Magellan Explorer

Your Antarctic adventure begins with a two-hour flight from Punta Arenas to King George Island, in the South Shetland Islands. As you exit the plane, the clear Antarctic air fills your lungs for the first time. Explore the area surrounding Chile’s Frei Station and Russia’s Bellingshausen Station, before boarding a Zodiac to embark your expedition vessel. Begin your Antarctic expedition. [Overnight aboard ship in Antarctica]

DAY 3  – 6: DECEMBER 13 - 16, 2024

Exploring Antarctica: Sail, Kayak, Hike, Photograph

Cruise between the South Shetland Islands and the western coast of the Antarctic Peninsula, sailing along ice-filled fjords and among spectacular icebergs, while enjoying the company of seabirds, penguins, seals and whales. Each day, disembark by Zodiac and explore the landscape together with expert polar guides. On board the ship, attend an engaging program of lectures and presentations, and enjoy spectacular views from the lounge while sharing your daily adventures with fellow guests.  [Overnight aboard ship in Antarctica]

DAY 7: DECEMBER 17, 2024

Return Flight to Punta Arenas, Chile

Return to King George Island and bid farewell to Antarctica before boarding the flight back to Punta Arenas. On arrival, transfer to your hotel for the night. [Overnight at the Cabo de Hornos Hotel or similar in Punta Arenas]

DAY 8: DECEMBER 18, 2024

Fly home or continue on trip extension

After breakfast, transfer to the Punta Arenas airport for your onward flight.  We offer trip extensions to Patagonia, Easter Island, the Atacama Desert, and more. Continue your exploration of Chile with these or a 100% bespoke arrangement. 

VIEW DETAILED ITINERARY IN BROCHURE
SEE TRIP EXTENSIONS
SEE RATES AND INCLUSIONS

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THE MAGELLAN EXPLORER

New and stylish, Magellan Explorer is a modern expedition vessel that was recently constructed in Chile to the latest Polar specifications for Antarctica21’s air-cruises. She accommodates 76 passengers in seven categories of accommodation for air-cruises, including dedicated Single Cabins. Magellan Explorer offers spacious accommodation and a wide range of technical solutions designed to enhance the expedition experience.

SHIP AMENITIES AND COMMON SPACES

Magellan Explorer has a glass-enclosed observation lounge, presentation room with state-of-the-art audio-visual equipment, a spacious and stylish dining room, well-stocked bar, library, meeting room, medical clinic, sauna and a gym. The forward-facing observation deck leads to the bow of the ship, which is accessible to guests to offer proximity to marine wildlife. The ship has a fleet of 10 Zodiac boats that are well suited for disembarking and wildlife watching. 90% of cabins have balconies which can be wonderfully comfortable, protected places to photograph from.

VIEW DETAILED ITINERARY IN BROCHURE
SEE TRIP EXTENSIONS
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ROOM OPTIONS & DECK PLANS

All cabins except Porthole cabins feature private balconies. All double cabins except two have two twin beds that can be configured as one king-size bed. All cabins feature a wardrobe, individually controlled heating system, a sitting area, and a private bathroom with shower.

  • Porthole - King bed or 2 twins. [200 sq ft]

  • Veranda - King bed or 2 twins. [210 sq ft]

  • Deluxe Veranda - King bed or 2 twins [240 sq ft]

  • Penthouse - King bed or 2 twins [360 sq ft]

  • Grand Suite - King bed or two twins. [480 sq ft]

  • Single Veranda - 1 King bed or 2 twins. [200 sq ft]

  • Triple - Two twins + Queen-size sofa bed. [480 sq ft]

VIEW DETAILED ITINERARY IN BROCHURE
SEE TRIP EXTENSIONS
SEE RATES AND INCLUSIONS

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NOTES FOR PHOTOGRAPHERS

Every aspect of our trip is designed to maximize your photographic opportunity.  Antarctica is a photographer's dreamscape. From jaw-dropping landscapes, sunsets, wildlife, history, and adventure, there is zero shortage of inspiration to create lasting, masterful images. We've designed this photo journey to be an opportunity for you to take your craft to the next level. 

EXPEDITION HIGHLIGHTS AND EXPERIENCES

Endlessly inspiring destination

Does anything really need to be said? Antarctica is a feast - a shangri-la for photographers! Incredible landscapes, stunning wildlife, surprising color, and soft, long-lasting light abound. Photographers can hardly ask for more.

Ideal time of year for photographers

December is a sweet spot for photographers as wildlife is already booming for summer, but the landscape is still wonderfully pristine from the long austral winter—something particularly evident in all the penguin colonies that aren't yet tarnished by significant snowmelt or excessive amounts of guano.

Photography-oriented expedition team

Antarctica21 has one of the highest expedition staff-to-passenger ratios in the industry, and the team includes a dedicated photo pro who in addition to producing an excellent trip log provides guidance to interested travelers. Even beyond the official photo pro, we found last December most of the staff themselves were excellent, experienced photographers. 

Easy on-shore access

With a maximum of 73 passengers onboard, this is one of the smaller operations in Antarctica. And being under 100 is particularly important, as that is maximum number of people Antarctic regulations allow ashore at one time. So, you won't have to wait for your "rotation" to be called up, as those on larger ships must. 

Pre-Trip Photo Q&A Session:

We'll offer a pre-trip photography webinar / Q&A session. In addition to reviewing what to expect while on the trip, go over gear suggestions (both imaging + photography-specific clothing), and challenges of the shooting environment. We'll also talk about what level of photography you feel comfortable with and what you're looking to learn/practice on the trip.

Photography Guide:

Everyone will also receive our Photography Guide before the trip, with tips on how to photograph in Antarctica, a primer on shooting conditions, gear suggestions (both imaging and processing), etc.. You'll have everything you need to know long before departing, but if you still have photo-related questions.

Dedicated Group Advocate:

Most fellow passengers will come on their own, so our pooled interests as a group, with an effective leader at the helm, will give us priority. Temu will be making sure of that, looking out for you both ashore & onboard. His photography advice will also only be for our group onboard. Temu will work directly with the ship's crew to facilitate photo-specific zodiac groupings and routes.

Expert Photo Instructor:

Our man Temu Nana has led dozens of trips spanning all 7 continents over the course of his career, much of which was spent on small-cruise ships, like the Magellan Explorer. He'll come interested in you, understanding where you are with photography if you've shared with us, and eager to offer one-on-one guidance throughout the trip.​

EXPEDITION LEADER

Temu Nana

TRAVEL EXPERT AND PHOTO PRO

Temu Nana has been leading educational journeys around the globe for 15 years, and in particular photo tours the past 10 years with Open Sky Expeditions. As a successful professional tour manager—given his extensive experience in travel logistics, attention to detail, and knack for making people feel at ease—Temu’s ambitious international travel schedule quickly accelerated photography from a fun hobby to a profession. And in the process, he discovered an aptitude for teaching others how to compose the most compelling images and most effectively use their photo equipment. That he has done so while on tour in countless environments on all 7 continents give him an edge that can’t be learned in a classroom, or even by the most seasoned photo pros that simply host a trip here and there. 

VIEW TEMU'S PORTFOLIO
GO TO TEMU'S FULL BIO
REACH OUT TO TEMU

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TRIP EXTENSIONS IN CHILE

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Patagonia

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Easter Island

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Atacama Desert

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Bespoke Travel

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READ MORE ABOUT EXTENSIONS IN FULL TRIP BROCHURE

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RATES AND INCLUSIONS

TRIP RATES     [main trip only]

Trip cost corresponds to cabin category once aboard ship in Antarctica. You can see details on the different cabin types here

TRIPLE - $17,995 

PORTHOLE - $15,995  

VERANDA - $19,995   

DELUXE VERANDA - $21,995

PENTHOUSE - $26,995  

GRAND SUITE - $24,995  

SINGLE VERANDA - $26,995

 

The above rates are double occupancy—except for the Triple which is triple occupancy, and the Single Veranda, which is for one person. 

Additional Notes:

  • If you would be interested in a roommate to share a cabin, we’ll first look to match interested parties within our group; otherwise Antarctica21 will find a matching companion of the same gender.

  • No supplement is applied for single use of a dedicated Single Veranda Cabin. A limited number of Porthole or Veranda Cabins may also be available onboard for single use, at an 85% supplement in addition to the above rates.

  • Travelers booking a Twin Cabin on a shared basis have the option to book single rooms at the hotel in Punta Arenas before/after Antarctica for a supplement of $550. Please inquire at time of reservation. 

    • If you book only one berth in a cabin (to share with someone we or Antarctica21 assigns), this hotel single supplement will automatically be applied.

    • Single travelers who use CPAP machines or other assistive devices, as well as those who have conditions that can be disrupting to others (loud snoring, sleepwalking etc.) can only book in a Single Veranda Cabin or in a Twin Cabin for single use. They cannot book on a twin-share basis.

INCLUDED IN THE RATE

  • Group transfers between Punta Arenas airport and the hotel on arrival, return from Antarctica, & departure.

  • 2 overnights with breakfast in Punta Arenas at the Cabo de Hornos Hotel or similar on the first night (December 16th, with a welcome dinner including drinks that night) and the last night on return from Antarctica (December 22nd).

  • The flight between Punta Arenas to Frei Station on King George Island en route to and returning from Antarctica. 

  • Ship cruise aboard the Magellan Explorer along the Antarctic Peninsula as indicated in the itinerary.

  • Daily buffet breakfast and lunch on board ship offering a wide choice of dishes.

  • Daily served dinner on board ship offering a choice of three main courses.

  • Wine, beer, juice, and soft drinks served with lunch and dinner on board ship

  • Coffee, tea, chocolate, cappuccino, water and snacks on board ship throughout the expedition.

  • All guided shore excursions.

  • Lectures and entertainment on board.

  • Access to Antarctica21’s exclusive Explorer House in Punta Arenas

  • Comprehensive pre- and post-voyage information material.

  • Loan of waterproof boots for landing in Antarctica.

  • The contingency plan as described in the brochure PDF.

  • IAATO passenger fee.

Plus, exclusively for participants traveling with Open Sky Expeditions:  

  • An Open Sky Expeditions Tour Leader & Photo Pro throughout the trip (read more here).

  • Open Sky Expeditions’ dedicated guide on Photography in Antarctica.

  • Access to our Tour Leader & Photo Pro before departure.

  • An invitation to a pre-trip webinar/Q&A session that will help you prepare for your trip, including covering key notes on photography in Antarctica (also recorded for later viewing).

  • Access to a private trip portal presenting everything you need to know before departure in a thoughtful, organized way.

These last 5 inclusions are exclusively for our group (our participants pay the same rates as other travelers on the same departure, but other travelers don't get these). 

Participants in our group also benefit from (amongst other things):

  • our expertise in Chile offered at a reduced rate for custom pre- or post-trip arrangements.

  • easy-to-purchase travel insurance with our dedicated partner

  • guidance & assistance with flight arrangements

  • and more.

 

 

NOT INCLUDED IN THE RATE

  • Accommodation, meals, excursions & transfers other than those included in the itinerary and Contingency Plan 

  • Beverages purchased at the ship’s bar

  • Personal travel insurance (see here for recommendations)

  • Extra expenses (communication, laundry, souvenirs, etc.)

  • Gratuities onboard

  • Visa for Chile should it be required for you (U.S. citizens don't need it), passport expenses, and any arrival and/or departure tax, if applicable.

BOOKING YOUR TRIP

To Book This Trip

Book now by filling out the trip's registration form with the button below, and pay a $900 per person deposit to confirm participation on the trip.

Have More Questions?

We're happy to assist! Please contact us at info@openskyexpeditions.com, or call us at 1.844.OPENSKY or +1.212.441.0024.

FYI, Once You Book

Once you are confirmed for the trip, we'll provide helpful pre-departure information including a pre-trip timeline & insurance recommendations. Flight booking guidelines and a private portal for participants will follow at the appropriate time.

Trip Requirements

To participate on this trip, you will need to:​​

  • Passport: Carry a passport valid for at least 6 months after the trip ends

  • Travel Insurance: Have travel insurance that at least covers emergency medical evacuation. This can be obtained after booking the trip.  CLICK HERE to view details on the options offered via our partner Travel Insured International.

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