The Call of the Sea 01872 580022

Last Place in a Shared Ladies Cabin and Last Two Places for a Couple in a Shared Cabin: 2018 Antarctic Sailing & Photographic Wildlife Expedition on a Tall Ship

Voyage Number Vessel Starting Port Ending Port
EU070218 Europa Ushuaia Argentina Ushuaia Argentina
Booking fee Voyage duration Start date and time End date and time
EUR €30.00 22 days
07/02/2018 - 17:00 to 28/02/2018 - 09:00
07/02/2018 - 17:00 to 28/02/2018 - 09:00
Berth Type Availability Price Special Price
4-6 Berth Cabin per person Fully booked EUR €8240.00 n/a
2 Berth Cabin per person Fully booked EUR €9480.00 n/a
Voyage Description:


Limited Availability, but we are collating a list of people interested in next Antarctica Season


22 Day Antarctic Sailing & Photographic Wildlife Expedition

This very special Antarctica voyage is meant for people who have an interest in photography. The basics of an expedition with the bark EUROPA is participating in helping to sail the ship however during this voyage there will be more additional focus on (wildlife)photography and on how to get the best picture under certain circumstances.

Lectures and professional photographer guides.

There will be lectures about the places we visit and the animals you may encounter, but our team of nature guides will be completed with 2 professional photographers. Together they will guide you during your expedition through the white continent and with your own camera gear you will shoot the best pictures! 

Itinerary for photographers

The itinerary and timing will be planned in the most suitable way for photographers. We will chase the best light, catch opportunities to observe wildlife and of course, use our beautiful Bark Europa as a perfect model among the beauty of Antarctica! Remember Europa is a sailing ship and so her detailed itinerary cannot be known before hand as she will be subject to the weather and ice conditions.

Photographers of all levels are very welcome. Do not expect a classic photo workshop or photo course. It will be an expedition and our goal is to make itinerary and timing the best we can for photographers, and will help you with your photography on board.

Photo: Half Moon Bay by Debbie Purser

Southern summer

Some people become interested in the North and South Pole after reading about the voyages of Scott and Shackleton. Others are more fascinated by the rich wildlife or the beauty of the unspoilt natural environment. Antarctica is one of the oldest continents on our planet, but man has always been unable to live here because of its extremely cold climate. It is the last great wilderness on Earth. A few researchers spend the southern summer living in several research stations. During the southern winter, that number dwindles to less than 1,000. When winter grips this great, white desert, tourist activity is no longer possible.

Sail Training

On this voyage, no sailing experience is required just as on any other voyage of the Bark EUROPA, sail training is a real part of the experience on board and life on board. During the crossing of the Drake Passage you will be assigned to the watch system and help on deck with furling or unfurling the sails, standing at the wheel or standing on lookout. Of course there will be ample time to take pictures of all activities on deck! Once in Antarctica the watch system will be dropped, though we look forward to all volunteer anchor watches!. 

Guiding on board

During the Antarctica photography expedition there will be nature guides and professional photographers on board the Bark EUROPA. They know the area we will be visiting very well. The guide gives lectures on board the ship about the flora and fauna we will encounter, prepares you for the landings on shore and will guide you on the shore walks. Photography guides (Daniel and Frits) will make lectures on photography, and adjust the itinerary the way we can best catch the most amazing light. The crew will take groups ashore in the dinghies to see glaciers, mosses and lichens, seals, birds and penguin rookeries. Ashore, visitors will often be welcomed by different kinds of penguins, such as the Gentoo, Chinstrap and Adelie penguins. 


We know several aspects will be there for sure: the ship, the penguins and the beautiful ice sculptures. A fourth aspect is the weather. The weather in Antarctica sometimes has the character of 'four seasons in one day'. It’s not blue skies every day and the challenge on a grey day is to set your camera right and still make the best photo's! And that’s where the guides can help you.

Photo: Nekko Harbour  by Sjef Van Berge

Getting to know you.

When you decide to join we definitely would like to get to know you! We look forward to knowing what level of photographic experience you have and what you would like to learn. (Remember you do not need to be an experienced photographer.) We will collect this information from every one joining the voyage and share this with our photographers prior to the trip. You will also get access to a special part of our website where you can get to know your fellow travellers.  Plus your photos published on Instagram will be loaded on to this page.


Upon booking this voyage you give Rederij Bark EUROPA permission to use the photos made during the trip for promoting the Bark EUROPA and her voyages. The authors details will be treated carefully and your credits will be mentioned. We will try with our experienced photographers to get the best pictures of the voyage published.

Photo: by Debbie Purser

22 Day Antarctic Expeditions on Tall Ship Europa

"It was perfect: the sail across the dreaded Drake, opportunities to learn from the guides, new discoveries every day, the extremely professional crew, the delicious food and the good friends we made aboard.  Each day was an adventure and a new discovery.  I can't imagine traveling to Antarctica any other way. Thank you all so much."  Karen and Jim

For many the chance to explore the Antarctic Peninsula is a trip of a lifetime, but if you really want to connect with this pristine wilderness and understand its allure then you need to spend time outdoors, up close and personal with the wildlife and the elements. We might be biased but Classic Sailing think the best way to do that is to sail there on a tall ship as voyage crew. You are part of the ships community, but don't have to be a sailor - just have a willing heart to take part in the adventure as best you can.

Antarctic Advice by Phone

Bark Europa and crew have been exploring the Southern Ocean with charter guests since 2002 so they are the real specialists, but Classic Sailing has been offering advice to customers on Europa's Antarctic Voyages since 2007.  Both Adam and Debbie in the Cornwall Office have sailed Europa in Antarctica and South Georgia, so you are welcome to ring us for a chat on 0044 (0) 1872 580022


Photo by Peter Holgate

Get Closer to Antarctic Wildlife on a Tall Ship

Bark Europa is not a big ship compared with modern expedition ships with only about 3m freeboard in the middle of the ship, so when a humpback whale pops his head up to look at you they are damn close and you can feel the spray. You could be sipping a cup of coffee when a fur seal does a back flip right next to you and you may spend time trying to rescue a stunned Prion staggering around the deck after flying into the rigging at night. Being able to climb the rigging gives you a view from a different dimension. Look down on Weddle Seals resting on a slab of pack ice with shadows of the ships rigging cutting across the scene, or see whales diving under the ship to check out our barnacles.

Whilst sailing at 3-8 knots you can see penguins in their natural element as they porpoise in and out the water, or killer whales as they glide effortlessly by like sleek submarines and overtake a 300 ton sailing ship at speed.

Beach landings can be very entertaining with crowds of fur seals and penguins entering and leaving the surf around you. Europa’s wildlife guides will always brief you on what to see and how to behave around very curious animals ashore but it is still a pleasant shock when they come right up to you. (Penguins don’t read the rules).

Icebergs & Offshore Islands

After a few days crossing the infamously rough Drakes Passage, the excitement increases with the first sightings of icebergs. The first land you will see is the offlying South Shetland Island chain, and a very welcome first anchorage. The atmosphere is very clear so the spires and cliffs of these off lying ring of islands create photogenic silhouettes for very vivid sunsets. With katabatic winds off the mountains, and ice fall prone areas to avoid, Europa sometimes has to work hard to find the best anchorages and safe landings so no itinerary can be guaranteed. The Aitcho Islands are a favourite beach landing by the ships two zodiac inflatable boats and her ships lifeboat ‘Sloopy’.

Chinstrap and Gentoo Penguins share the beach with you, Skuas and Giant Petrels swoop from above, and huge elephant seals can sometimes be seen. Other off lying island anchorages are Yankee Harbour, Hannah Point on Livingstone Island. At Trinity Island stranded icebergs are aground on the seabed or wedged between the dark basalt cliffs. The fluted ice shapes and colours range from sugary crystalline surfaces to smooth caves of turquoise and Leopard Seals often lurk. Further South is Deception Island where the ship sails right into a flooded volcanic crater through a narrow gap called ‘Neptune’s Bellows’ to anchor in Whalers Bay. Ashore are the rusting relics of a major whaling station and you can bathe in the steaming waters and black shingle - heated by volcanic activity.

Polar Explorers - Authentic Experience

These are voyages for true adventurers and romantics. If reading the exploits of Shackleton’s or Captain Scott have lured you to the highest, coldest and driest continent in the world, then you can begin to appreciate what they had to endure on similar sailing ships in an extreme environment, the dangers that they faced and why they were so magically drawn to the place. Europa has a good library of books in many languages about other polar explorers like de Gerlache and the Australian explorer Mawson.

You will meet modern day scientists if you visit any of the bases. The Ukrainian research station Vernadsky is a regular stop and the oldest surviving British Station at Port Lockroy looks forward to the ships visit. It is run by a historic trust to preserve the buildings as they were in 1940’s. Three volunteers maintain the site over the summer with no heating and primitive living conditions. You can post letters home from Antarctica here with special stamps. Having sailed the ship and become used to working out on deck in the elements sets you apart from the duvet jacket cocooned tourists that arrive by cruise ship. There will be talks and slide shows on the wildlife, polar explorers and all range of nautical topics. Europa also records the weather for the Dutch Meteorological Office so the weather faxes you receive back are based on your readings !


The Antarctic Mainland – Mountains & Glaciers

Around the mainland peninsula Bark Europa sails in and out bays and deep water channels between awesome mountain scenery. The geology is an extension of the Andes mountain chain and it always surprises first time visitors to see such towering mountains which seem to get higher as you go further south. Near Govuvernoren Harbour or Cuverville Island there is plenty of krill, so prime whale spotting territory. Europa guests have even seen a few sightings of the Blue Whale – the worlds biggest creature. The shipwreck of a 1916 whaler still survives and her bows provide a home for Antarctic Terns. Ashore at Cuverville are 4500 breeding pairs of Gentoo Penguins. If the zodiacs can get through the broken brash ice from five glaciers you can step onto the mainland at Nekko Harbour and look back at the ship appearing to be stuck in the ice. Ice falls thunder into the sea and sometimes a whole ice wall will fall creating a large wave. Being in the middle of this awe inspiring natural wilderness is indescribable and standing a night watch listening to the ice tinkle down the side of the hull is a very strange feeling.

Photo: Debbie on Europa by Adam Purser

How Far South ?

If conditions permit and the channels are not blocked with icebergs, Europa will head for the Lemaire Channel – a narrow crack between 1000m mountains. The ship has a bow thruster so can perform quite delicate manoeuvres to slalom between bergy bits. Destinations may be the Argentine Islands and the Ukrainian base. At around 65 degrees South Europa is reaching the limit she can navigate as the pack ice gets thicker and we need a constant watch on the wind so the ice does not hem the ship into a bay or block an exit passage. On the return route Europa will try to sail a different path perhaps stopping at Petermann Island to see the Adele penguins fighting over nesting material, or Port Lockroy to look around the preserved 1944 British research base. The nearby anchorage of Dorian Bay is a good place for a stroll to admire the stunning mountain range and vast icecap stretching down to the sea. Schollaert Channel is another intense scenic experience and the Melchior Islands will have you reaching for your camera again. The open sea and routine of a watch system sailing back to Argentina may be a welcome break to absorb everything you have seen and done.

Protecting a Pristine Environment

The scale of the place is difficult to describe; Conservation of this pristine environment is taken very seriously by the 12 countries that share responsibility for the Continent under the 1959 Antarctic Treaty. In 1991 an Environmental Protocol was drawn up to introduce new regulations specifically for adventure tourism. You will find it hard to see any signs of other adventurous tourists and Bark Europa crew will work hard to ensure that the ship or the landing parties minimise the impact on the environment – from scrubbing boots before and after every landing, to briefing guest crew on how to walk amongst the penguins and fur seals. Classic Sailing hope that after your adventure you will all become ambassadors for Antarctica and help lobby Governments to ensure that this wildlife wonderland is not carved up for mineral rights, oil, fishing, whaling etc when the Atlantic Treaty runs out.

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