We invite you to join our unique expedition on “Rusarc Aurora” yacht to explore unique Chilean Fjords.
We have ambitions to visit most stunning places on the other side of Patagonia. We will not only sail – hike, explore, disembark and visit all the spots where Darwin was exploring 2 centuries ago. In absolute solitude with nature off-the beaten track. This tour is very unique. I was once on Australis cruise, but unfortunately they pass by all the stunning places and do not meant to planned as photography trip. So since my visit there in 2015 I dreamt to come back with more serious expedition and allow enough time to explore.
The number of people is strictly limited – only 8 photographers for this beautiful part of our expedition. The schedule of the trip constructed for purposes of photography and filming. Our timetable is more or less free, but we aim to travel from Ushuaia to Punta Arenas via narrow fjords and passages, which are no less spectacular then Norwegian – you can clearly understand that by looking how complex is the fjord system. With rugged mountains, glaciers coming down through the forest, the touch of Patagonia autumn, waterfalls and abundant wildlife. We can encounter as many whales as in Antarctica, birds, seals, orcas, sea lions and even king penguins! Maggelannic penguins, possibly rockhoppers. These places have untouched wildlife, endless possibilities for photography. The expedition will have a good mix of landscape and animal photography as well as hikes and nature study.
The main goal is to shoot beautiful and untouched wild nature world of Chilean fjords the “ecological way”, by yacht – not scaring animals. We’ll work out our everyday timetable taking into account ice situation and weather. Imagine to be face to face with nature in silence, without crowds and queue for zodiac boats focusing mainly on photography and exploration. The spirit of adventure and exploration will be with us all along our way. Most cruise ships take hundreds of photographers. My approach is different: when I visit remote location, I try to get most out of this project. We will spend around 2 weeks time sailing and walking ashore in many beautiful locations of Chilean Fjords from Ushuaia to Punta Arenas.
The yacht is equipped with modern safety systems. The yacht has both rigs and a motor. Moreover, we have a quick and maneuver “Zodiac” which can be launched at any moment to get closer to the animals or to go ashore. Safety measures’ questions are paid special attention: satellite phone, navigational system and ice maps.
Yacht Rusarc Aurora
Specially built vessel for Arctic adventures, steel hull. Cabins with bunk beds – 2 separate beds per cabin (lower bed could be used as double for couples). We’ve remastered this yacht in 2017, so it still shines with new paint. Among facilities:
Comfortable kitchen with living room
Fresh water from desalinator
- Washing machine
- Full day electricity 220 V supply to charge your batteries
- 2 bathrooms with shower
- services of cook on board
- modern safety/navigation systems
“Rusarc Aurora” yacht is an arctic class yacht with a steel hull equipped with modern navigation system. You can use the kitchen with sitting area, two separate WC, shower. The yacht’s team is 4 or 5 professional sailors + 8 photographers on board. There is one zodiac (a motor boat) on the yacht. There are 220 V constantly operating sockets, freshwater supplies (700 + 200 liters) and distiller. We organize Greenland photo tours with “Peter-1” since 2015 and tested “Aurora” this year at Svalbard and Greenland. Several years ago the team set a world record and went on the Arctic circumnavigation in one season. The same team will serve the photo expedition to South Georgia
“Rusarc Aurora” is a very solidly built ship. Literally it’s made of steel. The ship is fitted out for worldwide sailing and has all the safety certificates and permissions required under worldwide requirements for visiting Antarctica. 4-5 experienced, professional members of the crew will ensure the our safe operation. Our safety equipment include life jackets, life raft, fire extinguishing equipment, a stock of medicine, EPIRB and radar transponder. “Aurora” navigation and communication equipment includes radar, a compass, a satellite navigation system, an echo sounder, a sextant, SSB transmitter, Inmarsat-C terminals, an Iridium Satellite telephone, VHF transmitter.
“Rusarc Aurora” has a zodiac with outboard fast engine. The drinking water capacity is 750 litres in permanent tanks + distliller. Food stores will be taken on board before our departure in Ushuaia. We will also take on board 1000 litres of diesel to fuel the heater, the generator and the main engine. The ship has a power supply of 220V AC (50 Hz). Plugs on board are European style, two pins.
Our schedule is based on weather, ice conditions and safety precautions. We have the following goal to reach:
I’ve illustrated the announce with photos from my trip with Australis. Unfortunately, this cruise is not suitable for photography purpose, so photos here might not represent the beauty and diversity of places we will visit. It’s expedition style journey – to discover new amazing locations and bring them to the world.
Day 1, 17 March, Sunday
Meeting together in Ushuaia. Depending on the weather we might start the journey this day or next morning. You can arrive by the flight from Buenos Aires. Please note that the tour finishes in another location – Punta Arenas, gateway to Torres del Paine national park. We start navigating through the Beagle channel further West to visit our first glaciers and fjords.
These days we continue West along the Beagle Channel through an awesome Glacier Alley. That’s a narrow passage that have stunning tidewater glaciers flowing down from the Darwin Mountains and Darwin Ice Sheet on the north shore. Most of them bear the name of EU countries: Holland, Italy, Germany, Spain and France. We stop and disembark at many spots here. Among the most impressive fjords are Pia Fjord and Garibaldi glacier.
We are entering Pia Fjord and disembarking for a shore hike to Pia Glacier. We take a short hike to photograph breathtaking panoramic view of the glacier, which runs from the mountaintops down to the sea. We can literally stay in beautiful Patagonia forest and see the wide glacier through it. The glacier was named for Princess Maria Pia of Savoy, daughter of the Italian king.
After Pia fjord we motor further west along the Beagle Channel, and enter another long fjord with steep mountains around. We drop anchor near Garibaldi Glacier for another ashore hike. Garibaldi is among one of only 3 glaciers in Patagonia gaining ice and advancing rather than decreasing. On-shore we hike through deep Magellanic forest to a waterfall coming down from a glacier. We’ll see it among walls of ferns and moss, and awesome viewpoints overlooking Garibaldi glacier and it’s fjord. There’s also an option to stay onboard and enjoy the sail along pure blue ice at the edge of the glacier.
There are also other certain viewpoints we definitely want to explore on day 2-4 based on out charts study and talks with local guides/captains.
We sail further West through Canal Ballenero and Cockburn Channel, Canal Magdalena. Finally we enter Agostini Sound. From here it is possible to see the glaciers descending from the Darwin Mountain Range – most of them reaching water.
We will disembark and hike around a lagoon formed by Águila Glacier. We will stand right in front of that glacier with spectacular views. After this hike we will approach the Condor Glacier by our Zodiac – and let’s hope we will see some of the Andean Condors today! Condor glacier is located very close to Agostini – so it’s possible to visit them within one day.
Next morning we navigate through spectacular Canal Gabriel. It’s a very narrow passage with steep mountains and waterfalls all around. We reach Tuckers Islets for landing and meeting with about 4,000 Magellan penguins who nest at this island.
Soon we’ll be sailing at Admiralty Sound taking photos of mountains and glaciers in Alberto de Agostini National Park. We hike at Ainsworth Bay enjoying abundant bird life and elephant seals. Soon we aproach Marinelli Glacier and Darwin Mountains.
Leaving Ainsworth Bay, we sail east further inside the fjord to Bahia Parry. After visiting these spectacular places we enter Estrecho de Magallanes.
We sail towards Island Carlos III and visit Cabo Froward – a place with beautiful lighthouse. It’s also the very southern tip of South America continent. We sail further North to Porvenir and visit small king penguins colony. We finish at Punta Arenas on Expedition Day 14, 31 March disembarking at noon.
Total price: 7500 EUR per person
Maximum Number of Participants: 8
A deposit of EUR2000 is required at time of booking to hold your spot. The first part of balance of EUR2,000 is due on November, 2018. The second part of balance EUR3500 is due to January 2019
We must receive written notice of your cancellation, at which time the following are nonrefundable:
180 days or more before departure: 100% of deposit
179 to 121 days before departure: 100 % of deposit + 50% of balance
120 or fewer days before departure: 100% of trip fee
We require proof of trip insurance to cover emergency medical care and evacuation for the duration of the expedition, as well as trip cancellation insurance. We are not responsible for air ticket cancellations or equipment loss, so please insure your flights and equipment.
Included in the price:
– Accommodation and transportation by yacht
– All meals (except alcohol)
– Instruction and master classes by professional guide
– Professional crew of arctic sailors
– Zodiac boat services
– Port taxes and fees
– Natural reserve fees
Not included in the price:
– Airfare to Ushuaia and from Punta Arenas
– Visas (if applicable)
– Accommodation & meals on land before and after the expedition – optional
– Airport transfers
What to bring
– DSLR camera with tripod and remote shutter release
– A wide angle lens. For example, Nikkor 14-24 or Canon 17-40. Best lens for use in wide-angle scenes or architecture photography
– A middle-zoom lens such as a 24-70 mm
– A telephoto zoom lens, such as a 70-200 mm. 300 mm with 1.5 TC or 500 mm, 600 mm are recommended for wildlife and bird photography. Be sure to have additional tripod mount to this lens.
– Waterproof and windproof jacket
– Waterproof pants
– Warm jacket and thermal pants
– Wellingtons or fishing boots
The full list will be sent by mail to participants.
Daniel was born in Moscow area. In his childhood he graduated the art school. After that, he is studied in Moscow institute of Physics and Technology and became an optics physicist. During the study he gain experience not only in physics, but also in mountain climbing and hiking, guiding tourist groups in winter and in summer in Russian mountains. Right after graduation he became a guide of photo-workshops and chief editor of “Continent expedition” magazine. This magazine is about travel and adventures all over the world. He has got several awards in photography: Golden Turtle’ 13 Nature nomination winner, National Geographic Russia contest 2013 and 2014 finalist, Best of Russia’13 and ’14 winner, best photographer’13 finalist and others. He is spending most of his time in Norway, Lofoten islands and in Tuscany at villa Gaia, guiding groups of photographers.