Whales, Penguins, and Golden Landscapes
Antarctic PeninsulaFebruary 20 to March 9, 2023
Learn more on the Trip Itinerary page.
Since the first explorers discovered the great southern continent, stories of incredible vistas and abundant animals have captured the imagination of the adventurous. February and early March are the best times to delight in the most incredible densities of whale aggregations gorging on swarms of krill, take full advantage of warm, golden light for landscape photography, and watch penguin chicks chase parents for food and cautiously learn how to swim. Icebergs, in their many shades of blue and carved into fascinating shapes by weather and water, are prime photography subjects. Time with humpbacks, Antarctic minke whales, and orcas and visits to penguin colonies will surpass your wildest expectations. Our priority on this expedition is to give you the maximum time in nature during a unique period on the Peninsula and to share our passion and experience in the Antarctic. Come share this adventure with us!
- Zodiac cruise Antarctic waters during the peak season for an abundance of whales.
- Experience beautiful sunrises and sunsets bathing the landscapes in warm hues.
- Watch gentoo, chinstrap, and Adelie penguin chicks interact with each other and their parents.
- With only 100 participants, everyone can land and/or Zodiac cruise at once, rather than in separate groups.
- Our 15 leaders are marine scientists, polar specialists, photographers, and naturalists that will provide lectures, workshops, and guided excursions.
Itinerary Updated: May 2022
Our Trip Leaders
Ted grew up traveling extensively and began studying and photographing wildlife as a child. After completing a Master's degree in Tropical Conservation Biology at Duke University, Ted returned to California to lead and organize expeditions full time with Cheesemans' Ecology Safaris. Ted currently leads expeditions to Antarctica, the Arctic, and the Caribbean and obsesses over humpback whales identified around the world through the citizen science project Happywhale.com. Ted is working on a Ph.D. on humpback whales at Southern Cross University, New South Wales, Australia.
Slater combines over 15 years’ experience as a crew member on fishing and whale-watching boats, 7 as a captain, with his passion for and skills in photography and filmmaking in order to connect people with the wild world. He currently operates private whale-watching charters facilitating personal encounters with whales and other marine life in Monterey Bay, California. In his time off the water, he enjoys co-hosting the Whalenerd’s Podcast, a science communication project about whales and other ocean-related topics.
Scott is a professional photographer specializing in wildlife, nature, and travel. Originally trained as a wildlife and marine biologist, his research and photo assignments have taken him to the far corners of the globe and all seven continents. National Geographic, BBC, Animal Planet, NY Times, and renowned magazines have used his photography. His patience for teaching and love of capturing the essence of his subjects make him one of our most popular tour leaders.
Mark is a zoologist, BBC presenter, wildlife photographer, bestselling author and environmental activist. He co-presented the BBC-TV series 'Last Chance to See', with actor Stephen Fry, and for years hosted the weekly half-hour program ‘Nature' on BBC Radio 4. He has written 55 wildlife books (most recently, the 'Handbook of Whales, Dolphins and Porpoises') and writes a provocative conservation column in BBC Wildlife magazine. Voted one of the ‘World’s 40 Most Influential Nature Photographers', he was Chairman of the prestigious 'Wildlife Photographer of the Year Competition'.
Katlyn is a captain and guide on whale-watching boats all over the US. She has worked in the North Atlantic and North Pacific for over 8 years. Her passions include facilitating wildlife experiences, educating people about marine life, and inspiring conservation actions. She earned bachelors’ from Oregon State in Marine Biology and International Studies. She is a Junior Fellow with the Safina Center of Stonybrook University. Currently, her biggest project is a co-hosting the Whalenerd’s Podcast, a communication project about whales and other ocean-related topics.
Hugh has over 20 years of professional guiding experience and has been a key member of the Cheesemans’ Antarctica staff since 1998. The vast landscapes and incredible wildlife of Alaska and the Polar Regions are his subject and passion, evident in his inspired leadership and stunning professional photos. Hugh receives unending praise for his amazing knowledge, delightful and accommodating personality, and attention to every trip detail.
Emily is an assistant scientist at Sea Education Association, teaching marine science to university students aboard sailing ships in New Zealand and the South Pacific Islands. Since graduating from Harvard with a degree in evolutionary biology and ecology, she has studied seabird and fisheries in the San Juan Islands, lived with Adélie penguins in a remote field research camp in Antarctica, and guided sea kayaking expeditions in Alaska’s Kenai Fjords. Emily loves sharing her enthusiasm for adventure and the natural world with those around her.
Dr. Merel Dalebout
A scientist with many interests, Merel studied botany, then earned her PhD specializing in the evolutionary genetics of rare “beaked whales.” She spent several years studying Southern Ocean cetaceans and realized she had a true passion for reconnecting people with nature. After training as a wilderness guide, she now travels extensively throughout the world as a trekking guide and a naturalist on small expedition ships while continuing to do scientific research as time allows. Merel combines her enthusiasm and passion for the world’s wild places with a burning curiosity to know all she can about them.
Brent currently calls Seward, Alaska home, where he is the Lead Captain on a fleet of passenger vessels focused on wildlife and glacier tours. He has a degree in Environmental Education from Prescott College which led him to countless days in the field all throughout the Western US, Mexico, Canada, and Nepal. In recent years, he's also taken those explorations to Antarctica, South Georgia, and the Falkland Islands. Brent is extremely passionate about the natural world and loves to share his in-depth knowledge whenever he can.
Adam Ernster is a seasoned mariner, photographer, and naturalist whose zeal for conservation and education has led him on countless adventures up and down the West Coast of North America from the San Juan islands to the Baja California Peninsula. Adam earned a bachelor’s in environmental science from UCSB, and his wildlife footage appears in documentaries produced by PBS and National Geographic. Adam’s passion for storytelling and wildlife also extends into co-hosting the Whalenerd’s Podcast, a communication project about whales and other ocean-related topics.
The solitude amid these stunning landscapes will endlessly captivate you.
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"Can't say enough good things about Ted. From his soft spoken wake up calls in the morning to his daily decisions on what the day would bring ... a true gifted leader."
Robert Dunn, 2019
"Beautiful colours and shapes of the ice, amazing interactions with humpbacks, seals, and penguins. Learned a lot at the lectures and from staff during cruises & landings."
Isabell Bloechl, 2019
"I enjoyed everything on this trip. There were some days I was not up to going on both landings each day, so took that time to relax and enjoy the scenery from the ship or took a nice nap. The wildlife was AMAZING, and I know so much more about the different penguins, whales and seals. The icebergs were MIND BOGGLING - I will never forget how beautiful they could be, like works of art, or how big they could be. The lectures were wonderful and enjoyed those - they really added so much to the trip."