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Antarctica
The Most In-depth Polar Expeditions

More testimonials.

Come watch wildlife with us! Cheesemans' Ecology Safaris' distinctive worldwide tours travel to destinations unique for abundant and photogenic mammals, birds and nature. We emphasize maximum field time and action-packed wildlife photography during the best season at each destination. Hand-picked leaders and local guides combine amiable personalities with extensive knowledge of each region. All our tours provide a non-smoking policy in small groups. As a small company, we provide a personal touch and attention to every detail - just as we have done for over thirty years. We are dedicated to delivering the best possible wildlife encounters to you. Join us for an amazing experience!

Reserve early! Our trips can fill fast. To reserve your space, follow the instructions in each itinerary. Please contact us if you have any questions. If a trip is full, ask us about our wait list and other options.

View our Antarctica photo and video galleries.

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Independent reviews on Epinions.com

What Makes Us Unique?

photographing penguins in Antarctica
Plenty of time for photography

Abundant Time Ashore

We spare no effort to be able to offer you as much time in the field as physically possible. Of course, how much time you spend ashore is up to you, but the choice is yours, not ours. We strive to offer at least eight hours of shore time for each landing day and often far exceed that amount. Don't go to Antarctica and find yourself stuck on a ship when you want to be exploring this magical place!

We maximize the number of zodiac drivers on our staff so we can quickly ferry our participants ashore, without waiting in a long queue. More drivers also allows participants greater flexibility in deciding when they would like to go ashore and return.

Zodiac cruising
Zodiac cruising

Jam-Packed Itinerary with
More Landings and Zodiac Cruising

Since 1994 we have led over 20 expeditions to the Antarctic regions and now use this experience to continuously perfect and update our itinerary to make it the most in-depth you will find.

We make more landings than other voyages. Please compare the number of landings we plan to other tours - we are sure that we will come out on top! We can offer more landings without rushing from one site to the next because our trip is longer. Years of experience give us the knowledge to hand pick the most fantastic sites. In fact, our voyages to the Antarctic Peninsula, South Georgia Island and the Falkland Islands plan 25 or more landings! Plus we spend significant time zodiac cruising to get you close to the spectacular scenery and wildlife in the waters of this unique area.

Hugh Rose in Antarctica
Hugh Rose

Expert Leaders and Staff

Excellence, expertise, and genuine interest in your enjoyment define our leaders and staff. While on shore, we offer you photography seminars, wildlife drawing classes (on our Antarctic Peninsula, South Georgia and Falklands expedition), plus geology, bird, and nature walks to enhance your visit. Also, while on board the ship at sea, we offer ecology, geology, photography, and history lectures. Staff members are on watch from the ship's bridge and deck to spot and identify marine mammals and seabirds. Our full slate of diverse leaders brings you a richer experience.

Our numerous and experienced staff will help you safely land ashore in challenging sea conditions. For this reason, we rarely miss landings, especially at such fantastic but difficult sites as Steeple Jason in the Falklands and Bailey Head on Deception Island in the Antarctic Peninsula. These are undeniably two of the most fantastic sites in the world for breeding albatross and penguins.

We have accessible expedition leaders - when you contact us you can often talk directly to an expedition leader who is glad to answer all your questions, no matter how small! We can also provide names and contacts of former travelers upon request.

Exploring South Georgia
Exploring South Georgia

Small Cohesive Group

IAATO rules state that only 100 people are allowed to go ashore at one time (except on Prion Island, where only 50 are allowed). Having fewer than 100 participants on board allows everyone to be ashore at the same time, eliminating timed shifts and maximizing field time. Our groups are small enough so we can land ashore at the same time without creating a crowd, yet large enough to allow us to bring a diverse array of knowledgeable leaders.

We charter the entire ship to make sure that our group is cohesive and passionate about their wildlife experience. We talk to each and every participant about the natural history focus of our expedition to assure the best experience for all. We also provide a non-smoking policy for the comfort of everyone.

Ortelius ship
The Ortelius

Best Ships

We charter the best possible ships, such as the Ortelius and Hans Hansson, for these types of wildlife expeditions. These ships are strong and fast, perfect for the Southern Ocean, yet small enough to provide an intimate experience. The Ortelius has the highest ice-class notation (UL1 equivalent to 1A) so you can feel safe as you explore the icy waters around the Antarctic Peninsula.

Chartering the entire ship puts our expedition leader in charge resulting in more time ashore and zodiac cruising than other expeditions. Our experienced expedition leaders and ship crew know these waters well and can put together agreeable alternate plans when sea and weather conditions change.

St. Andrew's Bay, South Georgia
St. Andrew's Bay, South Georgia

Great Value and Quality

Our tour is the best value of any Antarctic voyage. This is primarily because we are a small, efficient company so you are not paying for a lot of advertising and travel agent commissions. Be sure to compare the number of days, landings, and leaders, plus the hours spent ashore against other tours before you sign-up. Read independent reviews on Epinions.com.

Our leaders and participants are a most enthusiastic, excited, and fun bunch of people. Many of our travelmates are repeat participants, so you will likely see a familiar face or two on our tours. Many new and lasting friendships have been started on a Cheesemans' expedition. The high number of repeat travelers is a testament to our high quality and value.

Beach cleaning of Dyke Bay on Carcass Island in the Falklands
Beach cleaning

Passionate Conservation

We are concerned about protecting the polar environments and have supported many conservation efforts over the years. We promote protection of the Wandering Albatross and other albatross species. We are full members of the International Association of Antarctica Tour Operators (IAATO), and Ted Cheeseman is a member of their Executive Committee. IAATO is a membership organization that advocates, promotes, and practices safe and environmentally responsible travel to the Antarctic.

We initiated an annual beach cleanup of Dyke Bay on Carcass Island in the Falklands where we removed over a hundred bags full of trash the first year. Thanks to our many generous staff and travelmates who volunteered to give up valuable time to benefit this spectacular place.

Peninsula, South Georgia and Falkland Islands

Destination (click for itinerary) Days Dates Group
Size
Leader Trip
Full?
Antarctic Peninsula, South Georgia, Falklands
The Full Exploration
29 December 13, 2014 -
January 10, 2015
100 Hugh Rose
plus 13 staff
not
full

Photographing Chinstrap Penguins in Antarctica
Friendly Chinstrap Penguin

Join us on a voyage of discovery to an awe-inspiring world devoted to nature, wildlife, science, and peace. This expedition will have you completely captivated, from the stunning vistas of Tierra del Fuego to the busy penguin rookeries of the Falklands, from the dramatic landscapes of South Georgia to the ice-covered terrain of the Antarctic. Board the comfortable, safe and newly upgraded Ortelius for an expedition offering an unparalleled 17 landing days in the Southern Ocean. Our voyage includes three days in the Falklands with a huge diversity of species, six days at South Georgia Island, the all but undiscovered rugged land of towering mountains and thriving colonies of penguins, seals, and albatross, one day at Elephant Island, and seven days along the Antarctic Peninsula, the wonderland of ice and inconceivably vibrant polar wildlife. During days at sea, our naturalists on the ship's bridge and stern share sightings of whales and seabirds, including many of the world's species of albatross. Maximum time both on shore and Zodiac cruising will be available for photography, wildlife experiences, and exploring the landscapes of the great Southern Ocean. Our priority is assuring the most in-depth wildlife experience in the Antarctic, an experience made possible by our excellent itinerary and committed expedition staff.

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South Georgia Island - In-depth Adventure

Destination (click for itinerary) Days Dates Group
Size
Leader Trip
Full?
South Georgia Island In-depth Small Group Adventure 32 October 16, 2014 -
November 16, 2014
10 Tom Murphy
and 3 more
not
full
South Georgia Island In-depth Small Group Adventure 32 October 29, 2015 -
November 29, 2015
10 Tom Murphy
and 3 more
not
full
South Georgia Island In-depth Adventure onboard Ortelius 20 October 29, 2015 -
November 17, 2015
100 Hugh Rose
plus 13 staff
not
full

King Penguins at Right Whale Bay, South Georgia by Hugh Rose
King Penguins at Right Whale Bay, South Georgia
© Hugh Rose

These special in-depth expeditions are the product of our many years of experience leading expeditions to South Georgia and our passion for everything it has to offer. Our itineraries are specifically designed to take advantage of the vibrant early season on South Georgia when snow blankets the mountains and early summer brings wildlife treats seldom experienced. Explore vast colonies of King Penguins, Elephant Seals in their peak of breeding activity, and colonies of Wandering, Grey-headed, Light-mantled Sooty, and Black-browed albatross. The landscape of glaciers pouring into the sea and snow-capped peaks provides rare beauty and photogenic impressiveness that words cannot convey. Our itineraries spend more time in the environs of South Georgia, the most beautiful and wildlife-rich island on the planet! Depending on the itinerary, also explore Falkland Islands' more temperate breeding colonies and greater species diversity. Our priority is to give you the maximum of time possible in the field, including early landings for great morning light, at a special time of year on South Georgia. Our experts in wildlife photography, ecology, biology, and South Georgia natural and human history will add to your experience. Come with us to discover why South Georgia is considered the "Crown Jewel of the Antarctic."

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South Georgia Island - Wandering Albatross Expedition

Destination (click for itinerary) Days Dates Group
Size
Leader Trip
Full?
South Georgia Island
Wandering Albatross Expedition
32 January 1, 2015 -
February 1, 2015
8 Scott Davis not
full

Wandering Albatross, South Georgia
Wandering Albatross, South Georgia

Join our unique expedition alongside scientists to survey, watch, photograph, and learn about the Wandering Albatross of glorious South Georgia Island located in the Sub-Antarctic region of the Southern Ocean. In collaboration with the Government of South Georgia we sail aboard the stout Hans Hansson with a small group to survey Wandering Albatross populations. This survey is to be conducted once per decade in keeping with South Georgia's commitment to the Agreement on the Conservation of Albatrosses and Petrels (ACAP). We offer this singular opportunity for you to join scientists on a special permit to visit islands usually off-limits to travellers, such as Albatross Island, the Willis Islands, and other remote regions along the spectacular southwest. Our expedition sails during the peak breeding season for an exceptional 18 landing days where you can assist with surveys, learn from renowned scientists, and explore and photograph one of the most dramatically scenic and wildlife-rich island habitats on the planet.

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Antarctic Peninsula

Destination (click for itinerary) Days Dates Group
Size
Leader Trip
Full?
Antarctic Peninsula Quest for Whales and Landscapes 19 March 8, 2016 -
March 26, 2016
100 Ted Cheeseman
plus 14 staff
not
full

Humpback Whales Antarctica
Humpback Whales

Since the first explorers discovered this unknown continent, they've shared stories of incredible vistas and abundant mammals. This exciting expedition will combine years of experience on the Antarctic Peninsula with a scientific focus on marine mammals, in partnership with the American Cetacean Society (ACS). We designed this itinerary to maximize our opportunities to study and watch the whales that inhabit this vibrant and nutrient filled area from the South Shetland Islands to Crystal Sound south of the Antarctic Circle! Happily, here we find some of the best whale feeding grounds in the midst of Antarctica's most stunning landscapes, taking full advantage of the season's golden light. Landscape photography, time with Humpbacks, Antarctic Minke Whales, and Orcas, and visits to penguin and seal colonies will surpass your wildest expectations. Our priority on this special expedition is to give you the maximum field time during a unique period on the Peninsula and to share our passion and experience in the Antarctic with a special scientific component. Come and experience the Antarctic Peninsula with us!

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All material © Cheesemans' Ecology Safaris.
All photos © Doug or Ted Cheeseman, unless otherwise credited.

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