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Oceanwide Expeditions’ 2016 Photo Contest Winners

by Oceanwide Expeditions Blog

It’s pretty difficult to take a bad picture when you’re on an Arctic or Antarctic cruise. You’re going to be surrounded by opportunities to shoot staggeringly beautiful landscapes, bird life, animals, the auroras, historic locations, and your friends and family taking it all in.
Antarctic Peninsula

Regio's: Antarctica, Arctis

Oceanwide Expeditions’ 2016 Photo Contest Winners

It’s pretty difficult to take a bad picture when you’re on an Arctic or Antarctic cruise. You’re going to be surrounded by opportunities to shoot staggeringly beautiful landscapes, bird life, animals, the auroras, historic locations, and your friends and family taking it all in.

Still, sometimes pictures manage to go that extra distance and grab us by our imaginations or by the heartstrings. This year’s amazing photo contest winners do just that – they get even our most experienced Oceanwide Expedition team members excited to turn around and head right back out again.

Narrowing down all the amazing pictures sent in by this year’s passengers to our finalists was a pretty tough task, never mind winnowing them down to one tip top shutterbug with the special photo touch.

That being said, we’re delighted to announce that this year’s grand prize winner is Peter Refsgaard! Peter’s fantastic penguin picture has earned him a 12-day Antarctic Polar Circle crossing cruise entirely on us. Way to go Peter!


“Walruses” by Pedro Rego
Pedro joined us for a Svalbard cruise and managed to snap this fantastic picture of walruses congregating to compare whiskers and discuss important walrus things. During mating season, walrus herds have been known to number in the thousands as they gather on the shores to soak in the sun while the biggest males fight to claim a harem of fetching walrus females.

“In front of the line” by Marc Gottenbos
Penguins aren’t particularly shy (depending on the species). Some will waddle right up and demand that you get their good side in your pictures. Marc obliged this handsome fellow and his dapper friends (King Penguins, to be exact) while on a South Georgia expedition.

“Rembrandt reflection” by Jeff Pruniski
Jeff captured this quiet moment while on a Greenland cruise. He managed to take in the quiet beauty of the landscape, the vibrant blue of small icebergs, and the stateliness of our very own s/v Rembrandt Van Rijn all in one carefully composed picture.

“Kissing chinstraps” by Jeremy King
Jeremy managed to sneak a candid picture of this budding romance between two Chinstrap Penguins while visiting via an Antarctic Peninsula cruise. Chinstraps gather on the shores by the thousands during mating season, greeting potential mates with all sorts of activities that include flipper waves, head sways, preening, and bowing to one another.

“Penguin on beach” by Anne Haraldsted
Anne and this curious Emperor Penguin greeted each other while Anne was on a Falkland Islands adventure. Do you think this guy has been photographed before? It kind of looks like he’s posing to us.

“It’s the dimensions” by Jan de Groot
These Greenland cruise adventurers and their Zodiac are dwarfed by the glacier behind them. For the uninitiated – the difference between glaciers and icebergs is simply that icebergs sail the seas, while glaciers are the mountains of ice found on land. Icebergs are born from glaciers, “calving” off to head out on their own.

“Nuuk fjords” by Trena Repp
While we’re discussing geographic terms, a “fjord” is a spot where the sea sends a long narrow finger of itself deep between high cliffs and mountains. Trena framed up a spectacular example for us during a Greenland expedition.

2nd place

“Zodiac in the spotlight” by Tom Curfs
Tom snapped this perfectly framed photo of some Oceanwide adventurers and a beautiful blue iceberg on a Greenland cruise. Some of these beautiful natural works of art can tower as high as 100 metres tall!

"On our final day in South-West Greenland on board of the 3-mast schooner “Rembrandt van Rijn” we were on anchor in Tunulliarfik Fjord. During the Zodiac cruise we sailed into the “museum of modern art” formed by huge beautiful and colorful ice sculptures. Our expedition guide gave a radio call to the other Zodiac, giving us the opportunity to snap this photo. It was a great way to end this lovely trip after so many wonderful impressions of nature and history."

“Rembrandt in the Greenland mist” by Garry Brisdion
Our stately s/v Rembrandt makes its 3rd appearance in the photo contest in Garry’s amazing atmospheric shot taken during a Greenland expedition. You can almost feel the quiet coming through in this shot, maybe punctuated by the occasional bird call and the muted purr of the Zodiac carrying explorers to the shore.

"We landed at Hvalsey in the Southwest of Greenland in heavy rain and spent an hour or so wandering around the impressive ruins of the Viking settlement established by Thorkel Farsek, a cousin of Eric the Red. As we began our return to the jetty the rain eased and the sun appeared, giving us a mystical view of the Rembrandt enshrouded in mist and reflected on the smooth fjord. It lasted just a few minutes before the rain returned so it was a once in a lifetime opportunity to take the photograph."

Grand-prize winner

“Jump!” by Peter Refsgaard
And finally we have this marvelous moment captured by our grand-prize winner, Peter. It’s “Gravity schmavity!” as this penguin launches itself from sea to shore in a dynamic water-bearing leap.

"I really wanted to capture the penguins in all their glory. Not only as the adorable, cute and kind of goofy animals they are on land. So I had the idea to take a photo of them launching from the water onto land, combining both their environments. Since the penguins don’t respond to “do it again” this was not an easy task :-). But in Paradise Bay, cruising in a Zodiac, we saw dozens of penguins launching themselves towards ice-covered land. I asked our Geologist/Zodiac-driver Curtiss to go closer, and he got us in a perfect spot, and a few seconds later a penguin jumped. That’s a trip I will never forget."

We’re always looking for ways to share your Arctic and Antarctic cruise experiences. Send us your favourite photo; we’d love to see what you’ve captured in your photos of our favourite places around the world!

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