Antarctica & Patagonia 2020 Medical and Dental Conference


Join us for the 8th Unconventional Conventions Antarctica conference. For the first time ever, we will be extending the cruise to visit the Falkland Islands and down to cross the Antarctic Circle. Plus, join us on the Post-Conference Tour of Patagonia.

Be inspired by the pristine beauty of Antarctica – massive sparkling blue icebergs; sweeping ice sheets; towering mountains; spectacular sunsets. Be thrilled by the glorious abundance of wildlife – cute penguins waddling; plump seals basking; magnificent whales breaching; and millions of seabirds soaring.

This remote stretch of the Antarctic Peninsula is visited for just a few short months each year. From January onwards, seasonal ice conditions give us our best chance of achieving our objective – crossing the Antarctic Circle. Here we witness expansive landscapes, sizable Adelie penguin rookeries and we hope to see the large tabular icebergs that have drifted north from the Bellingshausen Sea. We always anticipate exciting ice navigation on this expedition. Detaille Island, below the Circle is a spectacular location. The snowy peaks which surround us, soar more than 2,000 meters above the ice-strewn waters. We aim to cross 66 degrees, 33 minutes south of latitude, which officially marks the position of the Antarctic Circle on the global map. We then return north, along the heavily glaciated coastline of the Antarctic Peninsula, passing through the Argentine, Fish and Yalour Island archipelagos along the way and into the Gerlache Strait and Danco coast region. Several locations in the South Shetland Islands provide yet more fascinating places to explore.

Over the course of the voyage, there is an exciting selection of activities to choose from each and every day – including short or long hikes ashore, visits to historic points of interest and wildlife colonies, Zodiac cruising looking for whales and seals or simply photographing the incredible icebergs. Such activities are enjoyed in the company of our onboard team of wilderness guides, naturalists and photographers.

Join us for this remarkable expedition to Antarctica – the ideal way to combine high quality continuing medical and dental education with travel to the last frontier.

The dental conference program is being hosted in collaboration with ADA NSW.

Dental Conference Program Topics

  • Restorative dentistry
  • Endodontics
  • Periodontics
  • Emergencies in practice

Topics by Prof Ian Meyers OAM

  1. Conservative Management of the Worn and Broken Down Dentition – The Oral Environment
  2. Conservative Management of the Worn and Broken Down Dentition – Restorative Options
  3. Getting Long in the Tooth – Management Strategies for the Ageing Patient
  4. The End is Nigh – Restorative Options for Cracked, Fractured and Fragile teeth
  5. Fibre Reinforced Composites in Daily Dentistry – New Techniques and Restorative Options
  6. Clinical update on direct restorative materials

Topics by Dr Peter Cathro

  1. Case Selection –Diagnosis – Success & Failure – Indications for ReTx, Surgery or Extraction?
  2. Access – Canal Location & Glide Path to the Foramen
  3. Irrigation and Medication – Product Selection – Energised Application – Microbial Control
  4. Instrumentation and Obturation – Hand & Rotary Instrumentation – Cone Fitting – Warm Vertical Compaction – Management of the Open Apex
  5. Restoration of Endodontically Treated Teeth – Provisional – Temporary – Direct & Indirect Permanent Restorations
  6. Management of Complications –Emergency Tx – Perforations – Ledges- Removal of Fractured Instruments – Other Difficulties

Topics by Dr Luke Villata

  1. Aesthetic periodontal Surgery.
  2. Peri-Implant diseases. How bad is it out there?
  3. Cone Beam CT radiographs in dentistry. New technology in your practice
  4. Complications in Implant Dentistry
  5. Systemic Diseases and Periodontal disease.
  6. Communication with the patients and legal implications.
  7. Aesthetics results in the provision of dental implant supported prosthesis
  8. Medical What to believe and what not to believe. How to decipher what you are told.

Pre Conference Tour (21-25 Feb 2020) 

Extend your experience before joining the main conference group -  join the optional pre-conference tour. Follow the ticket booking link to the provider website for more details. 

Day 1: Australia to Santiago - Chile(Tuesday 25 Feb, 2020) 

  • Continue on from the Pre-Conference Tour of the Atacama Desert 


  • Depart Australia and fly to Santiago where we will spend the night at the airport hotel.

Day 2: Santiago to Stanley - Falkland Islands (Wednesday 26 Feb, 2020)

  • We depart Santiago this morning on our special charter flight direct to Stanley, the small capital of the Falkland Islands. We are met on arrival and transfer from the airport into town. There is time to explore the town, or enjoy a guided visit to nearby Gypsy Cove which provides our first opportunity for observing the local wildlife, including nesting Magellanic penguins and other sea birds. Making our way to the port, we board our expedition ship, RCGS Resolute in the afternoon. After settling into our cabins and exploring the ship, we meet our expedition team and fellow passengers. 
  • Excitement is in the air as we enjoy a welcome cocktail and cast off to explore one of the most remote regions on Earth.

Day 3: Towards Antarctica (Thursday 27 Feb, 2020) 

We chart a southerly course for Antarctica. The Drake Passage is rich in bio-diversity and showcases a great abundance of wildlife. We will be joined by hundreds of seabirds including the wandering albatross. Giant petrels and smaller Cape petrels are also constant companions as make our way south. Photographing these magnificent birds takes patience and skill and our photography expert will be on hand to show you the best techniques.

Day 4: Continue Towards Antarctica (Friday 28 Feb, 2020) 

Join the ship’s Captain on the bridge and learn about the operations of our modern expedition vessel. Throughout the day our onboard experts educate us with a series of presentations about the environment, the wildlife and history and the locations we hope to visit in the coming days. As we approach the coastline of Antarctica, we start to encounter icebergs and anticipate our first whale sightings.

Day 5: South Shetland Islands (Saturday 29 Feb, 2020)

  • We awaken today and the magnificent snowy peaks of Antarctica’s fringing islands are laid out before us. Even our experienced expedition staff, some with more than 100 journeys south, will take a moment to pause and reflect on this incredible sight. Take a deep breath – you have arrived. This is Antarctica.
  • The McFarlane Strait makes a natural entry point into the South Shetlands. There are several landing sites in the vicinity including Half Moon Island, or the broad pebbly beach at Yankee Harbour, where we sometimes encounter Weddell seals sunning themselves. In the afternoon, we cruise along the coast of Livingston Island which in a sunny day is a memorable experience. If the weather conditions allow, we sail the ship into the flooded volcanic caldera at Deception Island.
  • This is a very dramatic place and history is all around us as we explore the old whaling station, with the rusted old boilers and dilapidated wooden huts. At the far end of the beach is an old aircraft hangar. This is where Australian, Sir Hubert Wilkins made the very first flight in Antarctica in 1928. There is also an outstanding hike, high up onto the rim of the crater.

Day 6: Antarctic Peninsula Exploration (Sunday 01 Mar, 2020)

  • Overnight we have navigated across the Bransfield Strait and aim for the broad expanse of Willhelmina Bay. This is a known whale ‘hot-spot’. It’s a rich feeding ground for humpback and minke whales and we hope to encounter these gentle giants from the ship or when cruising in the Zodiacs.
  • This is a spectacular location, featuring sweeping views of the glaciers up to the mountainous ridge of the Antarctic peninsula. Nearby lies the Errera Channel – home to several exceptional sites, including Cuverville Island with its substantial gentoo penguin rookery, Ronge Island and the snow-capped dome of Danco Island. In the soft evening light, we commence our journey south, towards the Antarctic Circle.

Day 7: Antarctic Circle Crossing (Monday 02 Mar, 2020) 

  • We have covered substantial distance overnight as we head south. Our objective is to cross the Antarctic Circle this afternoon, hoping for a shore landing at Detaille Island. An abandoned British science station – ‘Base W’ was established in the 1950s and is in a remarkable state of preservation. For the history buffs this is a fascinating place providing a glimpse into the harsh life of early Antarctic visitors.
  • We toast our success on crossing the Antarctic Circle turning our gaze northwards, viewing the spectacular chain of glacier-covered peaks stretching as far as the eye can see. This coastline begs further exploration, which is exactly what we plan to do.

Day 8: Southern Gerlache Coastline (Tuesday 03 Mar, 2020) 

  • Heading north, the peaks of Mount Shackleton and Mount Scott loom on the horizon. These towering granite sentinels mark the southern entrance to the Lemaire Channel. Nearby Pleneau Island offers more opportunities for shore landings and observation of the gentoo penguins who nest here in large numbers. Just offshore, in the shallow waters of the Penola Strait, massive icebergs run aground. Constant wind and wave action sculpt these gargantuan chunks of ice into fantastic shapes, revealing more shades of blue than you could ever imagine.
  • For many, a Zodiac cruise here will be a highlight of the voyage. If ice conditions permit, we aim to transit the Lemaire Channel on our way north towards Paradise Harbour, which provides a continental landing opportunity. There is a wonderful hike here, up to a high point which provides jaw-dropping views. Zodiac cruising in the glacial amphitheatre of Skontorp Cove is also a possibility.

Day 9 : Southern Gerlache Coastline (Wednesday 04 Mar, 2020) 

  • We navigate north through the Gerlache Strait towards Spert Island – a little visited rocky outcrop with remarkable geology. The island is criss-crossed by narrow channels which makes for fantastic Zodiac cruising and sea kayaking. The cliffs are home to numerous nesting bird species and we often encounter whales here. Nearby Mikkelson Harbour also allows for another off-ship excursion. This is an important whale migration corridor and we expect sightings of humpbacks, or the resident pod of Orca that inhabit this stretch of water.

Day 10: Aitcho Islands (Thursday 05 Mar, 2020)

  • The adventure is not over, and we plan visits to several additional landing sites in the South Shetland group including the Aitcho Islands. There are some great hiking routes here showcasing the colourful mosses and lichens found on the island. Gentoo and chinstrap penguins nest here and on the beaches, we usually encounter seals coming and going from the surrounding waters. Fort Point situated on Greenwich Island is another favoured location for a visit. Eventually we leave the snow-covered peaks behind us, pushing northwards on our return trip to the Falkland Islands.

Day 11: Drake Passage (Friday 06 Mar, 2020) 

  • As we make our way back to Stanley and the Falkland Islands, the educational presentations continue, and we enjoy an entertaining and memorable voyage recap by our Expedition Leader. Join our photography experts in the multimedia room and download and back up your precious images.

Day 12:  Return to Stanley and the Falkland Islands (Saturday 07 Mar, 2020)

  • Approaching the coast of the southern Falkland Islands in the early evening light, we enjoy a special dinner attended by the Captain of the ship.

Day 13 : Arrive Stanley – Fly back to Chile (Sunday 08 Mar, 2020) 

  • This morning we find ourselves back in the port of Stanley. We say goodbye to our crew and after some free time in town, make our way to the airport for our return charter flight to Santiago. On arrival in Santiago our journey comes to an end. Onward regional and international flight connections may be possible this evening. Discuss the options with your booking agent. A transfer is provided to a downtown location for those choosing to stay and explore Santiago and the delights of Chile. 
  • Overnight at the Santiago Airport Hotel.

Day 14 : Monday 09 Mar, 2020 

  • Depart Santiago and fly back to Australia, crossing the international date line and arriving on 10 March 2020


  • Join us on the Post Conference tour of Patagonia

Post Conference Tour - Patagonia  (09-13 Mar 2020) 

  • Continue your experience before returning to Australia - join the optional post conference tour. Follow the ticket booking link to the provider website for more details. 
  • End of arrangements. Please note this program may be subject to change

Our Academic Advisory Committees, comprised of practitioners from a range of fields of practice, endeavour to source the best possible speakers to provide a series of presentations, workshops, case studies and panel discussions for each conference.

Unconventional Conventions’ director for the past 20 years is a practising doctor who takes great pride in offering a comprehensive, stimulating and appropriate academic program. Unconventional Conventions aims to ensure that the combination of lectures, workshops, hospital visits, training activities and clinic in the community make up more than 50% of daily activities during the main conference tour.

Many of our travel destinations provide an opportunity for local professional contribution and cultural exchange through workshops and structured visits to local clinics.

Our conference programs are prepared over a 12 month period and full details are available 3 months prior to the conference. Unconventional Conventions is an accredited education provider for RACGP. Application for ACRRM points is made for each conference. Dental programs are certifiable with the Dental Board of Australia. Specialists may apply for CPD points at their own discretion.

Providers Terms

Please refer to the Unconventional Conventions website for their terms and conditions.

Delegate Fee Only (Click for all ticket options)$1,463Closed


Delegate Fee Only (Click for all ticket options)Closed
Contact Hours:

20.0 hrs


Tue, 25 February 2020

Start Time:

9:00 AM


14 Days






RCGS Resolute

Google map
Google map

South Shetland Islands,
South Shetland Islands, South Shetland Islands,

Unconventional Conventions
Thumb ada peter cathro

Dr Peter Cathro

MDS, PGCert Tert T., PhD

Upon completion of his specialist training in Endodontics (1994), Peter worked as an endodontist in full time private practice in Melbourne and then in Auckland. Peter has returned to Otago University and is an Associate Dean (Clinical) and Head of General Practice. In addition to teaching undergraduate and post-graduate students, Peter has lectured extensively at international conferences and given numerous endodontic hands-on courses throughout Australia, New Zealand and Asia. Peter completed his PhD in microbiology and his current research interests are in microbial adaptation and endodontic applications of hydroxyapatite. Peter is a reviewer for five peer-reviewed journals.

Thumb speaker template

Dr Luke Villata

Luke Villata graduated in dentistry from the University of Sydney in 1984. Luke worked in private practice in Hobart, Tasmania, for 2 years before heading to London. He worked in London until 1993 when he moved to Aarhus Denmark to study Periodontics. Luke graduated in 1996 and obtained his specialist registration in NSW in 1997.

Luke has worked in specialist practice since 1997. Luke has also been involved in teaching at the University of Sydney and Charles Sturt University since 1997 and 2010 respectively. Luke is currently head of the Diploma in Implant Dentistry course which is run from Charles Sturt University. Luke was granted membership of the Royal Australian Society of Dental Surgeon in 2010.

Thumb ian meyers 2012 cmyk

Prof Ian Meyers OAM


Professor Ian Meyers is a general dental practitioner in Brisbane Australia, and an honorary professor at The University of Queensland School of Dentistry. He has extensive experience in comprehensive patient care, and has a special interest in diagnosis and management of worn and broken down dentition, geriatric and aged care dentistry, adhesive restorative dental materials, fibre-reinforced composites, and the management of patients through minimum intervention dentistry. In 2017 he received the Order of Australia Medal for services to dentistry, to professional associations, and to tertiary education.

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