Author archives: Tiffany Merritt

In the Footsteps of Franklin: Canadian Team Discovers Lost Franklin Expedition Ship

Feature photo:  Bettman/Corbis After more than 160 years of searching, the Government of Canada announced this week that a Canadian team has located one of Sir John Franklin’s ill-fated Arctic exploration ships, just off King William Island. “I am delighted to announce that this year’s Victoria Strait Expedition has solved one of Canada’s greatest mysteries, with the discovery of one of the two ships belonging to the Franklin Expedition lost [...]

Arctic Quest: Colin Stump recounts his thrilling Arctic adventure

Written by Colin Stump. Social media has drowned us in superlatives. Amazing, OMG, fantastic, awesome, etc etc. So, how can I possibly recount a recent adventure in the Arctic without recourse to the same? Perhaps I should focus on the professionalism of our expedition team, the guys and gals from Quark Expeditions. These are the folks who variously hunt out the best wildlife viewing opportunities, lead hikes in polar bear [...]

Spotlight on Port Lockroy: A Living Museum & Haven for Gentoo Penguins

Tucked away in a natural harbour on Goudier Island, on the western shores of Wiencke Island, Port Lockroy is a popular stop on our Antarctic Explorer voyages as well as Antarctic Express: Cruise South, Fly North and other Antarctic expeditions. Home to an abandoned British naval base-turned-museum, Port Lockroy is designated a Historic Site and Monument under the Antarctic Treaty, located off the west coast of the Antarctic Peninsula. Visitors [...]

A Leap of Faith: The Murres of Cape Walstenholme

Written by Acacia Johnson After sailing east from Churchill, the Sea Explorer was promptly met with a gale warning. High winds, swell, and poor visibility kept us on the ship for a day and a half, and with white caps ripping across the sea’s surface outside the window, we instead turned our attention to lectures and presentations. Fortunately, clear skies soon appeared on the weather forecast, and when opportunity struck, [...]

White Whale Wonderland: Cruising with Belugas in Churchill

Written by Acacia Johnson On a beautifully warm day in Churchill, Manitoba, the Sea Explorer welcomed a new group of passengers aboard. After a long day of travel and sightseeing for our guests, we had initially planned a restful evening for their first hours aboard the ship – but nature had other plans. In the true spirit of an expedition, we decided to seize the opportunities that presented themselves, because outside, [...]

Beluga Whales, Kayaking & Other Adventures at 74° North

Written by Quark President, Hans Lagerweij I’m writing this blog from the unique surroundings of the Arctic Watch Lodge at 74˚ Somerset Island, Nunavut, Canada. Quark Expeditions® has launched this lodge as our first land-based polar product, diversifying our product and re-asserting our position as experts that take you safely and comfortably to extreme locations on land and at sea. I can proudly say that our experience at Arctic Watch [...]

A Monumental Experience: Bears, Bergs, and Brilliant Weather

By Acacia Johnson Having spent a day crossing Davis Strait from the foggy, ice-filled wonderland that was Greenland, it was with much anticipation that we approached the Canadian Arctic. Our first stop would be Monumental Island, an uninhabited island where we hoped to spot some Arctic wildlife. Almost magically, the sea stood perfectly still, flat and calm far into the open ocean towards Greenland. With bright sun gleaming through a hazy [...]

Sunshine in Sisimiut

Written by Acacia Johnson Early morning on the Sea Explorer dawned calm and hazy, the low sun sparkling off the sea in a golden haze. In the distance, mountains lined the horizon, growing slowly larger as we made our way towards shore. Coffee in hand, I joined a group of passengers on the deck, watching seabirds and waiting with anticipation as the colorful houses of Sisimiut grew nearer. Good morning, Greenland. [...]

Spotlight on Falkland Islands and South Georgia: Explorers & Kings

Photo courtesy of Chris, Quark passenger. Early in the Antarctic travel season each year, passengers aboard the Quark Expeditions Falkland Islands, South Georgia and Antarctica expedition spend two days each in the Falklands (Islas Malvinas) and on beautiful, remote South Georgia. Teeming with wildlife, the Falkland Islands are an archipelago in the South Atlantic consisting of two main islands – East and West – and over 750 smaller islands. Travelers [...]

Antarctic Expeditions Yesterday and Today: 100 Years of Exploration

This November, famed polar explorer and expert Jonathan Shackleton will once again join Quark Expeditions aboard the Ocean Diamond. This marks 100 years since his cousin Sir Ernest Shackleton’s legendary voyage on The Endurance, in which he and his crew had hoped to be the first explorers to traverse the seventh continent. Antarctic travel and tourism has certainly increased since Shackleton and his brave crew set out to conquer the [...]