Author archives: Tiffany Merritt

United Nations Court Ends Japan's Antarctic Whaling Program

Image credit: Australian Parliament The UN International Court of Justice (IJC) has ordered Japan to stop hunting minke, fin and humpback whales in the Antarctic, ruling that the practice was not for the benefit of science. The March 31, 2014, decision has already resulted in Japan’s issuing a statement that though they find the ruling disappointing, they will abide by the judgment of the court. Japan’s Chief Cabinet Secretary added, [...]

Snowshoeing Spitsbergen: Old School Arctic Trekking Like a Champ

Early in the Arctic expedition season each year, passengers have a unique opportunity to participate in the age old, traditional activity of snowshoeing in Norway’s Arctic paradise, Spitsbergen. Whether you’re a first-timer or a snowshoeing aficionado, these tips will help you make the most of the experience. Snowshoeing is a fantastic way to get an up close and personal look at the vast Arctic landscape around Spitsbergen, the largest island [...]

Franklin's Lost Expedition: Myths, Mystery & Modern Day Relics

The story of Franklin’s lost expedition is one that still fascinates today, so much so that international researchers are still investigating potential causes of the deaths of all 129 men and officers aboard the fateful ship. Just recently, scientists from the University of Glasgow re-examined forensic specimens gathered by Parks Canada in 2013 and concluded that lead poisoning was less a factor than previously thought. What, then, was responsible for [...]

Luxury Antarctic Expeditions: Adventure Cruising in Comfort

Not all that long ago, expeditions were undertaken by only the hardiest of travelers. If you were among the adventurous determined to travel to the farthest, most remote corners of the world, you could expect camp accommodations, little to no communication with the outside world, and months of planning in advance. For Antarctic travelers, it was a small price to pay for the experience of a lifetime; to view wildlife [...]

Filming The Mysterious 7th Continent

Rhonda and Tony Wannamaker, members of the Canadian Society of Cinematographers,  are a husband and wife film team. Rhonda is a Producer/Sound Recordist and Tony is a Cinematographer/Director. During the month of November 2013, the filmmakers were in the Falklands, South Georgia and Antarctica working on a documentary about tourism and following in the footsteps of the great heroic Polar explorers, Capt. Robert Falcon Scott and Sir Ernest Shackleton.  Below is a blog [...]

Farewell Sochi Olympics, Hello Arctic Winter Games!

Feature photo: athletes and volunteers get pumped up for the 2014 Arctic Winter Games at a recent volunteer ceremony. Photo credit: awg2014.org The 2014 Olympic Winter Olympics have come and gone, leaving in their wake a number of new records, both sporting-related and monetary. The Sochi Olympic Games will go down in history as the most expensive to date; with a $51 billion investment, Russia far exceeded the previous $40 [...]

Climate Change & Biodiversity Priorities for Arctic Council

Photo Credit: Quark passenger Al Gellin The preservation of Arctic heritage and the environment is incredibly important for us at Quark Expeditions and we’re incredibly grateful for the work done by organizations like the Arctic Council. As their second annual Senior Arctic Officials (SAO) Canadian Chairmanship meeting in Yellowknife approaches, we want to share with you some of the excellent work they’ve undertaken to ensure the Arctic can be enjoyed [...]

Arctic Travel: Exploring on your own or with Arctic Tour Group? Two Different Ways to Discover the North

Traveling to the Arctic is a once in a lifetime adventure for some, while others have made it a semi-annual or even annual tradition, exploring different areas or returning to favorite regions with each visit. Whether it’s your first trip to the Arctic Circle or your tenth, is it better to travel alone or accompanied by an Arctic tour group? There are a number of factors to consider, but it [...]

We Hope You Had The Time of Your Life

Below is a blog from Expedition Guide, Diane Erecg.  Diane is aboard the Sea Spirit, on Quark’s Crossing the Circle, Southern Expedition: The leopard seal darts around our zodiac with finesse and curiosity. It twists, turns and tosses about, keeping us guessing where, after each dive, it might surface again. There it is, at our stern, its large triangular head and thick muscular neck perched well above the water’s surface as [...]

Life is a Penguin Highway

Below is a blog from Expedition Guide, Diane Erecg.  Diane is aboard the Sea Spirit, on Quark’s Crossing the Circle, Southern Expedition: Looking out from the Sea Spirit towards landfall, the shorelines and slopes all around us look pristine and untouched. Everything is ice and snow-covered, the Transantarctic Mountains tower overhead, icebergs glisten in crystal clear water and silence hangs in the air. The Antarctic Peninsula appears spotless, deserted and empty. [...]