Category archives: Antarctica

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 [...]

Summer Solstice in Antarctica – Like Nowhere Else on Earth

Feature photo courtesy of Quark passenger Mitch.  In Northern Europe, they call it Midsummer, or St. John’s Day, after the early Christian martyr John the Baptist. The Japanese take to the streets to celebrate their much-loved solar goddess Amaterasu (Shinto) each July. In Greek mythology, Apollo was the god of the Summer Solstice; to the ancient Romans, goddess Juno was responsible for the one day each year with more daylight [...]

The South Sandwich Islands

Written by Dr. Tom Hart, Penguinologist, Oxford University, UK. Tom runs the Penguin Lifelines project at Oxford University and the Zoological Society of London, through which he monitors Antarctic wildlife using camera trapping, volunteer photos and population genetics. Tom’s PhD at Imperial College and the British Antarctic Survey investigated penguin foraging behavior around South Georgia. He loves the world’s cold places and is passionate about protecting them. Tom loves all [...]

A study on climate change & declining penguin populations

At Quark Expeditions, we are proud to partner with scientists who are leading their fields in boots-on-the-ground research. In addition to some of the more famous explorers we’ve welcomed aboard as Resident Experts, year after year we have the pleasure of welcoming Oxford Biology Department researchers and penguinologists, Dr. Tom Hart and Gemma Clucas. Throughout their roughly 15 Antarctic expeditions with us, Hart and Clucas have gathered genetic samples, data [...]

5 Reasons to Visit Antarctica Early in the Summer Expedition Season

Each person has their own unique and personal reasons for visiting Antarctica. For some, it’s the culmination of a lifelong quest to visit one of the most remote, pristine destinations on the planet. Others have been before and fell in love with the rare wildlife viewing, the untouched icescapes or the spectacle of ever-changing glaciers dotting the rugged coastline. Whatever your motivation, there are definite benefits to visiting Antarctica early [...]

Nick Bertozzi – Shackleton: Antarctic Odyssey

Image credit: Shackleton, Nick Bertozzi Written by Miranda Miller Nick Bertozzi pored over his Adventures of Tintin comics as a child, living vicariously through the travels of the young Belgian reporter. It lit a spark, he says – one that inspired him to get off the couch and do some traveling of his own.  Bertozzi hopes his new graphic novel, Shackleton: Antarctic Odyssey, will do the same for children and [...]

Meet 5 Fascinating Antarctic Penguins

Long before they captured the hearts of audiences in movies like “March of the Penguins” and “Happy Feet”, penguins turned Antarctica’s most barren landscapes into teeming cities. They number as many as 30 million and are scattered across Antarctica, its surrounding islands and as far north as the equator. Antarctica and its many surrounding islands are home to both common and increasingly scarce penguin populations – each with its own [...]

Polar Bucket List: 7 Must-See Arctic & Antarctic Destinations

To the adventure-addict, there are few areas in the world as alluring as those locked in ice. Polar destinations are as stunning and pristine as they are inhospitable, and the fact that these places are rarely seen by human eyes make them that much more enticing. From the Arctic to the Antarctic, there’s a world of discovery awaiting those who venture near the poles. 1. North Pole The treacherous, ice-filled [...]

Pro Tips for Amazing Antarctic Photography: Q&A with Dave Merron

Planning for your Antarctic adventure?  Be sure to pack your camera to capture the amazing wildlife and vistas found only on the seventh continent.  Depending on when you visit and how far south you travel, you may expect to see several different penguin species, possibly including their colonies and chicks. Antarctica is also home to a number of different kinds of whales, fur seals, sea lions and a dazzling variety [...]

Shackleton’s Legacy: Antarctic Exploration a Century After Endurance

1914-2014: An historic anniversary for Antarctic exploration This year marks the 100th anniversary of an event celebrated by historians, explorers and Antarctic enthusiasts around the world. In 1914, Sir Ernest Shackleton and his crew of 27 brave souls set out aboard The Endurance in hopes of becoming the first explorers to traverse the Antarctic continent. Their aptly named ship became frozen in ice before reaching shore, and although Shackleton and [...]