Category archives: Arctic

Polar Vortex: The Science, Myth & Media Hype Behind North American Weather Phenomenon

Since early January, the polar vortex craze has swept North America. You’ve seen it splashed across mainstream media and if you are a social media user, have probably been inundated with polar vortex warnings and memes over the past month. This influx of Arctic weather across North America has been blamed for slumping vehicle sales, record-breaking demand for natural gas, and temperature lows not seen in the Southern states in [...]

It’s Getting Hot Up Here: Arctic Circle Destinations On Holiday Hotspots Lists

Written by Quark’s extraordinary president, Hans Lagerweij. Even as frigid temperatures grip typically mild areas this winter, travelers are gearing up for Arctic expeditions this summer. In fact, 2014 is shaping up to be a banner year for travel in and around the Arctic Circle, as travelers and mainstream media alike are eager to explore and share their adventures at the top of the world. Recent “top destinations” lists from [...]

Fluffy flowers

The Arctic cottongrass is the most widespread flowering plant found in the northern hemisphere and Arctic tundra regions.  Cotton grass is not actually a type of grass, but rather a plant that  flourishes in areas that are too cold for trees. Fun fact:  in Scotland they used them to dress wounds during First World War. Photo courtesy of our passenger slideshow, 2013 Greenland Explorer Voyage.

Arctic flowers: the beautiful Purple Saxifrage

Former Canadian Museum of Nature botanist,  Nicholas Polunin,  wrote in 1940 that this plant “must be reckoned among the world’s greatest beauties, especially as it stands out in its unusually bleak and desolate surroundings.”   Purple saxifrage is an edible plant that is seen all over the high Arctic.  Purple saxifrage is the first plant to flower in the Arctic spring, and stays in bloom for 10 to 14 days.  Fun fact: Inuit [...]

Introduction to Spitsbergen: Polar Bear Safari

Spitsbergen is the largest island in the Svalbard archipelago, located halfway between Norway and the North Pole.  This voyage provides the opportunity to experience everything Spitsbergen has to offer, from polar bears and walrus to spectacular scenery. Aboard the luxurious Sea Spirit, you’ll be treated to daily presentations by your Expedition Team onboard the ship and daily wildlife sightings on land. Hike, explore and enjoy the beauty of the Arctic [...]

Baffin Island

Baffin Island is the largest island in Canada and the fifth largest island in the world. Quark’s Epic High Arctic Expedition is wonderful voyage to explore Baffin Island and experience where polar bears, whales, seals and humans have all learned to co-exist for thousands of years.  In addition to wildlife excursions by Zodiac and tundra hikes, you’ll spend time visiting fishing villages and Inuit settlements, taking time to learn about [...]

Climate as Culture: Artists near the Arctic Circle

Greenland and the Canadian Arctic, while geographically far removed from the galleries of New York and London, hold a solid place on the international arts scene. Each steeped in thousands of years of Inuit history, they are culturally significant destinations on our Arctic Quest voyage. The second-largest settlement in Greenland, Sisimiut has managed to maintain their small fishing village vibe with picturesque harbour walkways and a bustling arts community. Houses [...]

Arctic Quest: Cultural & Geographical Contrasts from Greenland to Churchill

Arctic Quest, our most diverse Arctic expedition, is popular among wildlife lovers, adventurers and historians alike. This is a journey of contrasts, where you may find yourself alternately immersed in Inuit culture, in awe of naturally magnificent icy fjords, and even enjoying close encounters with walrus or polar bears. Your journey begins with an overnight stay in Denmark, before boarding a charter flight to Kangerlussuaq, home to Greenland’s largest commercial [...]

Sochi 2014 Games: Olympic torch visits the North Pole

For the first time in history the Olympic flame was brought to the North Pole, on board Quark’s  nuclear-powered icebreaker, 50 Years of Victory, as part of the torch relay to the 2014 Sochi Winter Games.  The icebreaker, which departed from Russia’s Arctic port of Murmansk, made the journey in about 91 hours, the quickest  trip ever –  50 Years of Victory can take up to eight days to travel north.   Once [...]

Arctic Quest : Greenland to Churchill

Our most diverse Arctic expedition aboard our new ship, the Sea Explorer. In addition to wildlife excursions by Zodiac and tundra hikes, you’ll spend time visiting fishing villages and Inuit settlements, taking time to learn about their heritage and culture. A wonderful expedition to a part of the world where polar bears, whales, seals and humans have all learned to co-exist for thousands of years. Expedition Summary Day 1  Copenhagen, [...]