Category archives: From the Field

Antarctica bound: Books for the passionate polar buff

One of the most frequently asked questions we get here at Quark Expeditions (aside from “What do I pack? and “Any tips for handling the Drake Passage?”) is what our recommended reading for Antarctica is. When preparing for their journey south, excited history-buffs often want to read all about past explorers and get into the polar mindset. Victoria Salem, Historian aboard the Sea Spirit during our Antarctic voyages has put [...]

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, [...]

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. [...]

Voyage Update: Spitsbergen Circumnavigation

Fresh From The Sea!  Expedition Leader Woody, currently leading Spitsbergen Circumnavigation, shares his exciting voyage update from the Sea Spirit: “What a morning!  Arrived early near Torellneset and spotted a polar bear and two cubs. As the breakfast was almost set on the table we ventured out in perfect blue sky conditions. The mother and cubs strolled to the waters edge where they slept and occasionally wandered about.  Later in [...]

Spitsbergen Explorer: Voyage update from the Sea Spirit

If there is such a thing as a “classic Arctic” expedition cruise, Spitsbergen Explorer is it. You’ll get all the best of Spitsbergen, by exploring the western edge of the island and venturing to some northern outlying areas home to polar bears and walrus.  Located above the Arctic Circle, Spitsbergen welcomes travelers from around the world to visit this UNESCO World Heritage Site.   Packed with options for snowshoeing and sea-kayaking, [...]

Easter Island Blog: Part 1

Hanga Roa  Eco Resort Easter Island, Rapa Nui, as it is known locally, is a place I have wanted to visit for as long as I can remember. I grew up a bit of a nerd, watching the features of the huge stone heads on the Discovery Channel and I wanted to see them for myself.  The opportunity came as I was going to Antarctica. I thought, ‘I’m down in [...]

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 [...]

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. [...]