Day 1 — Punta Arenas, Chile
Your adventure begins in Punta Arenas, Chile, the most populated city in Patagonia. If you arrive early, there are many museums, restaurants and shops to keep you busy for days. By early afternoon, a Quark Expeditions representative will meet all passengers at the official starting point hotel, where you’ll enjoy a welcome dinner and be briefed about preparing for your embarkation day
Day 2 — Embarkation Day
Your charter flight from Punta Arenas to Antarctica will have you crossing the legendary Drake Passage in only a few hours. Far below, the ship is approaching King George Island for your arrival. Your first glimpse of dramatic Antarctica landscapes will be from a very unique perspective, as your plane descends for landing in the South Shetlands. After landing, stretch your legs and spend some time exploring the island before being transferred by Zodiac to your ship. Meet the rest of your shipmates and set sail for the Antarctic Peninsula!
Days 3 to 5 — Antarctic Peninsula and South Shetland Islands
There are few places in the world as evocative as Antarctica. As your ship approaches the white continent, you may be overcome by feelings of excitement and awe. Much of Antarctica is indescribable and can only be fully appreciated through your own eyes. Your first sightings will be from the ship itself. As the Captain and Expedition Team keep their eyes out for whales and seabirds, you’ll be alerted to any new sightings.
Our team of expert lecturers will also provide in-depth explanations of the geology, history and wildlife of the region. Even more exciting are your daily excursions to land. Your first Zodiac landing is something you’ll never forget! Walking up to a beach that is dotted with penguins and seals is the most intimate way to experience the unique wildlife of Antarctica. Each landing is different and is dependent on weather, but every day presents new sightings and photo opportunities and it won’t be long before you can tell the difference between an Adélie, gentoo or chinstrap penguin.
You may take a Zodiac cruise in search of whales and icebergs in Pleneau Island one day, followed by a hike to a penguin rookery the next day. From the booming shot of a calving glacier at Petermann Island to the complete silence of night while camping on the ice in Antarctica, you’ll welcome each day with the excitement and energy of a young child. Our Expedition Team will be with you all along, providing insights into the places you visit
Days 6-7 — The Antarctic Circle
Crossing the Antarctic Circle is an impressive achievement, as most expeditions to the Peninsula do not reach 66° 33' S. You and your shipmates will celebrate in style with a well-earned glass of champagne!
With a toast to the first explorers who ventured this far south, you can take pride in knowing you’ve made it to a part of the world still visited by very few people. This is raw Antarctica, home to the midnight sun, Weddell seals and some of the most magical, odd ice formations seen anywhere in Antarctica.
Days 8 to 9 — Northbound Along the Peninsula
If you haven’t had your fill of Antarctic wildlife and icebergs by now, you’ll surely be satisfied by the time we return to the Drake Passage. You will continue to journey onto land by Zodiac twice daily as you travel north along the western Antarctic Peninsula. Your Expedition Team will always be on the lookout for any species of penguins, seals and whales that may have eluded you on the journey south.
Day 10 — Disembarkation and Fly to Punta Arenas
After your week of exploration, you’ll say goodbye to the Expedition Team and disembark at King George Island. Your three-hour flight across the Drake Passage to Punta Arenas, Chile, brings your adventure to an end. After we transfer you from the airport to the hotel, you can enjoy a final dinner in the city to reminisce about all the sights and sounds of Antarctica.
Day 11 — Depart for Home
Say goodbye to your fellow explorers and depart for home.
Important reminder: Embracing the unexpected is part of the legacy – and excitement – of expedition travel. There are no guarantees that we can achieve everything we set out to accomplish. A measure of flexibility is something all of us must bring to a voyage. There are nearly 200 recognized sites in the Antarctic Peninsula and South Shetlands and the places mentioned above may be changed to others equally as interesting.