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Epic Antarctica: Crossing the Circle via Falklands and South Georgia

23 days

Explore Buenos Aires and Ushuaia, with a convenient charter flight in between, before embarking on the cruise portion of your once in a lifetime adventure. In this diverse expedition, you’ll experience the spectacular flora and fauna of the Falkland Islands (Islas Malvinas) before immersing yourself in the unique history and exquisite, rare wildlife of South Georgia.

Whether you’re visiting Antarctic research stations, witnessing a sudden minke whale breach from your Zodiac, sharing a magical moment with king penguins, or celebrating crossing the Antarctic Circle with like-minded travelers and crew, you’ll know this experience will live on in you forever.

Day-by-Day Expedition in Brief

  • Explore the world’s seventh continent on the Antarctic Peninsula by ship, Zodiac and on foot;
  • Learn about Antarctica’s unique geology, history and wildlife with an expert team of lecturers;
  • See the incredible wildlife of South Georgia, often referred to as “the Galapagos of the South.” This includes more than 30 species of breeding birds, including four species of penguin;
  • Follow in the footsteps of Sir Ernest Shackleton’s perilous voyages on South Georgia and pause for a moment at his graveside;
  • Explore the quaint, British town of Port Stanley in the Falkland Islands;
  • Crossing of the Antarctic Circle; and
  • On board lecturers and educational presentations from Polar specialists.

Day 1 — Buenos Aires, Argentina

You may arrive in Buenos Aires at any time during Day 1 of the itinerary. Upon your arrival at this splendid city, known for its soaring architecture and rich European heritage, you will independently transfer to the group hotel (pre-night hotel included).

Day 2 — Ushuaia, Argentina and Embarkation

After breakfast at the hotel, the group will transfer to the airport and board our private charter flight to Ushuaia, Argentina. Upon arrival, you will have a little time to explore this quaint port town before heading to the pier. Embarkation will occur in the late afternoon, after which your vessel will sail down the historic Beagle Channel.

Day 3 — At Sea

There are many activities to keep you engaged while we’re at sea. You can take advantage of the library of books available on your ship, hang out at the bar chatting to other travelers or spend time out on deck, admiring the sea. Your Expedition Team will also conduct a series of presentations to familiarize yourself with how to prepare for Zodiac cruises and shore landings.

Days 4 and 5 — Falkland Islands (Islas Malvinas)

The Falkland archipelago contains two main islands, East and West, which we will explore by Zodiac excursions and daily landings. These rugged islands have a frontier feel to them, especially at Port Stanley—the largest settlement on the islands.

Days 6 and 7 — At Sea

Enroute to South Georgia you’ll cross the invisible biological boundary unique to Antarctica – the Antarctic Convergence. This meeting of oceans is what creates the abundance of krill and marine life that attract large cetaceans such as humpback whales.

Days 8 to 11 — South Georgia

Evidence of the old whaling and sealing heydays is still found throughout the island. You’ll be surprised to learn that whale and seal populations were once decimated here, as today their populations are strong, with massive rookeries to be seen.

Days 12 and 13 — At Sea

Antarctica awaits, along with its own penguin and seal species. While you’re at sea, you can enjoy quiet time or take in presentations by the Expedition Team, who will cover everything from the history and geology of Antarctica to tips on identifying different species and what makes each of them unique.

Days 14 to 16 — South Shetland Islands and Antarctic Peninsula

The most common reaction to arriving at the White Continent is a sense of reverence and awe. The experience is hard to put into words. You will discover that Antarctica is a land of extremes: at one moment you’ll be overcome with a feeling of complete silence and loneliness, the next you’ll be laughing at the comical antics of a curious penguin.

Days 17 and 18 — The Antarctic Circle

Crossing the Antarctic Circle is an impressive achievement, as most expeditions to the Peninsula do not come close to reaching this far south.

Days 19 and 20 — 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.

Days 21 and 22 — Crossing the Drake Passage

Day 23 — Disembark in Ushuaia & Fly to Buenos Aires, Argentina

We will arrive in Ushuaia in the morning after breakfast. After disembarkation, we will taste a little of Patagonia by touring Tierra del Fuego National Park before we transfer to the airport for the return group charter flight to Buenos Aires.
View full 23-day itinerary »

Adventure Options Ramp Up Your Expedition

Every Quark Antarctic voyage includes great daily outdoor activities including Zodiac cruises, hiking and some also offer snowshoeing. The more discerning adrenaline junkie can also choose from a range of optional adventure activities, with varying exertion levels, to experience the 7th continent in a more personal way.

Contact a Quark Polar Travel Adviser to learn more about adventure options, including physical requirements.

$950 per person

Kayaking in Antarctica is probably one of the most intimate and inspiring ways you can explore this incredible region. Glide through the quiet waters and take in the beauty of Antarctica. Paddle through astounding icebergs, watch penguins, seals and possibly whales swim around your kayak.

Kayaking in the Polar Regions is highly weather-dependent, however we guarantee at least one outing during your voyage. Your kayak guides will always attempts to take you out as many times as possible throughout your voyage.

Offered on most Antarctic voyages, spaces are limited and require some kayaking experience. All equipment, guides and instructions are provided by Quark. Please contact a Quark Polar Travel Adviser for more information.

Pre- and Post-Trip Options Antarctica Extensions

Le chemin qui vous conduira jusqu’en Antarctique peut être aussi amusant que le séjour sur place. Quark propose une grande variété de formules de voyage qui vous permettront de connaître d’autres endroits de notre planète avant et après votre aventure en Antarctique.

Introduction to Buenos Aires Package

Savour a spectacular bottle of Malbec with fine Argentine steak, explore street art in colourful San Telmo or experience the world-class shopping on Avenida Florida. Discover the elegant beauty of Buenos Aires, a city that melds European charm with the frenzied pace of Latin life. This package includes a guided tour of the city’s impressive highlights, from the quaint, cobbled plazas to its most sophisticated neighbourhoods. In the evening, you will enjoy a spectacular dinner and tango show with a live orchestra. Please contact a Quark Polar Travel Adviser for pricing.

Expedition Facts

Packing Tips

Pack to dress in layers so you are prepared for these rapid weather changes. Average daily temperatures in mid-season are between 25 and 35 Fahrenheit or -4 and +2 Celsius; however wind conditions can make it seem colder.

Be sure your base layers and mid layers are made from breathable fabrics and your outer layers are waterproof (not water resistant) and don't forget to pack a hat, neck warmer and sunscreen & sunglasses.

Visit the Quark online Gear Shop to help prepare for your expedition.

Safety First

Life Boat Drill

By international maritime law, you must participate in an emergency drill within 24 hours of sailing. Upon embarkation, you will be asked to locate your life vest in your cabin and remember your life boat and muster station. This mandatory drill will be scheduled as soon as possible by the Expedition Leader. You will be provided with full details after you embark.

Onboard Lectures

Presentations by Quark’s Expedition Team are included as part of your voyage. Through formal illustrated presentations, as well as informal briefings, the Quark Expeditions Team will cover a range of topics including ornithology, marine biology, glaciology, geography, geology, history and the environment.